Tahini and honey balls

Last Monday morning, I spotted a recipe for a snack reputed to have been eaten for millennia and mentioned in ancient Egyptian texts as well as Homer’s Iliad – tahini and honey balls. It sounded tempting; apparently, once combined, the runniness of both ingredients thickens and becomes like plasticine and you can then scoop teaspoonfuls, form them into balls, roll them in sesame seeds and have an instant honeyed snack with a boost of protein from the tahini.


We don’t have many sweet snacks, but occasionally get the urge for one and generally buy a pastry or some like thing from a supermarket. They’re almost always disappointing – dry, too sweet and lacking in flavour. I don’t really know why we bother, to be honest, so seeing a simple recipe for an instant snack was appealing.


We had tahini, honey and sesame seeds so I could try it right away. The recipe called for equal amounts of tahini and honey to simply be mixed together to form a thick paste – I combined them and stirred vigorously but, whilst it did thicken, it didn’t thicken as much as I thought it would, so I added some dessicated coconut and that helped. Later, I discovered that if you let the mix stand for a few hours it does thicken up quite a bit more but the addition of coconut tastes good and pleasing to chew on. Mixing in sesame seeds is also good and provides further pleasing texture.

Today, on this lazy Sunday, I rolled three small balls for each of us and instead of the usual sesame seeds coating I tried coconut and it worked extremely well. Not better than the sesame seed coating but a nice change. Chopped walnuts are next on the list.


These things really do pack a punch and three can keep your energy up for a morning’s work. In Homer’s Iliad they were called ‘intrion’ and were given to warriors to increase their energy in battle. I have done no work this morning, however, and will not be going into battle, so I’m still buzzing two hours after eating them.

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