New documentary series ''The Journey of Greek Food''

New documentary series ''The Journey of Greek Food''
29 Jul '16

The Journey of Greek Food: eating in Greece from prehistory to the present day: this is the great new production of SKAI TV in collaboration with the Anemon Productions creative team with scientific support and exclusive funding from the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation.

The new documentary series presents the evolution of food in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean through five hourly episodes following a chronological logic, departing from the prehistoric era, the Antiquity, Byzantium, the Ottoman times, and the establishment of the modern Greek state, up to contemporary Greece.        

In what ways have ingredients, utensils, and dietary habits changed in Greece over the past few centuries? To what extent have we been influenced by other civilisations and in which ways have we had an impact on them? What were ordinary people eating back in Antiquity and Byzantium? In which ways are the Arabs, the Ottomans, the Italians, and the French connected with Greek cuisine? What are the truths and myths of the so-called ‘Mediterranean diet’? These are but a few of the questions raised in SKAI TV’s new documentary series, which is due to be screened in early 2017.     

The documentary series aims to take views on an exhilarating journey through the history of food, beginning 500,000 years ago and continuing up to the present day. Contemporary scientific research, recent archaeological discoveries, unknown historical documentation material, rare archival film, 3D animation, aerial photography, and realistic representations of everyday life from prehistory to the present day; all of the above are part of this televisual experiment, indeed an unprecedented one by Greek standards.

The series includes interviews with distinguished Greek and foreign experts, footage from archaeological and historical locations across the Greek mainland and the Greek islands as well as from significant sites abroad such as Istanbul, Cappadocia and Minor Asia, Marseilles, Sicily, and Rome. Nutrition researchers and experts highlight yet unknown aspects in the evolution of Greek food and cuisine, and also elaborate on the cultural influences that constitute an integral part of the Greek diet and identity.     

The series' scientific consultants are Sultana-Maria Valamoti (Associate Professor of Archaeology at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki’s Department of History and Archaeology, specializing in archaeobotany and prehistoric diet), Ilias Anagnostakis (Senior Researcher in the field of Byzantine Research at the National Hellenic Research Foundation), Dionysios Stathakopoulos (Lecturer in Byzantine Studies at King’s College, University of London), Vassilis Panagiotopoulos (Historian, Emeritus Director of Research at the National Hellenic Research Foundation) and Antonia-Lida Matala (Professor of Nutritional Anthropology at Harokopio University). The series’ producers are Andreas Apostolides, Nikos Dayandas, Lefteris Haritos, Rea Apostolides and Yuri Averof.                                                               

The Programme Director of SKAIMrs. Alkisti Maragoudaki said:

“Quest, historical retrospect, research: these are elements that have been an integral part of SKAI’s programming over the years. Through a diligent commitment to factual presentation, SKAI has produced important TV specials and it has successfully showcased documentaries which have been proven ground-breaking for the Greek context.

‘The Journey of Food’ is a captivating documentary series that examines human evolution in parallel to food evolution from ancient times to the present day. The series is produced meticulously based on attentive research.”

The creative team of Anemon Productions added that: 

“The history of food is intertwined with the history of human evolution and culture. While doing research for the series, we witnessed and learned things that fascinated us, surprised us and unveiled unknown aspects of the past. From the most ancient meal ever found in Greece up to the true origins of moussaka, we hope that the series will entertain its audience and give food for thought.”

The Secretary of the Executive Βoard of the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, Mr. Dimitris Afendoulis, noted that: 

“There is an impressive range of scientific fields - and even more impressive wealth of knowledge for the viewers - presented in the documentary that we will see on our TV's.  For the first time, the topic of the history of Diet and Nutrition is being approached holistically and in an interdisciplinary manner, with specialist knowledge being diffused in a way readily understandable to the general public through a production of the highest aesthetic standards.

“In the documentary series, we will be given the opportunity to watch an impressive range of scientific fields intersecting. The viewers will be nourished with a plethora of stories and facts. For the first time, the history of nutrition is approached holistically and in an interdisciplinary manner, where the knowledge of specialists meets high-standard aesthetics to make the relevant topics readily understandable to the general public.”