Response to “Photo: Sarajevo gastra and börek”

26 Aug

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Philopomeon November 3, 2015 at 10:42 pm

“Philopomeon” is a guy, friend and regular reader and commentator that I should have introduced to other readers a long time ago.  We share a whole host of pet and not-so-pet grievances against Neo-Greek identity constructs, the effacement of our Romanness and the denial of the Ottoman that is a key component of that effacement.  As he mentions below: But their essentialist mind can’t grasp that food can have Byzantine or even ancient Hellenic influence and still be Ottoman!!”

He describes himself as “A diaspora Neo-Hellene, Post-Byzantine enthusiast of history and MA student in linguistics, currently residing in South Korea.”  Pretty cool.  Not sure about the “Hellene” part..

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But he writes this great blog: Gemisto’s Paradox that covers all kinds of similar and other issues as the Jadde.

Damn good write up, Nick. Oh god, I had some good arguments with the Neo-Greek Golden boys just a few days ago on the general topic of ” is Greece European ?”

So basically every time someone brought up burek/pita or baklava or souvlaki gyros kebab they mentioned how baklava ” isn’t really eaten anymore ” and that souvlaki is ” Ancient Greek” ( never mind that gyros is exactly doner kebab!!) Though I suppose the pita/Bougatsa stuff has a deep Romaic/Byzantine influence ( focaccia-Bougatsa). But their essentialist mind can’t grasp that food can have Byzantine or even ancient Hellenic influence and still be Ottoman!!

Oh, and one woman had the nerve to tell me ( in a public conversation to prove our europeaness!) that pita bread isn’t eaten by Greeks Oh my god- isn’t the word etymologically greek ?? These people are even willing to throw away what ancient Hellenic heritage we have just to join the White people club ( or maintain said membership). In the meantime they can eat processed pasta and pizza that is too salty ( una fascia, una razza, right?)

Though as a southern island boy, I’ve gotta say, potatoes go well with everything. Places like Naxos, Ikaria, Kalymnos- it was what kept us alive 1941-1948 more or less.

Check out his blog when you get a chance and see his own list of other interesting ones:

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In reference to his potatoes comment, my feelings about their ubiquity in southern Greece — that I almost find them an abomination — are closely related to the up-coming second part of my börek post: “The symbolics of börek and the break-up of Yugoslavia”


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