Takakia: Rhodes delight, leavened pastry with nuts, spices, olive oil, and honey. Minimal sugar, high nutrition.

Close-up of Greek ‘Takakia’

Takakia or mantinades, sometimes called Apoloniatikos baklava, is prepared using handmade pastry-sheets made from leaven and lye, a solution prepared by boiling water along with wood ash that is used to make traditional sweet dishes. It is baked in the oven. A very special sweet of Rhodes, it has minimal amounts of sugar and high nutritional value thanks to the nuts, spices, olive oil and honey it contains.

On the eve of Agios Andreas, St. Andrew, the traditional takakia and loukoumades are customarily found in every home, and in many villages a plate of this sweet is taken to the church to be blessed by the priest. On this day, they are then sent to engaged women and the best men for the wedding. Takakia is a sweet that is on offer throughout the year and a necessity in every home.

To make the dough, flour, baking powder, oil, a little salt and lye is used. Nuts, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and sugar are used for the filling and honey and water for the syrup.

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