Chickpea halwa becomes symbol of new era between Turkey, Greece
Yorgo Kirbaki – ATHENS
Athens has seen chickpea halwa, presented to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during his visit to Istanbul, as a new symbol of a new era between Turkey and Greece, with Greeks sharing the deserts’ recipes with each other and a famous Greek chef preparing to cook one on a live broadcast.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hosted the Greek premiere at the Vahdettin Pavillion in Istanbul on March 13 at lunch. The two leaders spoke on bilateral ties, except the Cyprus issue, while eating their sea bass. At the end of the meal, a famous Ottoman dessert called chickpea halwa was served.
The desert arose interest in Greece immediately just after Mitsotakis and his Greek delegation admitted that they found the chickpea halwa “so delicious.”
Greeks started sharing the desert’s recipes with each other online as cooks across the country gave the thumbs up to the chickpea halwa.
According to the Greek media, Athens sees the Erdoğan-Mitsotakis meeting as a new era in the two countries’ ties and the chickpea halwa as the symbol of it.
The desert came to Turkey’s agenda after first lady Emine Erdoğan penned a cookery book titled “Turkish Cuisine With Centenary Recipes.”
While promoting the book, the first lady especially pointed out the flavor of the desert in her interviews last year.
Now, in the honor of the new era, Celebrity Greek chef Akis Petretzikis will get on TV and prepare a chickpea halwa with the recipe written in the first lady’s cookbook in a live broadcast.
Petretzikis will also make a “galaktoboureko,” a pastry of milk similar to Turkish “laz böreği,” with the recipe written in a cookbook titled “Recipes With Stories,” penned by the Greek premier’s mother, Marika.
“We will see which is more delicious, the chickpea halwa or the galaktoboureko,” the Skai TV, that will air the show, said in a statement.
In a late interview, Dora Bakoyannis, the former Greek foreign minister who is also Mitsotakis’ sister, said the Turkish first lady had bestowed the book to her.
Celebrity Greek chef Petretzikis was born in 1984 in Thessaloniki. Cooking since the age of 16 in the family business, he got fame across his country after winning a competitive cooking show, MasterChef Greece, in 2010. He has two YouTube channels, “Kitchen Lab” and “Akis’ Kitchen.”
Petretzikis is also the CEO of his company that publishes cooking magazines and books, produces cooking shows, runs restaurants and sells products designed by him online.