Hard, old bread combined with milk or other liquid (sauce, olive oil, butter, stock, wine etc.) is found for centuries all over Mediterranean as a way of transforming leftovers into a dish in its own right. The ancient Greeks gave the name maza to those bread- based foods; later they were called by various names such as papara, panada etc. Being food for rural and poor urban families, for hungry kids and shepherds, they made their first appearance in cookbooks at the late 20th century, due to the growing interest in regional and traditional cuisines within Greek national food culture.
Papara is particularly popular among Sarakatsáns, nomads who are found all over central and northern Greece and also beyond the Greek frontiers that sprang up after the Balkan Wars but failed to confine them. Until 1960, they had not villages from which to migrate in search of pasture, though all of them considered some range of mountains as their home.
1 ½ cup bread cubes
1 ½ cup milk
3 tbs sheep butter
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
hot, red pepper
Gradually add milk, cook, whisking, until mixture comes to the boil and add crumbled feta. Cook, stirring until thickened. Sprinkle with red pepper and serve while papara is still slightly warm.