Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Greek Food Festival Was a Delicious Political Metaphor

Posted By on Sun, Jun 3, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Saturday, around lunchtime, the line for the 31st annual Greek Food Festival at the Saints Augustine and Helen Greek Church in Boise was long.

Nearly a half hour of blazing sun stood between hungry Boiseans and their gyros—more if they had to go through the ATM line first.

But inside, the promise of fresh souvlaki, spanakopita and dolmas steamed and wafted from the grill, siren-like, promising a taste of paradise.

Between having to exchange cash for tokens, then having the line split into several lines, then having different stands and pay stations for entrees, drinks, alcohol and desserts—some of which also accepted cash—it was a bitter political metaphor about the perils of overly complicated Greek bureaucracy.

But a single bite into a fresh hot dolma made it all worth it. A bite into a fresh, hot triangle of spanakopita doubled that down. And by the time I reached the kataifi for desert, an experience punctuated by a large group of teenagers doing dances from Zorba the Greek, the line was a distant memory. There was only the richness of the experience and the madness of the crowd to deal with.

"We have no way of telling how many people come. Our guess is about 4,000," one of the volunteers said. "We're not very good business people. This all just sort of came together around us."

Then she had to go back to work before offering her name.

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