If you ever wanted to eat like an Ancient Greek, here is the recipe of what can be said to be the world’s first energy bar. And when you eat this, just remember that you are eating the same thing that Socrates, Plato, Sophocles, and even Alexander the Great probably ate. Great for fueling that Ancient Philosophy essay (or any essay really)!
The Linear B tablets (a syllabic script that was written in Mycenaean Greek), from around 1450 BC, already presents words for sesame seeds, oil and honey. These are the main ingredients of one of the easiest Ancient Greek recipes and something that we still eat nowadays, that is, pasteli (Παστέλι), or honey sesame bar.
Honey, the nectar of the Gods, had a main role in the Greek food ideology, and it took the place of our sugar as the traditional sweetener. Not to mention, the Ancient Greek were right in thinking that it had healing properties, as honey has in fact many different antioxidants, antibacterial properties and many more.
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- ⅓ cup pistachios (or any other nuts you might want to add), cut in halves
- ¾ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Olive Oil
- Add sesame seeds to pan and cook over low to medium heat until lightly golden brown
- Once done, remove from heat, and empty seeds onto plate to stop them from getting too dark.
- Add honey and lemon juice to pot
- Heat over medium heat until simmering, stir continuously for 5 minutes
- Turn of heat and immediately add sesame seeds and pistachios to honey and mix well.
- Empty onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
- Flatten with back of spatula brushed with olive oil to avoid sticking.
- Place in refrigerator and allow to cool for about 20 minutes.
- Once it is semi-hard remove and cut into bars or desired shapes.
Photo courtesy of prairiesonpetals.