At dawn, before the sun begins to rise in the village of Axos in Giannitsa, Greece, 39-year-old Anastasia Kalalidou, a Greek farmer, lights up the wooden oven in her home’s courtyard and starts the day off by baking or cooking.
The mother of four prepares to bake the handmade traditional bread, placing it on the burning stone so that its aroma drifts throughout the neighborhood. The whole process is recorded on video—from putting together the ingredients to the kneading and capturing the loaf’s golden color on camera once it is baked.
The short video recording is then uploaded on TikTok, where—although the farmer is a newcomer on the platform—in just two months, she has managed to grab the attention of users with one of her videos surpassing 270,000 views.
“My day starts early in the morning,” she said on Macedonian News Agency radio. “I go to the field, [gather fruit], and slowly I move from production to consumption. I present the recipe on TikTok as I make it from scratch, just like I would prepare a meal for my family.” She confessed she enjoys the filming process, as her recipes circulate around the world.
Kalalidou’s recipes on TikTok
Her involvement with TikTok began when one of her neighbors suggested it. Family and friends who have been enjoying her delicious dishes on a daily basis urged her to find a way to make them known to a wider audience.
“People kept telling me ‘Tasoula, make a dessert and take a video so we can watch it and follow the steps,’ and that’s how TikTok came into my life,” Kalalidou revealed. “This communication with my viewers gives me joy, and this communication with the world gives me joy.” Her first TikTok recipe was traditional baklava.
Her choice of fresh, seasonal ingredients
Whether preparing savory or sweet recipes, Kalalidou always pays special attention to the ingredients, making sure they are fresh and in season.
Currently, in the region she is in, fruits, such as kiwis and persimmons, make great jam and spoon sweets.
“From a young age, nutrition played an important role in my life,” she explained. “Living in today’s world, we are surrounded by fast food, [which plays] a massive role [in] our diet. I really want to help those who love cooking to produce simple, pure, and fresh recipes with affordable ingredients.”
Anastasia Kalalidou’s TikTok username is “H…MAM.” Her username is inspired by a question most Greek moms hear almost daily: “What are we going to eat, mom?”
The next step for the TikToker will be to collect Cappadocian recipes for a cookbook. Her good friend, Panagiotis Yiltidis, a farmer and producer from Agioneri, Kilkis will help her out with this process.