Soutzoukos is a traditional, chewy sweet made from grape juice that has a unique appearance (it looks similar to a candle!), and is popular at traditional festivals.
The sweet is made using the surplus of grapes after the grape harvest, which is why it is commonly made in the wine producing villages of the Troodos and Pafos regions.
To make Soutzoukos, the hot mixture known as ‘moustalevria’ (a combination of the Greek words ‘must’ and ‘flour’) is used. Almonds (and sometimes walnuts) are dipped into water to soften them, and then threaded onto strings of two to three metres in length. They are dipped into the hot mixture until completely covered, and then hung to dry for a few hours. This dipping process is repeated three to five times over the course of hours or days until the desired thickness is achieved (approximately one inch in diameter). It takes five to six days for the Soutzouko to dry and it can then be stored for months. When served, it is chopped into slices with a nutty centre and a chewy texture, often as an accompaniment to Zivania (a strong local spirit).