|Alternative names||Easter cookies|
|Place of origin||Greece|
|Region or state||Greece|
|Serving temperature||Hot or cold|
They are a butter-based pastry, traditionally hand-shaped, with egg glaze on top. They have a sweet delicate flavor with a hint of vanilla. Koulourakia are well known for their sprinkle of sesame seeds and distinctive ring shape. In fact, the word is the diminutive form for a ring-shaped loaf or lifebelt.
The pastries can be shaped into braided circles, hairpin twists, figure eights, twisted wreaths, horseshoes or Greek letters, although they are still often shaped into a snake style. Often, a clove is added atop the center of the pastry for added flavor. They are commonly eaten with morning coffee or afternoon tea. Like all pastries, they are normally kept in dry conditions in a jar with a lockable lid.
Koulourakia have been prepared since at least the time of the Minoan civilization. The Minoans sometimes prepared the pastries like small snakes, because they worshiped the snake for its healing powers.
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