Wednesday, July 7, 2021

INTERNATIONAL GREECE: Part 2 - Griko cuisine merges with Italian cuisine

Greek presence in Italy begins with the migrations of the old Greek Diaspora (see world map below)

The darker the red in the photo above means the more Greeks in the area.  

Dark Red: 1,000,000 or more
Next Red:  200,000 or more
Next Red:  50,000 to 100,000
Next Red:  20,000-50,000
Next:  1,000-20,000
Gray 1,000 or less

Greek Americans (Greek: ΕλληνοαμερικάνοιEllinoamerikanoi) are Americans of full or partial Greek ancestry. About 1.3 million American people are of Greek descent, although there are estimates that raise this number to 3 million, and 321,144 people older than five spoke Greek at home in 2010.

in the 8th century BC, continuing down to the present time. There is a linguistic minority known as the Griko people, who live in the Southern Italian regions of Calabria (Province of Reggio Calabria) 
and Apulia or Puglia, especially the peninsula of Salento, within the old Magna Graecia region, who speak a distinctive dialect of Greek called Griko. They are believed to be remnants of the ancient and medieval Greek communities, who have lived in the south of Italy for centuries. Alongside this group, a smaller number of more recent migrants from Greece lives in Italy, forming an expatriate community in the country. Today many Greeks in Southern Italy follow Italian customs and culture.

During many centuries of cohabitation there was an exchange of knowledge between Griko and Southern Italians in the art of cooking. The Griko are traditionally producers of cereals, vegetables, olives and legumes.  Local Griko cuisine does not differ greatly from the local Italian population, however there local regional variations. Many typical Griko dishes are still in use among them. Some of them are mentioned below.

Sadly the Grikos culture is disappearing as they meld with the Italians in Calabria and Apulia. 

Pitta and Lestopitta - a traditional Greek-Calabrian 
bread from the Bovesia region

Ciceri e ttrìa - A form of Tagliatelle served with chickpeas. Traditionally this dish was consumed on the feast of Saint Joseph on 19 March in Grecia Salentina. 

  • Cranu stompatu - a wheat dish, prepared in a simple way, by soaking and pounding the wheat
  • ricchiteddhe - type of macaroni
  • minchiarieddhi - a type of long macaroni
  • sagne ncannulate - a wide tagliatelle up to inch and a half

  • triddhi - irregular shaped pasta, specifically used for making Broth
  • Ricchiteddhe cu lle rape - Orecchiette with turnip greens, a popular dish in Grecia Salentina

  • Turcinieddhi - a type of tripe which includes grilled sheep innards
  • Mendulata te cranu - a dessert similar to Pastiera, filled with cream cheese, honey, sugar and vanilla

  • Le Cuddhure - a traditional Griko cake made during Easter, from the Greek Koulouri
Tiaulicchiu - Hot Chili peppers, extensively eaten throughout Grecia Salentina, they are usually stored dry, or preserved in jars of oil, with the addition of slivers of garlic, mint, and capers

  • Sceblasti - a traditional type of hand made bread from the Grecia Salentina region.

  • Aggute - a traditional Greek-Calabrian Easter bread from the Bovesia region, it is prepared with a mixture of flour, eggs and butter and the surface is decorated with painted hard boiled eggs, similar to the Greek Tsoureki

  • Scardateddhi - traditional Greek-Calabrian wedding sweets, made from flour, honey and anise seeds which are shaped like small doughnuts. They are then cooked in boiling water, and sprinkled with brown sugar before being served.

A book about the cuisine of the Griko of Salento has been published, entitled Grecia Salentina la Cultura Gastronomica. It features many traditional recipes distinctive to the Grecia Salentina region of southern Apulia.





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