Virtual museum of Cypriot food - Sunday Mail 27.06.2010

By Nicola Ioannou Published on June 27, 2010 +
A VIRTUAL museum paying homage to Cypriot food and diet is set to be available online by next month.
“Like all museums documenting traditions, this museum will document gastronomical traditions,” said Gasterea researcher and author Florentia Kythreothou.

“The purpose of the project is to promote an important part of our country’s culture and specifically culture concerning the food and diet habits of Cypriot people,” said George Chrysanthou, project coordinator and UCY computer science professor.

The idea is to collect, organise and preserve material from throughout the ages concerning the gastronomical heritage of Cyprus and to make this publicly available to researchers, tourists and anyone interested via a comprehensive website.

The ‘Cyprus Food Virtual museum’ will offer a wealth of information regarding traditional Cypriot food and its evolution over the ages, going as far back as 9000 BC until today. The history of the food itself, production methods, recipes, portions, utensils and typical menus of each era and social class will be some of the information available.

The project began in March 2009 and is being developed by a broad team of researchers and academics from the University of Cyprus (UCY), the Harokopion University of Athens, Gasterea company as well independent researchers and PrimeTel. The research will last two years, so the website will continue to be enriched for another year.

“We all know how important food is for survival but apart from that it is a multidimensional, cultural phenomenon. Food brings people together,” said UCY Professor Efrosini Egoumenidou. “A people’s identity is very closely linked with food.”

Apart from analysing the Cypriot cuisine, the website will also allow visitors to explore existing real life gastronomical museums in Cyprus, such as the wine museum in Erimi and the olive museum in Anogyra, by way of 3-D panorama pictures.

The project is being co-funded by the Cyprus Institute Promoting Research and the structural fund of the EU. However Chrysanthou noted that there are other valuable facets that would be beneficial for the website but cannot be added due to insufficient funding, such as educational games, the history of Cypriot food industries and English translation of the text.

Anyone interested in getting involved with the project is invited to get in contact and help either through funding or provision of extra material such as traditional recipes or photographs.
“Our gastronomical wealth is part of our heritage and identity and is a common property of all of us. Help it be collected and documented, so it can be preserved and passed onto to future generations,” said Chrysanthou.

The temporary website which contains contact information is