It is known that trios always make humans trace the thin and extremely dangerous border between heaven and hell.
No! It is not a mermaids trio I write about.
No! It is not a “mamacitas” trio I write about!
No! It is not a “menage a trois” I write about.
Today’s trio is a dessert that can send you to heaven, but if you overstep the mark you go straight to hell.
Having established the risk factors involved, I can now proceed to uncover the pleasures of this incredibly satisfying dish. As in other instances, I will follow an approach the first deconstructs and then constructs. In other words, I will present the components of the dish, and then the synthseis, i.e. the way the pieces come together.
Quince is one of my all time favourite fruits, because it goes with almost everything in the winter time menu.
But most of all, I absolutely fall dangerously low when I have in front of me shredded quince served as a sweet with syrup (kydoni glyko tou koutaliou).
Katiki Cream Cheese
Katiki isa creamy white cheese made in Domokos, Central Greece, and has the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) designation.
It is made from Goat and Sheep milk, it is extremely low in fat (13%) and extremely light and tasty. In two words, I just LOOOOOOOOVE it!!!!!!!!
This is one of my all time favourite sweets, it has zillions of calories, but the road to heaven is NOT, I repeat NOT, covered with rose petals.
The key difference from the Turkish Halva is that in Greece we make it with olive oil, instead of butter. In any case, wherever I am and I find it, I just eat it, I do not have any nationalistic inhibitions. I bypass the extremely interesting question: “Should Nationalism restrict or even inhibit Pleasure?” as it is a topic by itself.
Killing me softly
The trio came about after a nice lunch was over and I realized that I had prepared no dessert. Luckily, one of the guests had brought a wonderful platter with semolina halva on it, the day before I had bought fresh katiki cheese, and a good friend had sent me a jar with shredded quince in syrup. This combination of events created a spark in my otherwise dormant imagination and the trio was born.
It is a joy in terms of texture, as the creamy soft texture of the cheese envelopes the crunchy robust texture of the quince, and the semolina joins in the fun providing the middle ground.
The combinations do not end in texture. The slightly savory taste of the cheese is supplemented by the sweet bitter taste of the quince, while the semolina finds itself again dominating the middle ground.