Who doesn’t dream about a white Christmas? We certainly do! Thankfully, living in Canada means that most years, our dream comes true. It is rare that December 25th rolls around without a blanket of beautiful, white, fluffy snow blanketing everything! If you have never made snow angels on Christmas morning, we really hope that you get to one day! Our parents grew up in Greece however, a country not known for frosty winters and snow storms. So, in their villages, the whitest and fluffiest thing they could hope for at Christmas time, were kourabiethes.
Sweet is the day that you decide to devote some time to making tsoureki, the traditional Greek Easter bread which is often served to break the Lenten fast. On Easter Sunday it is offered to family and friends as a way to express friendship and love. Godparents often include a loaf of tsoureki in the Easter gifts they give their godchildren, tucked into the gift bag next to the shoes and the lambada (Easter candle).
Similar to Jewish challah bread, tsoureki is sweet, soft and fluffy. What sets it apart from other, similar, egg- enriched breads however are the flavourings of mastiha and mahlepi. Although these unique ingredients are key, and present in almost all tsourekia recipes, there are numerous variations, with some families adding additional flavours of orange or brandy or other nice things.