The word “turmoil” gets thrown around a lot these days when people talk about Greece.
Which is too bad, because it’s got a lot of other, non-turmoily stuff going on that’s pretty cool: Hercules, the Parthenon, lamb roasted on a spit, sweet characters unpronouncable to the lay American speaker, a plus-level flag, Giannis Antetokounmpo, that one typeface that doesn’t have any curves, culture, beautiful islands.
Due on large account to those last couple items, I’ve had a few friends venture thataway, and because they are wonderful, they sent me some Gift Bars. Much love to Katie Bar and Rebecca Bar for the always appreciated gifts! Here’s what I tried:
Homemade Almond Sweets from Hydra (my best attempt at pronunciation: Yapeka Topeka)
I was scared about the Yapeka sweets, on account of the Lokumi sweets that I’d tried earlier and you’ll read about later. [Ed. note: Yes, this is chronologically out of order. If you are upset then you can go ahead and start your own candy bar blog that is chronologically taut.] My cousin Rebecca Bar went to great lengths to ensure that these bad boys made the voyage from little Greek sweets shop to my tummy, and I’d hate it if I hated them.
My fears were misguided; these were damn tasty. Somewhat-gelatinous almond pastry cubes covered in powdered sugar, the Yapeka itself reminded me of the inside of an almond danish, only if the almond weren’t so finely pressed and instead had a more earthy taste. They were lightly sweet and a very welcome treat on the palate.
That’s a tough description to get through, but it’s a tough treat to describe: I’ve never had an American treat remotely like it.
Ion flower blossom bar (pictured at top) (Argayanou)
The Argayanou is straight-up chocolate and nuts. Nothing revolutionary, but also, why mess with a good thing?
Ion hazelnut wafer bar (Chocofreta … they made that one easy)
I had a variant of this way back in February and I was happy to see another version of it. Like a giant-ass Kit Kat filled with Nutella. Again, I’m not the biggest Nutella guy, but the balance in this bar was just right.
I’ll also note that Chocofreta is a great name. It’s very pretty.
I think I would date someone named Chocofreta.
Artius Loukomi (Lokumi)
I don’t know what a bergamot is. The Lokumi may taste just like a bergamot. It doesn’t matter. This is one of the worst things I’ve tasted in some time. A jelly square with the taste of cleaning solution. NOPE.