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Tagliatelle-like pasta, an important part of Pontian cuisine, are made with or without eggs, and often served in a meat sauce, or with cheese etc.

The name derives from the ancient Greek goddess Makaria ('Μακαρία', literally 'blessed') associated with a good death in the Eleusian Mysteries. At the funeral feast, pieces of makarina would either be given to the dead to take into the afterlife in a bowl, with olive oil and wine, or eaten at the funeral feast. The word is also part of the modern Greek word for pasta, zymarika.

Making pasta and drying it was a way of preserving wheat in the summer, when it would be cut into long strips called laganon. The ancient Greek colonies in Sicily and southern Italy introduced makarina and laganon, where they turned into macaroni and lasagne.

Pasta, grains and rice

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by almathea, Public Domain