Every year-end and at every big celebration (weddings, christenings, a name day or an engagement) we make “Diples” on our island Poros. This is a tradition from our region of the Peloponnesos, and it is well maintained on Poros.
Honey and walnuts
Diples is a very simple dough, rich with eggs and flour which we aromatize with oranges. They are rolled out in a fine layer, cut into strips and then fried. Once ready we cover them with honey and walnuts. Originally people making diples would use what they had available in the house to make something nice to offer to their families and friends. In the countryside all they basically had were some eggs, flour, olive oil to fry them in, honey and walnuts for the top.
‘Dipla’ actually means ‘folded’. When making the diples, you have to fold and fold and fold the pastry while frying, so that the result will be a folded and lightly fried body of dough. The process of folding has a deeper meaning (of course, we are Greeks after all). My mother always says that making diples for a wedding is like a prayer and a wish for the future couple to stay happily folded for the rest of their life.
But here comes my meaning of the word dipla:
We are ‘folding’ people together, binding them together with food. On our tables we create friendships and family bonds, we bring everyone together. Those relationships are the most important and they are the ones that give a true meaning to life. Diples with all their folds represent exactly that; the light but strong bond that exists in a friendship and between all members of any family.
New Year’s wish
I predict that when you eat them, you will fall in love with the people around you. Not only the people that make the diples or those that they are made for, but most of all with the ones that help you clean up the mess created while making them. I wish that in 2020 we will have more and more of those precious moments sitting all together around a table with our family and friends. I hope that there are going to be more diples and more ‘folding’ with each other.
During the last 15 years that I have been giving cooking lessons at Odyssey and before that in Holland, a lot of guests and fellow cooks have learned how to make filo dough, and we had always super fun making it. For those of you that have tried making filo dough with me, this is going to be an easy recipe.
I and the entire Odyssey family wish you a very happy
Food photography: Annette Spaan
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