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It’s sesame seed candy, made with honey. Sounds good? It IS good. Had it not been, it would not have lasted so long. Herodotus wrote about “sweet cakes of sesame and honey,” and he lived 2,500 years ago. It’s somehow acquired an Italian name, here in Cyprus and in Greece, and we really don’t know why, because way back it was called koptoplakous.

How do these things happen? You’ll find something similar in Assam, where it’s eaten on feast days and festivals, and you’ll also find it in Pakistan, Iran, Syria (though they tend to add walnuts), but here, in Cyprus and Greece, is where it started.

How should you eat it? Well, in days of old soldiers ate it for breakfast to carry them through a hard day’s fighting and there’s no question: it’s an energy bar, all right. That’s probably because sesame is an oilseed crop and it has one of the highest oil contents in the seed world. (If you’ve ever held sesame seeds in your hand, you’ll know how light they are – so it may astound you to know that the world harvest of sesame seeds is more than 4 million tonnes a year and the annual global trade is worth more than $1 billion.

Just imagine what that amount of sesame seeds would look like, piled up in a single place. It gets its name from the Greek word, sésamon, and 3,600 years ago it was listed as a medicinal plant in an Egyptian scroll that was a sort of pharmacopeia of the time.

Sesame seeds are one quarter carbohydrate, 12% fibre, and 18% protein. We rather like what they do with them in Angola, where they are served with lobster or smoked fish, but our way of combining them with honey is pretty good, too.  What honey brings to the party is natural, unrefined sugar, and it was used as an energy source in the original Olympic games – the ones that ran from 776 BC to 393 AD. More recent, 21st century, research shows that honey is an extremely effective form of carbohydrate if you’re about to exercise.

All of that is, of course, a powerful argument in favour of pasteli. But us? Our reasons for eating it are somewhat simpler. It tastes good!

Company Info

Contact Person: Nikos Andrea
Mailing Address: Koniele Trading LTD,
Evagorou 6, Dromolaxia, Cyprus 7020
Call/Text: 00 357 97 884776
Company Reg. No: HE343968