Friday, January 30, 2009

Mmm, this toast tastes Divine!

I was at the bakery yesterday picking up a delicious loaf of country style bread with sesame to munch on with my lunch (those crusts are to DIE for!!!) when I noticed that on the shelf above the loaves were some rather pretty looking round loaves stamped with a nifty little design.

"What's that?" I asked the lady in the shop. "It's jksdyfdifypsomo" she replied. Some sort of bread is what I gathered, the actual name of which went right over my head. Anyway, it looked nice so I thought I'd have me one of those too and I bought a loaf. It smelt so nice and it was lovely and spongey feeling too. This was good bread, I thought, congratulating myself on my sure-to-be-delicious discovery.

When Mr Zeus came home I told him I'd found something really cool at the bakery today, some really snazzy looking bread which I'd never seen before and whipped the loaf out of its paper bag.

He looked at me and burst out laughing. "Do you realise what you've bought? That's prosphoro, they use it for holy communion in the Greek Orthodox church."

*Slaps forehead* damnation! It turns out this pretty bread is actually a quite holy offering to the Greek church. Those who bake it are meant to keep a candle lit nearby and say the Lord's prayer which they press the design-making stamp onto the loaf. The loaves are baked one on top of the other to represent Christ's human and divine nature. Sometimes holy water is used in the preparation.

During the divine liturgy, a square is cut from the bread to represent the Eucharist and the rest is cut into smaller pieces for holy communion. That pretty design I so admired in the bakery actually says IC XC NIKA - Jesus Christ conquers. And with that went my lunch plans.

Should I have suspected since the bakery was next door to a church and soon the Greek Orthodox calendar will start gearing up for Easter? Should the lady in the bakery have let me take the bread knowing full well I am a foreigner? Maybe she thought "Ahh bless her, she must have converted to Orthodoxy and is totally taking her new found religion seriously. Bless you!"

What am I supposed to do with the loaf now? I can't very well make toast out of it! How could I have not known about the holy bread!



itelli said...

Dip it in Houmous, tirokafteri, tzatziki, or just have it with some olive oil and oregano (and feta).

Or, pretend you are practising Orthodox Christianity, and dip it in Mavrodafni. Unless yiayia is gonna get pissed off - in which case, don't!

p.s. up north we call it λειτουργιά - which I guess comes from greek for "Mass"?

bollybutton said...

Won't Jesus be mad with me if I do that? I've taken a teeny tiny bite out of it, and it is so yummy. But I kind of feel like I'd be insulting someone if I just ate it like normal bread.

itelli said...

In that case, u can try bat's legs, spiders hair and a tad of Highland pony's spit. I don't know of anyone who eats it like that (but I may be interested in meeting them), so u're safe :P

bollybutton said...

Ok funny man, but if I bring some sort of eternal damnation on my head, at least you'll be there to keep me company!

Anonymous said...

Enjoy it!

I mean if it chokes you then take that as a sign from above but between you and me, I think you'll be safe!

Psofofeggaro said...

.......... :/
As long as I know this is just a "normal" bread with a purpose, people take it to church and then the priest, after saying the needed prayers he uses it in the mass.
It becomes "divine" in the church, there is no reason to be so scared of a holy damnation upon you :p

People are suposed to be with empty stomach when they take it from the church on Sunday mornings in the mass and waste not the tinniest bit of it, but kids take it and eat it or throw the rest on the trash can and are still alive :/

There are a lot of forbiden things in religions or rules we don't follow like :don't wash yourself on psixosavvato (those saturdays that are dedicated by religion to the dead), or don't kiss the bible or eikones on the "bad female days of the month" because you're "dirty", don't eat meat at weds and fridays etc.
WE Christians don't usually do as we're suposed to and no blood is spilled, why would Jesus be mad with someone who is not so fammiliar with our religion when we're not so fammiliar or ignorant ourselves?

A good action would be to give to yiayia and she would know what to do (and would propably be happy too) :)

Sesi said...

Little Jesus will be more upset if you let it rot. Just eat the thing, holy damnation will come for other sins, not for making a yummie sandwich out of a load of bread which hasn't even been sanctified in church yet.