I came across this interesting article on a new recipe/food book that looks at how Greeks survived during the WWII German occupation.  The book makes a connection between the days of the occupation and the current crisis in Greece (I will refrain from commenting on the reasons for it as well as the behavior of people in Greece) and offers suggestions for getting through tough times.  Just the other day I was having a conversation with someone about the fact that Oxi Day is rightly celebrated as a day where free people stood up to an aggressor but in reality the Italian soldiers did not have their hearts in the fight – they would have their pictures taken with the Greek villagers and were pretty genial.  When the Germans swooped in, well, they were different.  They would pour kerosene on their leftovers so the Greeks wouldn’t eat it and God help you if you were caught hiding food or a chicken or something.

The resourcefulness Greeks showed in feeding themselves during the war is, like their standing up to Mussolini, a reflection of the ancient Greeks.  The ever-popular domades – stuffed grape leaves – were invented when Alexander’s troops destroyed Thebes.  To make the most of the meager amount of meat they had, they rolled it up with other stuff in grape leaves to make it seem more substantial.  Mezedes have never been the same…

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