In pockets of Puglia and Calabria, roughly 16- 17,000 people perpetuate Greek, or Grecanic, culture through their speech and traditions. In the Calabrian peninsular the Grecanic culture areas are in Bovesia and the Sila Greca and above all in Bova, Bova Marina, Roccaforte del Greco and Roghudi, with the two hamlets of Amendolea and GallicanĂ², in the province of Reggio Calabria. Experts wonder whether these Greek-speaking areas are directly connected to the Ionic colonies that were part of Magna Graecia 2500 years ago.
Although a more logical explanation is that the origin of these communities goes back to Byzantine times, and the emigration of the Hellenic populations fleeing from Slav, Albanian, Wallachian and Bulgarian advances and the raids of Norman and Arab pirates.
The culture of the founders has been preserved down through the centuries mainly thanks to the Basilian monks, whose fathers went into exile to and who still today hold their rites in Greek.

The Calabrian Greek-speaking area shares a similar climate and an ancient farming and herding economy based on that trio of typical Mediterranean products: the vine, oil and grain with their original homeland.
These fruits of the earth are flanked by herding, mainly sheep and goats, that provide meat, milk and cheese. Inevitably the local cuisine has blended in with that of the countryside around it, although it is still possible to catch a glimpse of the Hellenic tradition in some of the more archaic dishes. One example is ‘lestopitta’, a quickly made pizza mix of flour and water that is fried and used instead of bread.
The same area also produces ‘cordelle’, made from a mixture of rye flour and served simply with oil, cheese and pepper. Closer to Calabria’s own traditions are ‘maccaruni’, spun around a spindle and served with a tomato or simple meat sauce often based on goats’ meat.



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