Doughnuts might be ancient history in Greece, but that doesn’t mean they’ve disappeared. Called “loukoumades” in Greek — which stems from an Arabic word meaning “mouthful” — they were given as rewards to the first victors of the Olympic games thousands of years ago. Today, there are hundreds of shops across the country that specialize in making the pastry, and one of the best is Krinos. Here, chefs use a secret family recipe to make thousands of loukoumades every day.
Though loukoumades consist basically of flour, yeast and water, Demetri, the head chef at Krinos, insists that the secret formula lies in the details.
“You need a lot of practice to make a perfect doughnut,” Demetri says.
It turns out that a lot can go wrong while making loukoumades. Even the weather can affect how they turn out. One of the most important parts of making loukoumades is making sure the flour has the perfect amount of air in it. Demetri says his grandmother’s recipe never fails.
What's most impressive about the Krinos method is the way they fry their loukoumades. Often, people around Greece will simply toss balls of dough into the oil, and the loukoumades will come out more or less in the shape of a ball. But at Krinos, they use a special method. It may look like they just toss balls of dough in the oil, but when the loukoumades surface, they’re ring-shaped.
“You see it nowhere else,” Demetri says about the method. Frying the doughnuts in a ring shape helps them to cook more consistently. The ideal outcome for a loukoumade is a crispy outside and a soft, fluffy inside.
After the loukoumades are fried, customers can customize them with a variety of decadent toppings: honey, syrup, chocolate, ice cream, cinnamon. And finally they're ready to eat.
Sure, every country has their own version of doughnuts. But when a country has had a successful recipe that’s literally lasted millennia, it’s safe to assume they know full-well how to make a delicious, Olympian-worthy dessert.