Soutzoukos and Palouzes
- Cyprus Tradition
Palouzes and Soutzioukos are Cyprus grape organic products.
All grape products are made from the must – the juice that has been extracted following mechanical pressing (the old traditional method of foot pressing is non-existent today). In Cyprus, the grape must comes mainly from the indigenous white xynisteri and to a lesser extent from the red variety ‘mavro’. Grapes are harvested during September and October, the period that all grape products were traditionally made.
Soujoukos or Soutzoukos (grape must roll) is the most well known of all grape juice products and it closely resembles the Georgian churchkhella or the Armenian lavash. A similar name, soutzouki, is also used in Greece to denote the same product.
It is possible that the name comes from the word sujuk (turkish sucuk or armenian soujoukh, which is a type of sausage) because of its shape after it has been prepared.
Soutzoukos is made with almonds or walnuts, shelled and soaked to turn soft, and then sewn onto a cotton thread of around 2m length. The thread is dipped several times in finished palouze, a process that may take several days since each layer has to dry on the string before a new one is put. Every time it is dipped, a new layer of palouze is added on the previous one until its diameter reaches four to six centimeters. Soujoukos is then left to dry for 5-6 days, losing much of its moisture, thus increasing its shelf life. To serve, cut in slices of 2-3 cm thick and enjoy a nutritious, natural sweet snack.
Palouzes is the Cypriot name of this recipe and in Greece it is called moustalevria from moustos (must) and alevri (flour). These are the only two basic ingredients needed for this dessert.