Koulourakia, (In Greek pronounced: koo-loo-RAHK-yah), is a traditional Greek dessert, typically made at Easter, to be eaten after Holy Saturday.
They are Butter-based pastry, traditionally hand-shaped, with egg glaze on top. They have a sweet delicate flavor with a hint of vanilla. Koulourakia are well known for their sprinkle of sesame seeds and distinctive ring shape. In fact, the word is the diminutive form for a ring-shaped loaf or lifebelt. These pastries are also often shaped like small snakes by the Minoans, as they worshiped the snake for its healing powers.
Now the pastries can be shaped into braided circles, hairpin twists, figure eights, twisted wreaths, horseshoes or Greek letters, although they are still often shaped into a snake style. They are commonly eaten with morning coffee or afternoon tea. Like all pastries, they are normally kept in dry conditions in a jar with a lockable lid.
Written recipes as an idea can be tracked far back into distant history, at least as far into history as the early Egyptians, and possibly even further than that. In practice though, in the main part, these old recipes were just primitive hieroglyphic instructions for food preparation.
Progressing into Roman times 25BC a roman called Apicius created some scripts detailing recipes cooked by the Romans. In his publication, Apicius describes how the meals of wealthy Romans were separated into appetizers, main course and dessert, something we still use today. He also describes how the Roman chefs were skilled in the use of a wide range of aromatic flavors, including a few you will know such as bay, fennel and dill.
Over the succeeding few centuries, the powerful and rich competed to offer the most exotic banquets, and as a consequence, cooks and their recipes were highly sought after. Notwithstanding that, it was during the nineteenth century that haute cuisine and recipe collections reached a high level of popularity.