Whether it’s Greece or wherever they settle with families, Greek moms love to have prepared foods for the kids (perhaps more for the boys?) and many of them prefer plastic tupperware containers.
They call them Taperakia and celebrity chef Vassilis Kallidis told Eating Well that it’s because it’s easy to pack in favorites like gemista – stuffed rice and peppers that’s a real comfort food – and he still remembers it being done for him more than 20 years after leaving home in Thessaloniki.
He said the Taperakia are part of a custom of Greek mothers preparing traditional foods for their children and sending them in Tupperware containers wherever those children reside after leaving home.
It’s not clear when the tradition began (although Kallidis jokes that it probably goes back to antiquity when, instead of plastic, mothers used clay containers) but according to Marianna Economou, a documentary filmmaker, it’s a natural extension of the relationship Greeks have with food.
“Food is [often] used in emotional manner (and) it has a very powerful role in the Greek society,” said Economou, who directed a 2013 documentary about Taperakia called Food for Love.