Ypovrichio (‘Submarine Sweet)
This is a traditional Greek treat, associated with summer evenings and visits to friends’ homes. Vanilla is named “submarine” because it is served in an ice-cold glass of water with a spoon of vanilla dived in it. There are many varieties of flavours such as mastic, vanilla, pink rose, pistachio.
Tradition says that this aromatic sweet was inspired by a Chios pastry chef in Constantinople. They called it “white sweet” and became the favourite treat in the Constantinople ‘s mansion houses. When the Chios refugees returned to their island, they added a mastic scent. Vanilla is a white and fragrant sweet, served as a treat for visitors to the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
In the past, every home had this treat in its closet, especially in the summer when the rest of the sweets could not be preserved out of the refrigerator. This is how vanilla, starred in every household and was served in a glass of cold water. Vanilla is a simple sweet: it is based on sugar syrup with added flavour and a pinch of lemon. You can find it in many parts of Greece, but Chios is the protagonist, due to its large production of mastic in the island.