New series of documentaries “The History of Food”

New series of documentaries “The History of Food”
29 Jul '16

Food in Greece from pre-history until today: is the great new production of SKAI television channel in collaboration with the creative team of Anemon Productions, with the scientific support and exclusive funding by the John S. Latsis Public Benefit Foundation.

A new documentary series presents the evolution of food in the Greek lands and the Mediterranean, through five special episodes ranging in time from the prehistoric era, antiquity, Byzantium, the Ottoman times, the establishment of the modern Greek state, up to Greece of today.                                                                                                                                               

In what ways does food, utensils, and dietary habits change in the Greek lands over the ages? In which ways have we been influenced by other civilizations and how have we influenced them? What did ordinary people eat back in antiquity and in Byzantium? What type of connection do the Arabs, the Ottomans, the Italians and the French have with Greek cuisine? What are the facts and myths concerning the “Mediterranean diet”? These are just some of the questions that SKAI television’s new series of documentaries, due to be screened from the beginning of 2017, will try to answer.

The aim of the documentary series is to present an exciting journey through the history of food, starting 500,000 years ago and continuing the story up to our own times. Contemporary scientific research, recent archaeological discoveries, unknown historical documentation, rare archival film, 3D animation, aerial photography, not to mention realistic representations of everyday life from prehistory to the present; all of the above characterize this rare – by Greek standards - televisual experiment.

The series includes interviews with important Greek and foreign experts, footage from archaeological and historical locations  in all of mainland Greece and the Greek islands as well as significant sites abroad such as Constantinople, Cappadocia and Asia Minor, Marseilles, Sicily and Rome.  Researchers and experts in nutrition illuminate unknown aspects in the evolution of Greek food and culinary skills and also the cultural influences that constitute an integral part of Greek diet and identity.  

The series' scientific consultants are: Sultana Maria Valamoti, (Associate Professor of Archaeology specializing in Archaeobotany and prehistoric diet in the department of History and Archaeology of the Aristotelean University of Thessaloniki) , Elias Anagnostakis (Senior Researcher in the field of Byzantine Research at the National Research Institute), Dionysios Stathakopoulos (Lecturer in Byzantine Studies at King’s College, University of London), Vasilis Panagiotopoulos (Historian, Emeritus Research Director of the National Research Foundation) and Antonia-Lida Matala (Professor of Nutritional Anthropology at the Harokopio University). Signatories to the series are its creators: Andreas Apostolides, Nikos Dayandas, Lefteris Haritos, Rea Apostolidi and Yuri Averof.

The Programme Director of SKAI, Mrs. Alkisti Maragoudaki said:

“questioning, historical study, research:  these are elements that have characterized SKAI programming over the years. Through assiduous commitment to factual presentation it has produced some very significant offerings and in the past has made some entirely successful documentaries that have broken new ground for Greek television.”

“The History of Food”  is an exceptionally interesting documentary series that traces the  evolution of man in its interaction with the evolution of food,  from ancient times to the present day. It is meticulously planned and based on attentive research.

The creative team of Anemon Productions adds:

“The history of food is intertwined with the history of human evolution and culture. Researching for the needs of the series, we saw and learned things that fascinated us, surprised us and revealed unknown aspects of the past. From the oldest meal ever found in Greece up to the true origins of moussaka, we hope that the series will entertain the audience and give food for thought. "

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

“There is an impresive range of scientific fields - and even more impressive wealth of knowlegde 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.”