My previous page Nuts was a photographic story about threaded nuts. This was originally posted on my Facebook page. Many of you rightfully replied; SOUJOUKO. I love these sweetmeats from Cyprus; And our valley is a prime place to find it at its very freshest and best; We have the beautiful almond trees and we have fantastic grapes; The main ingredients of this sweet. My friend Eleni makes the best ever. What I also like is the fact that rather than the more modern way of making it; using metal coat hangers; she uses wooden twigs in the time honoured tradition.
Grapes are first crushed to release their juice. (Don't worry about the skins etc; they have another fantastic use; Zivania!) The juice is then heated up in a copper aluminium lined pot over an outside fire of either logs or a sawn off iron barrel. This heated juice is thickened slightly with flour, and slightly scented by the use of herbs. Then the hard work really begins, stirring the thickened liquid until the right consistency is reached.
Then like dipping candles; the threaded nuts attached to a forked twig are dipped into the juice to coat the nuts,they are then left to dry. By the time the last necklace has been dipped the first one is ready to be re-dipped. This whole process is repeated two or three times until the soujouko reaches the correct width. Once dried the necklace is cut into strips for easy storage, or left whole. The remaining paste is usually poured into trays and sprinkled with broken nuts (See nothing goes to waste!) This is known as παλούσε / palousay. You can buy the soujouko at most times of the year in Cyprus, but you only get παλούσε when it has been freshly made.
Still the fun is not over; Remember when Mum made cakes and you were allowed to scrape out the bowl? Well the same happens here; you get to scrape out the hot sticky pot. And in my opinion the fresher the παλούσε the better. As I have said in earlier posts; whenever Eleni is making anything; close friends and family are usually notified and everyone anywhere near sit and enjoy the remains of the pot. After all the hard work its time for a sit down in the shade.Further the remaining fire is obviously used for a Bar B Q!