The new official signboards with FYROM’s new name “Republic of North Macedonia” are printed and ready to be put in front of government institutions, border crossings, etc. Official sources said the installation of the new signs would begin tomorrow Tuesday or some day afterwards during the week.
The first sign will be installed at Gevgeli, the border crossing with Greece maybe tomorrow, Tuesday.
Although the name dispute has been shelved, some important issues still remain open and need to be settled. One of them is the branding name “Macedonian.”
According to a media report, the next step is for North Macedonia and Greek Macedonia to agree on who will use the name for commercial products. It’s a dispute that touches on marketing that stretches back to antiquity and still means serious money today.
A committee is to decide, over the next three years, which products may continue to use the term ‘Macedonian’.
Moussakas is and remains Greek
Business people in the Greek region of Macedonia have been highly concerned about the brand name of their products. Already end of January, Greeks were shocked to see at the international Food exhibition in Berlin that the North-Macedonians had claimed ownership of some Greek products.
At their exhibition stand, the Skopians presented a variety of food items and creations, claiming that they were part of the “Macedonian Cuisine.” One of this food creations was Moussakas.
“They presented Moussakas as their traditional dish,” Greek hoteliers attending the exhibition complained.
“They had Moussaka, yogurt and Greek coffee which they presented as Macedonian,” Anestis Paipetis, restaurant and hotel owner from Corfu told ANT1 TV.
Another restaurant owner, Panagiotis Dimas, said “They try to claim that Moussakas is of Skopjian origin. Moussakas is a signature dish of Greece, a trade mark, like Spaghetti is for Italy, Chinese food for China. Moussakas isn’t Greek?” stunned Dimas stressed.
Greek media, websites and blogs spoke of a “Skopjian provocation” almost at the same level of importance like the old FYROM claim that Alexander the Great was (North)-Macedonian, that is of Slavic origin and not Greek.
No matter what FYROMians aka Skopjians aka North-Macedonians claim, the Moussaka is and remains Greek – at least in this specific form with aubergines, courgettes, potatoes, minced meat and bechamel sauce.
The rest of moussakas baked and served in the Skopje, Bulgaria, Turkey, other Balkans and Middle East countries are just the poor copy-paste cousins of the rich Greek moussaka. They mostly have either no bechamel sauce or are made with potatoes only.
So far, Greece has not attempted to secure Moussakas as “Protected Designation of Origin.” Unprotected are also Pastitsio, Gemista, Briami, Dolmadakia, Dakos and other traditional dishes of the Greek cuisine.
Who invented Spanakotyropita – spinach-feta-pie -, anyway? The Greeks, of course…