Kreopoleio is the butcher’s shop. Kreas is meat. Creation is incarnation, therefore. Being creative is being meaty. But enough games. I take my meat very seriously and my favourite butcher’s is in Kasandreia. One of the butchers is also a vendor, or he used to be. I haven’t seen him in a couple of weeks and honestly I miss him. I’ll explain.
This kreopoleio offers a piece of sausage for about every 10 Euros you spend on meat. Usually, I buy about 20 Euros worth of meat once, so I get 2 sausages. The nice butcher is always very elegant about it, pointing to his big generous chest every time he inserts the 2 pieces of sausage in the already bursting bag of meat.
He points at various good cuts, expressing the fatness, the deliciousness of those particular cuts, which he probably did himself in the morning. We used to have sign language conversations about meat and we understood each other perfectly. I used to point to my neck, to my ribs, or legs. He got it and fetched a fat piece of pork, a chicken leg, or a rack of lamb. Sometimes he points at his entrails, but I usually refuse the liver or kidneys he’s so clearly offering me.
Of course, I now know the words for most of the cuts and the sales have been shorter. Every time, though, the pieces of sausage were carefully inserted into the bag, while he filled his chest with Greek pride. It was like trading in the colonies. I give you meat, you give me shiny coins.
Once or twice, the butcher offered me some other types of bonuses. Souzoukakia, and even bifteki. It was a great move. He had already had me hooked on meat, now he was pushing the heavy stuff on me. Were he not replaced, I would be addicted to the finer products by now, such as souvlaki or bifteki me tiri (cheese filled hamburgers).
Unfortunately, this not so nice lady sort of replaced my butcher. I won’t even begin to describe her inability with a knife. Watching her dress a piece of lamb is excruciating. I feel like jumping over the counter and teaching her some knife work. She’s a disgrace. She is no butcher, she’s just a salesperson. And a crook. I’ll explain, of course.
Everybody cuts back in Greece, but I never expected my extra sausage ration to be halved. I now get one sausage for 20 Euros spent. That’s a major setback. And it’s the cheap lady’s fault !
Although she smiles and greets her customers, she’s actually not so nice. Once, when I wasn’t paying attention, she gave me some scraps instead of the best pork ribs. My butcher would never have done that. He used to choose the pieces as if I were his brother, his fellow carnivore. This lady has no notion of camaraderie and is jeopardizing the business. She’s a phony. The way she treats meat, she might be a vegetarian !
Long gone are the diverse bonuses. No souzoukakia for me ! No more bifteki, me tiri or not. And once, she even forgot the sausage. I almost felt robbed. She was busy talking to somebody.
My butcher offered me all the attention, the care almost, in the world. He was my Mother Superior, my meat dealer. He made buying meat feel like scoring dope. “You need meat ? You must have it ? I understand. We’ll get you a fix right away”.
The cheap lady is like a hospital nurse. She’s probably thinking “Oh, no. Here we go again. Must have his dose of meat, the son of a bitch. Dreadful ! I won’t be a part of this ! One day he’ll OD on this stuff. Such a shame! Tz tz…”
No wonder she gives me no treats. She despises meat. She’s a born again meat-o-protestant.
She’s the meat nazi.