Tsoureki [szoo-REH-kee] n. Greek anise-flavored bread, topped with sesame seeds.
We just learned this word, as our mother made this bread while we were home over the weekend. In fact, she made two loaves because between ourselves and some visiting friends, we just gobbled it up. Tsoureki is a deliciously warm and rich bread - an egg bread like challah or houska.
What makes tsoureki distinctive, however, is the 2 teaspoons of crushed anise that give it a lingering and delicious fragrance. It is traditionally served at Easter (tsoureki comes from a Greek word that symbolizes Christ's resurrection) but also at other holiday times. The anise seems well-suited to winter holidays.