Melekouni of Rhodes

Melekouni of Rhodes is an inscribed element in the National Index of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Greece

The action SWEETEN YOUR HERITAGE MELEKOUNI OF RHODES aims to promote and safeguard Melekouni and the related customary practice linked to the collective memory and dietary practices of the Rhodians and to the formation and dissemination of local dietary habits, as well as traditional Greek confectionery. 

In addition, the action highlights honey (melekouni's main ingredient) and promotes the consumption of Melekouni of Rhodes as an authentic local traditional sugar-free product that contains honey, a superfood of Greek origin. The importance of preserving the authentic Greek diet, but also of communicating the ethnic identity of melekouni, is deemed appropriate, both for the safeguarding of the intangible heritage of Greece, and for the attraction of good quality tourism. As individual objectives stand the promotion and preservation of the Mediterranean diet as an element of intangible cultural heritage to the general public, the promotion of a healthy diet without processed sugar, and informing about the nutritional value of honey and healthy eating.

Our vision is the action SWEETEN YOUR HERITAGE MELEKOUNI OF RHODES to send a resounding message about our environment and culture and to contribute to the prospect of the inclusion of melekouni in UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The action is implemented uder the auspices and financial support of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture. 

As part of the action, two new bar recipes were designed featuring melekouni by the famous and award-winning Pastry Chef Evangelos Hassiotis. Tasting and testing workshops of the bars were held. On 3/12/2023, an event was organised at Kokotos estate, Stamata, Attica, where the first public presentation of the action was exclusively held and sweets (culture bars) were distributed free of charge. For the preparation and presentation of the sweets, packaging was chosen, a label was designed and raw honey was produced from Beelosophy's Bee Sanctuary.

The action was hosted in magazines and press and received wide exposure and dissemination through a targeted dissemination plan involving Beelosophy's Ambassadors and other entities, collectives, networks and personalities.

Other activities, publicity acts and promotional materials include:

  • the brochure of the action (in both Greek and English)

At the same time, historical and cultural material was collected and a commemorative electronic book (e-book) was published.



Melekouni is the most traditional sweet of Rhodes, which is offered at weddings, engagements and baptisms.

The couple's families and relatives used to prepare Melekouni, following a process that lasted almost a week.

Sesame seeds, honey, almonds, grated citrus peels, spices, all combined harmoniously to compose the unique sweet of Rhodes. Honey symbolises health and sesame (seeds) abundance, which together gave the promise of a long, happy life to the newly married couple.

This sweet and the process of preparing it was passed down from generation to generation and still exists today.

It is a sweet of the village of Koskinou and Rhodes, enjoying both pan-Hellenic and international recognition. Thus, Melekouni, starting as a standard sweet for weddings and baptisms, today is a cultural product of intangible cultural heritage, a representative of both our village and the whole of Rhodes.




I learned about the Rhodian sweet "Melekouni" in 2017, when I moved permanently from Patras to Rhodes, more specifically to the village of Koskinou.

Two things excited me about this confection: its authentic taste and the tradition it carried.

As an employee of the Ministry of Culture, I had heard about the National Index of Intangible Cultural Heritage and the idea was born for me to include Melekouni in it.

In 2019 I discussed my idea with the then President of the Cultural Association of Koskinians ¨KALLITHEA¨ Mr. Photios BARDOS and he gave me the green light to start the inclusion process.

The effort was demanding, but also so sweet, that it was worth it...

In January 2022, our labours were rewarded. With Ministerial Decision No. 17279/17.01.2022, the local sweet of Rhodes "Melekouni" was inscribed in the National Index of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Greece.

We are very pleased to hand over this culturally certified traditional product to future generations to enjoy both at their social events and family celebrations.

Charalampos MARNERAS

Author of the file of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Element "Melekouni of Rhodes"

With this letter, I confirm my interest for the proposed project "SWEETEN YOUR HERITAGE" which aims to promote and preserve the element of intangible cultural heritage "Melekouni".

I believe that the project will promote the interface between local authorities and other entities within the cultural community of Melekouni, experts and administrators alike, and will thus create significant cultural value both within and outside Greece.

Moreover, thanks to this project, the prospect of Melekouni being included in UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritage elements will be strengthened.

Therefore, I will happily receive and disseminate the project's results and deliverables (e.g. videos, newsletters etc.) to my students and networks. I wish you every success in the innovative project "SWEETEN YOUR HERITAGE" and looking forward to its implementation.

Prof. Matthew Gorton

Professor in Food Marketing Newcastle University Business School

Bees and beekeeping embody unique natural, tangible and intangible elements of culture.

The society of Rhodes chose to elevate the traditional sweet "Melekouni" to an element of cultural heritage. The dominant ingredient in Melekouni is an unsurpassed creation of Bees and nature: honey. In the action SWEETEN YOUR HERITAGE, our aim was to contribute to the promotion and preservation of Melekouni against the general tendency towards homogenisation of cultural goods. Secondly, to promote the Mediterranean diet and generally healthy diet and the avoidance of sugar consumption.

The heritage of Melekouni is not seen simply as a cultural manifestation or product, but, rather, and primarily, as processes of generating meaning and culture through knowledge, skills and practices transmitted from generation to generation. Its value lies in enhancing social cohesion, encouraging a sense of identity and subsequently preserving cultural diversity. Highlighting Melekouni as a cultural asset highlights the historical wealth of Rhodes, fosters sustainable development, and encourages mutual respect for other ways of life.

We are particularly pleased that SWEETEN YOUR HERITAGE showed us new possibilities for sustainable management, and generated ideas for new routes on Beelosophy's Cultural Path.


Beelosophy Ambassador