David and Goliath

September 4, 2018

Symbols will come after you even without chasing them.

Walking around one of the main streets of Lamezia Terme in the region of Calabria drove me to a conversation with my wonderful V.'s family about Stars of David. Remnants of one could be seen next to a closed door of one of the bars, so naturally I was wondering what's the story behind.

Although in Italian it is called "Star of David", my instinct was to call it in its Hebrew name - "Shield of David", so I had to remind them the story about the battle against Goliath. Only then the family told me about the licorice/liquorice candy named Golìa - this is how you call Goliath in Italian - and we all wondered if there's a connection between it to the biblical story.

A short web search showed that the gummy candies - that one of V.'s uncles used to carry and hand over to whomever he met - definitely has a connection!

 

Is it clear enough?

Another surprise occurred when I found that the candy was invented by someone whose name was the Italian equivalent of David! Davide Caremoli invented Golìa in 1932 in Milan, and although his workers suggested to change it, he insisted to keep its tiny measurements - a diameter of a little less than 1.5 cm and 5 mm height. That is why he also insisted to name it after the Philistine giant.

Another surprise occurred after I couldn't find anywhere a sign that Davide or the Caremolis had anything to do with Judaism.

 

Along its more than 80 years the candy was also known for its campaigns, that today would never pass even the basic P.C. test, for example:

"Whoever doesn't eat Golìa is a this or a spy!

Whoever doesn't eat Golìa is not the son of Maria!

Whoever doesn't eat Golìa - the wolf will come and take him away!"

It sounds better (or worse) in Italian.

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