History of Greek Food

Refreshments 1. LEMONADE

Apart from the fruit or spice – flavored syrups that are diluted with water and served chilled (lemonade, cannelada etc.) there are some more refreshments that give welcome relief from the hot weather. They are made in a moment and are sometimes fruit based; vegetables, seeds, almonds or yogurt can be used as well. These non-alcoholic drinks are usually homemade except those made with melon or watermelon, which are also found at cafeterias. The fruit based ones are not juices, since they have water added. Despite this, when they are served in cafeterias the word juice is also applied to them. If they are made at home, they are called as follows: peponada from peponi = melon, karpouzada from karpouzi = water melon, etc. Some of them are lightly sweetened with sugar but fruit refreshments may not require any at all. The yogurt drinks are lightly salted. They are ideal cooling drinks for hot summer days but only the salted ones accompany meals.

marchand-de-limonade-greek-postcard. 1900


Squeeze one large lemon into a glass, add 1 ½ tsp. of sugar, or more if you like it sweet, stir well, fill the glass with water and stir again. Don’t add ice cubes, just use very cold water. For a foamy result add 1/3 tsp, or less, of baking soda.

During 60ties this sort of lemonada was not only fashionable but it was also thought of as effective assistance for digestion problems.

Serve the lemonada accompanied by a warm or cold piece of a watermelon pie.

Karpouzenia, καρπουζένια, karpouzopita, καρπουζόπιτα, watermelon pie.

This pie is found in Kimolos, Milos and Folegandros. It is usually made with the local very tasty small watermelons that are grown up waterless.


a little sugar, depending on your taste

1 tbs. cinnamon powder

the flesh of 2 ½-3 kg seedless, not very sweet watermelon, cut into 3 cm. pieces

6 tbs honey

sesame seeds

Mash the flesh with a fork. Place a strainer over a bowl and strain watermelon pulp for 1 hour; reserve juice, it will be a wonderful drink. Mix all of the ingredients well, except 3 tbs honey, until the pulp is medium smooth.

Pour mixture into a greased pan and sprinkle the sesame seeds.

Bake at medium preheated oven for 45 minutes. When karpouzenia comes out the oven, spoon the honey over the top.

Tags: non – alcoholic drinks, watermelon, lemon, fruit pies

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11 thoughts on “Refreshments 1. LEMONADE

  1. Tony

    Your site regarding Refreshments 1. LEMONADE looks very interesting to me. I found it doing a search for italian vegetable seed.

  2. admin

    Karpouzenia has a unique taste. Cinnamon sends a small kiss to watermelon and sesame seeds.
    I used 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour for 4 cups mashed watermelon, however the amount of flour depends on the liquid of the watermelon. The pulp must not be very tight nor very smooth.
    Bake until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
    Have a look at karpouzenia’s Italian cousin, the “Gelo di Melone” http://www.greekgastronomer.com/?p=219 and pay attention to the flour hint.

  3. Laurie Constantino

    Have you made the watermelon pie? If so, I’m curious how it tasted. Also, how much flour do you use/ or what consistency does the filling need to be? I just can’t imagine what this tastes like.

  4. admin

    Thank you for Solomon’s page.
    My mother is interested in waterless cultivations too.. She lives in Chania and this means that even if Western Crete is not facing desertification as Eastern Crete, also has water problems. According to its “semi-arid” climate, the rain falls all at once in a few strong showers and the water runs off the surface of the earth without being absorbed properly and filling the aquifers.
    We think that a cistern to collect rain water or the irrigation with ecologicaly recycled water could offer a solution. However, the clay soil is a huge pain.

    If we’ll find waterless seeds I will send you some of them.

  5. Lulu Barbarian


    I’m jumping for joy with your information that there’s an Aegean Seed Bank. I’ve checked out the Archipelago site and I’ll definitely email them to see if they have any mechanism of offering seeds for purchase or donation.

    I use raised beds to circumvent my drainage problems. Unfortunately raised beds don’t hold moisture the way that deep, open soils do. On the other hand, I use artificial irrigation, so that’s not that big a deal for me. I’m just interested in trying to minimize my water use. For one thing, California’s having a bit of a drought right now. Plus water is expensive.

    Those are negative reasons though, whereas my interest in dryland vegetable growing was actually sparked by my favorite gardening writer, Steve Solomon. There’s a fascinating history to how the American Indians dealt with agriculture in the dry areas of the American Southwest. And yes, one main method was choosing crops suited to dry conditions: beans, corn and squash, known as the “Three Sisters.”

    PS I’m honored to be on your blogroll, thanks!

  6. Ivy

    Hi Marianna, I found you through Mama’s Taverna (Lulul’s) blog. If you find time please pass from my blog and see my lemonada as well.

  7. admin

    My mother has exactly the same problem. She usually breaks up the soil in a wide, shallow basin and she replaces it with a mixture of sand, compost and top soil prior to installing a new plant.
    Anydra or waterless fruits and vegetables are varieties with special features (smaller than ordinary fruits and vegetables, limited needs for water, exploitation of night humidity etc.)
    Perhaps the Greek Bank for Aegean Seeds could give you advices and informations about the anydra cultivation. info@archipelago.gr

  8. Lulu Barbarian

    Mariana, you come up with the most interesting information and recipes!

    I live in a climate with zero summer rain, and have gotten interested in techniques of growing vegetables with as little water as possible. So “waterless watermelon” intrigues me (I already know about Santorini’s famous waterless tomatoes). One advantage the islands have is (I believee) a fairly loose soil that allows deep root penetration in search of moisture and nutrients. I’m stuck with a heavy clay that often has a layer of hardpan, thus limiting root development.

    Anyway, if I manage to grow some tasty watermelons, I’ll definitely try this recipe.

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