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Domesticating Sweet Sadness: Thessaloniki's Glykà as a Travel Narrative

Sage Publications, Inc
Publication Date
  • Communication
  • Economics


The paper examines Anatolítika glykà (Asia Minor sweets) and the craft of zacharoplastikí (sweet-making) in Thessaloniki, Greece’s main northern city. The continuum between sweet-makers and produce explicates the development of zacharoplastikí - originally a colonial occupation, later a feminine craft of the domestic hearth - to a modern profession. Thessalonikiote sweet-making and glykà develop as a travel narrative by obscuring their Eastern associations. Zacharoplastikí’s professionalization was assisted by the employment of spectacular representational techniques. This is today communicated on the websites of its five biggest zacharoplasteío (patisserie) chains through a covert alignment of professional self-presentation with those Greek traditions that have acquired a public face that can be rendered globally mobile. The author, a native Thessalonikiote, fuses digital hermeneutics with phaneroscopy to explore this phenomenon from within.

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