The bakery of Kastelorizo

24grammata/ ασήμαντα πράγματα

di Maurizio Molinari

The bakery of Kastelorizo is situated, as shown in the photo, just behind the main square – where the only departing road leads to the airport.
To get there, you have to walk through ruins of  collapsed houses, and you suddenly wonder: ”…good gracious! where am I going to?”

Following the indications, you get to this small shop. As far as I could understand, the shop was born from the initiative of the local public administration, and, apart from the baker, many young people of the village work in it in turn. Such boys and girls are common people, as anyone you can meet walking in the street, but they have the possibility of learning a job, practicing their English – many foreign sailors provide themselves with bread there – and offering their community such an important service, making bread!

Truly, this small bakery is a veritable hidden treasure of delicious pleasures.
The traditional bread (horiatiko psomi, if you have it together with fresh tomatoes and feta, you get a taste of the utmost pleasure. Believe me! I had it myself this way more than once, sitting on the floor with my feet into the sea water, admiring the village); the small pies made of puff-pastry, full of goat cheese (tiropita, at first I shuddered at the idea, but you really have to try and see!); the small pies full of spinach (spanakòpita); the wonderful crumbly biscuits covered by sesame seeds; an orange cake (like a plum-cake), and many other products, among which the unfailing baklava, maybe the most famous among Greek sweets, a puff-pastry layer-cake with toasted walnuts or almonds.

Before leaving, I stuffed my historical “alpino” knapsack with bread and many other things from the Kastelorizo’s bakery, thinking that I surely would pay so much. When the lady told me it was just 12,00 Euros, I replied maybe she was wrong, but that was the total amount!
…I couldn’t but think to the mad prices of some bakeries on the Lake of Garda, in Salò and in Valtenesi. It happens sometimes that I get some poor rolls with 4,00 Euros, and I think to those poor retired people who must live (or better “survive”) on 400,00 Euros or little more!! 🙁

It seems to me that Kastelorizo has something to teach us!

Just a word on my “alpino” knapsack. I called it “historical” and really historical is it, since it was my grand grandfather’s who fought in the World War I. I always have it with me on travel, since it has a great capacity, and being made of cloth, it needs a very small room. Maybe, next time I will take a photo of it for you…