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Roasted chickpeas

Fresh chickpeas are roasted for 5-10 minutes, then soaked in water and roasted again. The process is repeated 3 times, for different lengths of time and with different quantities of water, until they are dunked in salt water or a spicy sauce. The chickpeas are then roasted in the davas, a special receptacle with a copper bottom and a wooden stirrer, which revolves and stirs the chickpeas. They are then sorted by size using special riddles.


Boiled sheep’s milk and sugar, egg yolks, vanilla, and mastic were all put into a cylindrical metal container, which was in turn placed in a wooden barrel with a larger diameter. Ice and coarse salt were packed between the sides of the cylinder and the barrel. The container was shaken continuously, and every so often the ingredients were stirred with an iron spatula, until they thickened into an elastic mass.

Turkish delight

Water, sugar, glucose, and starch were boiled together for 2 hours, and stirred constantly with a wooden stick. Towards the end of the boiling time, flavouring and colouring would be added, together with nuts (pistachios or almonds), depending on the type of Turkish delight that was being made. The confectioner would taste the mixture with his finger, and if he found it acceptable he would pour it into wooden trays sprinkled with caster sugar. When the mixture had cooled, he would turn it out onto the counter (also sprinkled with caster sugar) and cut the Turkish delight into cubes with a knife.


Water and sugar were boiled until thick, and flavouring and colouring were added. To make kambadikes, the confectioners would take the hot, thickened mass and slam it onto a piece of iron in the wall, where it would catch. They would then pull it and slam it back until the mass swelled and whitened.To a certain quantity from the mass they would add red colouring. Four red and 4 white sticks were shaped, then twined together, and cut up with scissors. Akidedes were made by adding sesame, cinnamon, and cloves or nuts to the thickened mass, which was then shaped into sticks 2 cm long and cut up with scissors. Crystallised lemons and fish were made with a softer mixture, which was squeezed between 2 cylinders.


Halva was made by adding the sap of Gypsophila rokejeka and tahini to a mixture of sugar, glucose, and water known as ahda. In the olden days, grape sugar was used rather than cane sugar. When the mixture boiled, it was beaten in the bassimi, a copper container, usually with a capacity of 25 kilos. When the confectioner judged the mixture to be ready, it was taken out of the bassimi and kneaded while hot. Various ingredients were added at this stage, depending on what type of halva was being made.