A great distinction and recognition was recorded for the melekouni of Rhodes!
Specifically, by decision of the Greek Minister of Culture, the melekouni of Rhodes is now registered in the National Index of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Greece. Among other customs, traditional arts and social rituals from the islandic Greece registered were the Andrian Vegera, the Sifneiki Ceramics, the Festivals of Ikaria, the Madras of Lemnos and the Kalandira of Nisyros.
The Minister of Culture and Sports, Lina Mendoni, stated: “Recognizing the promotion and preservation of those elements that the institutions themselves consider crucial for their collective identity, history and culture, we register in the National Index of Intangible Cultural Heritage traditional practices and rituals of the Islanders, actively contributing to the enrichment and promotion of respect for cultural diversity and human creativity. With a sense of responsibility, as a State, in cooperation with the local communities, we act guided by the need for promotion, preservation and intergenerational transfer, highlight those elements of our islandic country that are an expression of the special collective identity of each place, while also protecting and preserving the various expressions of our intangible cultural heritage“.
MELEKOUNI: THE DESSERT OF RHODIAN FEASTS
Melekouni is a traditional sweet of Rhodes that is prepared mainly in the village of Koskinou and secondarily in other villages such as Afandou and Lindos. Its name is compound and derives from the word meli, which means honey and kounni (kounas) which in the Rhodesian dialect means seed. The process of its making remains unchanged for hundreds of years.
It is made from sesame, honey, almonds, citrus zest and spices and thus considered very nutritious and a Super Food. It has a soft, flexible texture and a golden yellow color. It is usually served cut in pieces in the shape of a rhombus.
Melekouni plays the role of the invitation for weddings in the village, it is the treat after the sacrament of baptism and the treat on name days. Melekouni has been registered in the register of protected designations of origin and protected geographical indications under the Implementing Regulations of the European Commission.
Melekouni is inscribed in the National Index of Intangible Cultural Heritage because it is a customary practice associated with the collective memory, the eating practices of the Rhodian people, as well as with the formation and dissemination of local eating habits and traditional Greek confectionery and pastry making.