are sweet preserves
, served in a spoon as a gesture of hospitality in the Balkans
, the Middle East
, and in Russia
. They can be made from almost any fruit, though sour and bitter fruits are especially prized. There are also spoon sweets produced without fruit.
Some of the fruits that are used include seedless grapes
and other berries, bergamot
, sour and sweet cherries
, etc. Even soft fruit like melon
can be thus prepared, although retaining a relatively firm texture is quite the challenge there. Other varieties include green, unripe walnuts
, and other nut
, or even flower petals like rose
. Many fruits or parts of fruits that are normally inedible, such as the various citrus peels and blossoms, or sliced citrus fruits with their peel intact, can be made into sweet, flavorful preserves, as can some vegetables such as baby eggplants
or cherry tomatoes
. A well-made spoon sweet retains the original shape, color, aroma and taste of the fruit.
Spoon sweets are usually offered to guests served by the teaspoon in a small china
dish or bowl, with coffee or tea and cold water. Most of the time they are homemade, but nowadays they can also be easily found in most supermarkets; these are more likely to be made with glucose syrup rather than sugar, for reasons of cost.
They can be used as ice cream