Bernard LORY

Bernard LORY

Les Balkans et le châtaignier: un rendez-vous manqué

Etudes balkaniques (Sofia) 2022 N 4

Bernard LORY
Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales

The chestnut in the Balkans

Abstract: The French geographer Jean-Robert Pitte shows how poor rural regions of Southern Europe like Corsica could survive – and even be densely populated – having a chestnut as basis of their alimentation. This however did not happen in the Balkans, where this species of tree is autochthonous and geographical conditions, similar. Chestnuts are a wintertime snack, but they were never considered as “real” food, except for monks.
If we turn to James Scott’s theory of The Art of Not Being Governed, the chestnut would have ideally fit in the Balkan setting. Yet this did not happen. To solve this contradiction, this article proposes some hypotheses.

Keywords: alimentation, arboriculture, chestnut, monasticism, James Scott

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