The Delicious Legacy


The Culinary Treasures of the Byzantine Empire

Season 1, Ep. 12

The most comprehensive archaeological excavation in Istanbul’s history, took place very recently in the 21st century; a 58.000 square meter area in Yenikapi region. Here was revealed one of the biggest harbours known in the ancient world dating back to the Byzantine Era, the Theodosius Harbour. Amongst the group of findings there were 36 shipwrecks dating between 5th and 10th century which is the biggest collection of Early and Middle Byzantine Period shipwrecks. These shipwrecks are important because of their very well preserved state. Several of them had been very spectacular, with a large number of amphorae still in position when they sank in the harbour. Their discovery, brings into light fascinating clues of the life in the late ancient city (and early medieval period) and offers some direct evidence of the foods and trading goods of the Byzantine Empire.

Where do I begin with the cuisine and food of the Byzantine Empire? This is a daunting task as this was an Empire stretching 3 continents at its peak and with over 1100 years history!

The Mediterranean trilogy of wine, oil and bread meets the flavours of the Orient and in turn this mingles with the gastronomic staples of the Roman Empire thousand years before, and thus creates the unique characteristics of the Constantinople's food character that made it to a de facto gastronomic space, having created its own culinary propositions and became established as the Christian capital of wine and gastronomic delights in the medieval world.

Find out more, and everything you need to know of the Empire that would make the "Game of Thrones" books blush, with the feasts and murders and plots of their emperors and nobility here!

Ancient & Byzantine music composed and played by Pavlos Kapralos:

Traditional Cretan Music by Cretan Brioche

Music theme"Indu" in the History Hound ad by Aris Lanaridis:

More Episodes

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Interpreting Medieval Recipes for the Modern Kitchen with Dr Christopher Monk

Season 3, Ep. 15
Dr Christopher Monk is a specialist consultant in medieval culture and texts, working freelance in the heritage sector and with creative professionals. He is also a cook.A cook of Medieval food and recipes, re-worked for our modern kitchens. The feasts of kings usually cooked over open fire, for 100's of guests and with the help of countless cooks, spit-turns, kitchen assistant's and many others now reworked for your family table!What are the barriers for us when trying to cook an ancient recipe? What does the language and the translation of the texts tell us and how do we interpret the texts?What recipes can be found in the early Anglo-Norman kitchen?Let's dive in and get a chance to find out recipes, language and techniques of the past going back nearly a thousand years in Medieval Europe.Do we need a glossary - a medieval culinary glossary- to better understand the ingredients of our old English kitchens? On his YouTube channel Dr Christopher Monk brings to you recipes from the fourteenth century Fourme of Cury ('Method of Cookery'), King Richard II's official cookery treatise (c.1390), as well as other early cookery works.If you want to find more about Dr Monks forthcoming book as well as watching some of the fascinating recipes he re-creates check his website and YouTube channel here: podcast comes with the welcome support of Maltby and Greek UK's No1 Greek delicatessen!Get your hands to some delicious cheese, wine and herbs here: was composed by Pavlos Kapralos: you for listening!The Delicious Legacy