The Greek Bakaliko

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In the outskirts of Athens, somewhere off the highway, there is a small town with a church. Next to that church was a little shop, one of a dying breed known as the ‘bakaliko.’ The traditional bakaliko was a sort of general store – with bulk goods to meet most shoppers’ needs. Grains, dried goods, coffee, spices, tins of everything, cheese, olives, etc. Something like this photo. In the era of the modern supermarket of course, such shops have suffered, and this one closed last year. During a stopover though, the man who keeps the keys for the church next door offered to unlock the old bakaliko so we could look inside. Though it doesn’t have its merchandise, what was left still provided a glimpse into its fading past.
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2 thoughts on “The Greek Bakaliko

  1. eirlys says:

    These pictures are really interesting – a little bit of history before it disappears before our eyes! Please do more of this kind if you get the chance.
    PS I am struck by the resemblance between bakaliko and ‘bakal’ which here in Morocco designates exactly the same kind of shop – does the name come from Arabic?

  2. Thanks! These are among my favourite kind of places to explore, so I am always on the lookout! Also the word almost definitely comes from Arabic, although I think it reached Greek via Turkish. Strangely small linguistic world sometimes (‘defteri’ another good one – notebook, mostly in northern Greek vocabularies)!

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