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Amygdalota from Monemvasia: Apart from its strong Castle, Monemvasia is also known for its delicious sweets. Amygdalota, whose name literally means sweets from almond, have been the traditional sweet of Monemvasia for more than two centuries. They are sold in bakeries and patisseries all over the Old and the New Town and all housewives know from their young age how to make amygdalota.
The history of this sweet is long. According to 18th and 19th-century travelers in the area, the fields around Monemvasia were then filled with almond and sour orange trees, a fact that is closely related to the recipe of this sweet, as it is made of almonds and rosewater from sour orange flowers.
Unfortunately, the tourist infrastructure and house construction led to cutting these trees down. That is why today the quantity of almonds of Monemvasia is not enough, so the professional pastry-cookers buy almonds from other places of Greece, mainly Thessaly.
Over the centuries, Amydgalota has been included in the traditions of the people. This sweet should definitely be prepared on the wedding day of a daughter to offer the guests. This tradition goes on till today. Another interesting thing to mention is that at first this sweet was offered unbaked, as it was actually a mixture of sugar, water, flour and almonds, and had the shape of a pear.
Since the 1950s, the pastry-cookers gave the shape of a half-moon to the sweet to make it easy to pack, always preserving the traditional recipe. Today, they are sold all over Monemvasia and they are even exported abroad.