Melomakarona: A Symbolic Treat For The Fallen Heroes Of Ancient Greece.​

Easter is an important religious holiday for the Greeks. Customs and traditions are “resurrected” during it, reminding us of our roots and history.

Melomakarona have their own history, as well as etymologically speaking, its name purely originates from ancient Greece. The Greek dictionaries refer to “macaroni” where it comes from the medieval Greek word, “makaronia (ma – ka – roh – NEE – a)”.

It was about a “funeralization” dinner, based on eating pasta, while beatifying the deceased.

Makaronia comes from the ancient Greek word “Makaria (ma – ka – ree – ah or ma – KAR – ya). It was nothing less than a piece of bread, given the modern shape of Melomakarona, where it was offered to the people, after a funeral ceremony was over.

In the Pericles’s Funeral Oration at 430 B.C., where he made a speech about the first fallen victims of the Peloponnese war, there were evidence that after the end of his speech in Kerameikos (area of Athens, located to the northwest of Acropolis, and pronounced ke – ra – mee – kos), Makaria were served.

Many women could be found in the area of Kerameikos, where they were mourning for their dead family (due to war), as it was the customs of that period, something similar to wailing women. These women, would serve “Makaria”, where they had prepared it themselves from home.

Nowadays, when there is a burial ceremony in Greece, koliva (boiled corn, currants, sugar etc. eaten at a funeral, often called ritual food) is served. This is the continuation of the ancient customs, which has evolved as “Melomakarona” as it is explained below.

An extra syrup of honey was spread to Makaria and was renamed: Meli (honey) + “Makaria” = Melo-makaria, which later became Melomakarona, according to Byzantines. Melomakarona was established as a sweet treat of the 12-day of Christmas, mainly from the Greek Asia Minors, with the name “finikia” (fee-nee-kia), because back in Byzantium, they were adding a little bit of chourmas (attap seeds, or palm seeds) to the dough. Chourmas is the seed of a palm tree.

The reason was with the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, an old world was lost, while a new one was taking its place, giving a new sweeter life. As a result, honey was added to “Makaria”, which symbolizes the welfare/well-being.

The Latins, and later the Italians were using the word “Makaronia” as maccarone. Concluding, from the Middle Ages and after, France and England invented a new kind of almond biscuit, the famously named “macaron”.

That’s how the Greeks ended up on the today’s Melomakarona, which various people would desperately consume dozens of them, like myself.

Metal Box With Hand-Made Melomakarona 200gr

Taste the Greek traditional homemade Melomakarona.

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