I-ATE: Sesame Candy – Pasteli – Feta Pasteli

September 16, 2017 11:00 am

Pasteli is the oldest sweet, according to Herodotus, who describes it as: “sweet cakes of sesame and honey”.

I-ATE Food Term of the Week banner - Pasteli


The texture varies from chewy to crisp. It may also be called sesame (seed) candy/bar/crunch.

The sesame (seed) candy, as it is  known in most countries, has a long history throughout the Asian continent and in Mediterranean countries. It is often found under different names and with slightly different recipes but the common ingredient in all variations are the sesame seeds.

You can see how the term sesame candy seemingly has little in common with the other original names.

IndiaTil Gajak
Greece, CyprusPasteli
HebrewSukariyot Soomsoom


You can find it made with dried fruit, peanuts, and other types of nut but the original is made just with sesame seeds, honey and sugar. It is usually thin and very crispy, but can also appears in other forms.

The sesame seeds, which are the main ingredient, can be very nutritious. In fact they are very healthy, which is one of the reasons they are so popular in culinary preparations. Sesame seeds are packed with organic compounds, such as sesamolin, minerals, including copper, calcium, iron, and manganese, and vitamins and fibre. Sesame seeds may be small, but they pack a major, healthy punch and can help with everything from digestion and circulation to bone strength and inflammation.

Feta Pasteli – A new term for an old recipe

In Greece, we put feta cheese in Greek salads or as an accompaniment to the main course. In fact, feta cheese is so popular, that you can eat it from dawn to dusk!

That’s why a very popular recipe in Greece is feta cheese with honey and sesame seeds, a  mouthwatering dish that will amaze you. Recipes vary as you can bake it with pastry dough or with a plethora of other ingredients. Below you can find a simple recipe for the feta pasteli. While it might sound complicated to you, it really isn’t!

Fried Feta with Honey and Sesame Seeds Recipe


  • 250g feta cheese (9 ounces)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of freshly ground pepper
  • 70-80g of flour, enough to coat the feta (3 ounces)
  • 60g sesame seeds
  • olive oil for frying
  • 4 tbsps of honey



  1. To prepare the fried feta, start by cutting the feta cheese into little blocks, about 1,5cm thick.
  2. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat with a fork. Into another bowl add the flour, the paprika and the pepper and mix with a spoon, to combine the ingredients. Into a third bowl, add the sesame seeds.
  3. Roll each piece of feta into the eggs, then roll into the flour. Roll each piece again into the eggs and then in the sesame seeds, so that all sides are covered.
  4. Heat about 6-7 tbsps of olive oil into a frying pan, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan and fry the feta until nicely colored. Use a slotted spoon to flip the fried feta, so that it is nicely colored on all sides. When done, place on some kitchen paper to absorb the extra oil.
  5. In the meantime, warm the honey into a saucepan, or the microwaves, until liquid.
  6. Serve the fried feta while still hot with a drizzle of honey.


  • Wikipedia, Sesame seed candy. Available at: http://bit.ly/2h5C5xw (Accessed: 14 September 2017)
  • Jewish Food/Heathen Hands, Sesame Seed Candy (Sukariyot Soomsoom). Available at: http://bit.ly/2h5JoZL (Accessed: 14 September 2017)
  • Organic Facts, 10 amazing benefits of sesame seeds. Available at: http://bit.ly/2wZcAYI (Accessed: 14 September 2017)
  • My Greek Dish.com, Fried Feta with Honey and Sesame Seeds Recipe. Available at: http://bit.ly/2jpJLPC (Accessed: 14 September 2017)

Written by Marina Parisaki, Study visitor at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg). Graduated from the European Master in Translation (EMT) in Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece.

Proofread by Flora Zempleni – Study visitor in the communication team of the  Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg).  She is currently enrolled in the trilingual Master in Learning and Communication in Multilingual and Multicultural Context at the University of Luxembourg.

Prepared by Pedro Ramos – Translator, Social Media and Content Manager, Communication Trainee at the Terminology Coordination Unit of the European Parliament (Luxembourg).


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