Palouze festival
© Thodoris Tzalavras - Vacation in Hell


Each year some of the villages in the wine producing regions of Cyprus hold festivals where one gets the chance to witness the process of making palouze, a traditional Cypriot sweet made from grape juice and corn flour.

In short, the process goes like this:

They place must (freshly pressed grape juice) in a large cauldron and bring it slowly to boil. Then, a small amount of asproi (a kind of thin white earth) is added, which causes impurities to rise to the surface, where they are collected. After this cleansing process—which lasts the better part of a day and includes several transfusions of the must from one cauldron to another—the must is transferred in a clean cauldron and is left to cool down completely.

Next, (which is the focus of my essay) the must is heated again while flour is added and the mix is cooked slowly until it becomes thick, at which point it's served with a dressing of almonds or walnuts.

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