This may be the most amazing blog I have written this trip. Perhaps the most amazing I have ever written.
I have read travel is educational. What I learned yesterday, I never knew. It was extremely revealing!
We start with bread.
The last two mornings, I have purchased at the local bakery shop a hot loaf of bread. Spread butter on it. Delicious.
The bread was familiar. Very. It was De Vito’s.
De Vito’s was a bakery in Utica. On Jay Street where I grew up. Across from Brandagee School. I did first and second grade there.
The bread was initially baked in a garage in the back. Then a for real bakery was built on the site.
The elder Mr. De Vito made a unique bread. I have never tasted any like it. A long thick bread. Crispy hard crust. Flavorful inside. Sides of loaf soft, not crusty.
After Mr. De Vito passed away, his son continued to make the bread. Then he aged and the business was closed.
A sad day.
Several years later, Mr. Zenzillo started making the same bread. He had worked for the De Vito’s for a number of years.
I have been away from Utica for some time now. I do not know if Mr. Zenzillo is still baking the bread.
Nowhere anywhere have I ever tasted the De Vito bread again till the last two days. I tasted it here in Greece on a small island called Amorgos.
My breakfast bread baked here on Amorgos.
I was confused. How? It was Italian bread and a Greek was making it.
Then I thought of my meals at Demetrius’. Dishes of my youth. Food my mother and grandmother used to prepare.
I again thought how? I was on a Greek island with Greeks cooking.
Search and ye shall find. I asked around. Talked with some of the locals. What they represented to me is one of the most startling pieces of information I have ever learned.
The southern Italian cooking I am so fond of has a Greek component. Perhaps a significant influence.
This is the story.
Greece was a commercial nation in the thousand year period before the birth of Christ. The Greeks always sought new ports from which to do business.
Between 700 B.C. and 800 B.C., Greeks immigrated to southern Italy to establish commercial places of business. It was a colonization of southern Italy by Greeks.
Calabria, Puglia, and Salento were the primary areas where the Greeks settled. They were sort of like an expatriate community. The Greeks and Italians got along. There were no ethnic battles.
Other areas settled in subsequent years by this Greek invasion included a part of Sicily and the foot of the boot. The immigration was significant. These two areas became known as the Magna Graecie. Latin for Greater Greece.
The Greeks blended into southern Italian society over the years. The Greeks became Italianized, especially during the Middle Ages.
There was another influx of Greeks in the late 1400s. To Venice.
The final significant immigration was following World War II. A time when many displaced Europeans were moving to the United States, England, and Australia. Some Greeks opted not to enter those countries. Instead they settled in southern Italy.
This immigration process has not ceased. It continues to this day. Though it is much slower at this time.
What am I saying?
Southern Italian cooking has been decidedly influenced by Greek cooking. Otherwise, how could I purchase cooked meals and bread on this Greek island made by people who have never left the island? They and their families have been born and died here for centuries.
This theory, which I consider reality, can be taken a step further.
How many present day southern Italians and Italian Americans have Greek blood in them? It has to be. All those years with no intermingling of the two nationalities? No way.
Believe what you like. I think I am part Greek. As were my father and grandfather and many of our ancestors before them.
There is another way of viewing my conclusion. Perhaps I have been in Greece too long.
Enjoy your day!
Boeing has real problems. How long will people fly with an airline that uses Boeing planes. The manufacturer of the plane to be flown on will be an item for inquiry every time a trip is planned.
Several years ago, it was the 737. Most recently, the 777.
Boeing’s problems could easily result in serious economic pain for the company.
Alexandria Casio-Cortez is a strange duck. The Democratic House member from New York City brings a new way to governing. She views something wrong or a situation where she can help, she gets involved.
Her personalty may leave much to be desired. Abrasive. However, she attacks problems and must be given credit for it.
Texas has power and water problems of the highest magnitude. Cruz takes his family and sneaks off to Cancun because his home is without power. Ocasio-Cortez raises $4.7 million in very few days and see that it is delivered forthwith to Texas to help.
Cruz got caught. He returned in less than 24 hours. He is in pics and videos handing out bottles of water. Ocasio-Cortez follows up the $4.7 million by going to Texas to see what she can do in addition to the $4.7 million.
Why her interest in Texas? Far from her New York City home base. Doubt she will get many votes because of it.
My sense is it goes to her ethnicity. Her family is of Spanish origin. Many Texans are also. Immigrants from Central and South America. These are her people.
Cruz is of Spanish origin, also. His ancestry Cuban-American.
Ted Cruz. What a guy. Wants to run for President in 2024. Good luck. He ain’t going nowhere.
First because he became one of Trump’s lap dogs. He voted not guilty in the impeachment trial.
However, Cruz has gone even further.
His Houston area home was without power. Cold! He took his wife and 2 daughters and ran off to Cancun.
His trip was discovered. Admittedly not in the best of taste.
He arrived in Cancun 10:30 Wednesday evening. After being discovered, he was out of Cancun on the 6 o’clock plane the next morning.
Cruz made one further error. One of magnitude. He left the family dog home alone. In a house without heat and fresh water.
Dogs are America’s favorite pet. No way can a pet dog be left home alone under these circumstances. People will not forget this act of cruelty.
Water is a problem in Texas. Where available, foul. Serious sickness or death could result. Boil water signs are up all over Texas.
Originally, drinkable water was required for 14.9 million Texans. Last night, it was announced that 5 million of that number were no longer required to boil water.
Most are lined up in cars waiting to get government provided water. The waiting time sitting in a car to receive water has been 5 hours.
On top of all this, homeowners are receiving electric bills in the thousands of dollars. Some in excess of $10,000.
None of the preceding makes for happy campers. Especially when Texas was warned 10 years ago that a storm such as struck the past few days could occur. The warning was ignored. .
Florida Democratic House member Charlie Crist sent a letter to the Department of Justice yesterday. Yes, on Sunday. He asked the Department to open an investigation into allegations that Florida Governor DeSantis was being selective as to who would receive the vaccine.
Seems the Governor is designating areas where he has a large number of supporters. Especially those that contribute heavily to his campaigns.
Recall when the vaccine was first available in Florida, Key West got something like 400 doses immediately.However Ocean Reef just outside of Key Largo got 8,000. Ocean Reef members are extremely affluent.
Then there is the Lakewood Ranch in Manatee County. The parent company owning Lakewood Ranch and its head have given DeSantis $900,000 in contributions.
I am 85 with underlying conditions including a bad heart. I am still waiting. I have been on the local college’s list for just under 3 weeks. The college has provided shots the past 2 Sundays. I do not know the number. What I do know is I am still waiting.
How many others in my age bracket are still waiting also?
Recall the age qualifying a person initially was 85. Then it dropped to 65 and 75 in some places. The college’s eligibility number dropped consistent withe such move.
Such means to me the State figures they have provided vaccine to most if not all persons 85 and older.
Not the case!
Syracuse, my Syracuse. Yet to turn into a great season. The quality of the team evidences itself in most games. The problem is Syracuse cannot hold a significant lead in the second half.
Syracuse played Notre Dame Saturday. Syracuse won 75-67.
The significance of the victory is two fold.
Syracuse was losing by 20 points in the first half. Syracuse came back to win.
The other involves Boeheim’s son Buddy. A class player. The 3 point shot his game.
Boeheim scored 29 points. Included were six 3 point shots. Boeheim made 5 of them in the second half.
Enjoy your day!