Samian Kourkouta or Moustalevria is “the treat of the vine harvest season”. The recipe below can be found in “Patridogefsia” book, published by the old “Haravgi” newspaper (the text and the images are courtesy of “Haravgi” newspaper).
I remember something I read in “Laografika” magazine,published by the unforgettable teacher N. Demetriou. It was a dialogue, in a village café, between two farmers, who compared two crops of the season: Vine and tobacco. The farmer, who strongly supported the vineyard, began to lists how many products vines offer to people: logs for the fire, vine, hay for the animals, and wine. While, he argued, the smoke is purebitterness.
And here comes moustalevria! One of the many goodies vine offers to the people. Kourkouta, as we call moustalevria in Samos, was and still is “the treat of the vine harvest season”!
Back in the old times farmers use to step the grapes by their own feet, and then selected the “first” must or the “foam”.
In nowadays however wine producers, during the harvest,reserve some grapes (preferably the best ones)in order to produce a small amount of must for their own needs i.e. to make moustalevria.
How it is made:
In 5-6 liters of must add a handful of clean ash (preferably made off vine) in order to stopthe fermentation processof the must. Then place the must in a large pot on fire and boil it. Use a sprig of fresh basil in order to “cut” the foam and add some nice basil flavor to the must.
When well boiled remove it from the heat, leave it to cool, and settle the ash at the bottom of the pot. Then use a common water glass or a tea cup to decant the must (not the ash) in another pot. Then place the pot in the fire (don’t forget to count how many glasses or cups of must you decanted).
When the must warms a little,use a colander to add flour in a ratio of: Five (5) glasses or cups of must one (1) glass or cupof flour. In other words if you counted twenty (20)grasses or cups of must, add four (4)glasses or cups of flour. While doing so stirconstantlyasthe mixture boils!
Boil the mixture until it becomesthick, and then remove the pot from the heat and place kourkoutas immediately in bowls (many people preface to eat kourkoutaswhile still hot). Add a layer of sesame, walnuts, and cinnamon. When cool, you’ll have a tasty, healthy and natural sweet!
In the past, many housewives (some still doing it today) use to make a large quantity of kourkoutas. They add sesame, cut in rhombus-like pieces and let it dryin the sun. Then bake it for a while and store it within clay or glass cups.