39 Loukoumades , pronounced “loo-koo-MAH-thess,” are puffs of deep-fried dough, served warm, drizzled with honey syrup and cinnamon, then sprinkled with crushed walnuts or toasted sesame. (Is your mouth watering yet?) They are served throughout Greece, where the history of this doughnut can be traced back to the first Olympic Games in 776 BC, and considered to be the oldest recorded dessert. The poet Callimachus tells us that one of the earliest prizes awarded to the winners of the ancient Olympics were what is commonly translated as “honey tokens” ( χαρίσιοι in Greek), which were essentially fried balls of dough covered in honey. These were offered to the victorious athletes in a highly ritualized ceremony along with the kotinos wreath ( κότινος in Greek). Callimachus’ reference to these “honey tokens” is the earliest mention of any kind of pastry in European literature. Today, the “honey tokens” of Callimachus are known as Loukoumades, and can be found throughout Greece in special pastry shops that serve only Loukoumades. You can also find this specialty at our festival. Be sure to stop by the Loukoumades booth and treat yourself to possibly the best Loukoumades you’ll find at any festival in the land. Our parishioner Niki Dougenis has been making this heavenly doughnut for our festival, using her top-secret recipe, for over 15 years. Niki and her team work nonstop throughout the festival weekend to serve up this fresh delicacy, fit for an Olympian. There may be a line (it’s LoukouMADness!) but it’s worth the wait! An Ancient Olympic Treat Loukoumades