My family’s hometown is in Nea Kallikratia, Halkidiki, just 30 minutes south of Thessaloniki. There’s no shortage of Loukoumades in Greece but there are good ones, bad ones, mediocre ones and….great ones! Loukoumades are traditionally made with a yeast dough and they are dropped in hot oil where they puff up and once golden, get a syrup/hone bath and they may get a topping of chopped nuts.
I’ve eaten my fair share of Loukoumades, my favourite in Toronto are at Acropolis (Danforth, east of Pape) but the absolute best that I have tried are Yianni’s in Kallikratia. The man makes small batches of dough and fries them fresh before your eyes then dunks the fried dough in syrup and serves them to you warm with chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
Finding Yianni’s is really easy: the town of Kallikratia has a pedestrian walkway right up the middle of town and with the sea to your back, just walk up and as soon as you see the park to your left and the park ends, turn left on the road and walk about 50 metres and you’ll find Yianni’s…big deep fryer on the street, just for Loukoumades.
What makes Yianni’s Loukoumades special is that he uses his hands and spoon to scoop out the dough and plop it into the hot oil…no machines here and while you’re waiting for your order, he’ll chat you up, flash you a smile and quickly you’ll feel like a he’s your friend. The ultimate test to the best Loukoumades is tasting them.
To take a bite into Yianni’s Loukoumades is to feel the light crunch when you bite into them then you’ll notice they are light and airy and then…a burst of syrup that fills your mouth. It’s like the bugger has injected the Loukoumades with syrup!
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