Favorite Christmas sweets and Greek origin of their names

Snow-covered sugar qurabiya and sweet honey melomakarono are one of the symbols of Christmas and New Year in Greece. The origin of the names of these sweets is Greek. The name Biscotto was strengthened only in the Middle Ages, derived from the Latin word bis-cuit (biscuit), which means «baked twice». A method of double baking was used in avoid rapid deterioration bread intended, in particular, for the soldiers and sailors. It is noteworthy that in ancient Greece this word sounded like «de-pyrone» - «twice burned».

Latin bis-cuit spread in Asia by Venetian merchants, which strengthened its distorted shape as biya / biye, which united with qura / kuru and the mix is Latino-Asian qurabiya / kurabiye. Later this word came back in Europe in the form of Hellenized «kurabes» with the value of dry biscuits with almonds, sprinkled with powdered sugar.

The word «melomakarono» has ancient Greek origin. If you scroll through the etymological dictionaries, we can see that the word «macaroni» has its origin in the Greek word «macaronia», which meant the funeral dinner on the basis of dough, used for blessing the last journey of the deceased. Macaronia comes from the Greek word «macaria», which meant nothing more than a «psihopita», that is the «cake for the soul».

Later, when macaria began to pour by honey syrup, another word «meli» (honey) was added, giving a result of a new concept: honey Macaronia or melomakarono that was stucked in the Greek tradition as the the sweetness of 12 public holidays from Christmas to Epiphany blessing of water.