This laboratory is an attempt to access and re(create) the knowledge and experience of (post)Soviet taste preferences in food shared by individuals who grew up in the former USSR. Staged as a cooking event It is expected to be a lively food memory and narrative exchange process.
More than two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the former member states have taken varying routes towards manufacturing a new sense of identity. Food has played an important role in this identity formation, however, during the Soviet times several generations in the former USSR grew up with a common experience of tastes and food aesthetics that were shared. This Laboratory will offer a creative way of tracing specific Soviet taste preferences, which share similar characteristics across the former Soviet states and are integrated in the "new" food practices of today. The unique venue of this year's EASA meeting offers an opportunity for this Laboratory to contribute to anthropological scholarship on the topic of post-Soviet intimacy, collaboration, innovation and continuity. The Laboratory will consist of a staged cooking event of maximum 12 participants, designed to recreate a shared meal at a student dormitory in the 1980s. We will make a solanka (a soup), a salad Olivier (the Soviet style potato salad) and various Soviet style appetizers. The Laboratory is expected to last about three hours and will leave the participants well-nourished. The event will be photographed and recorded so that a subsequent textual and visual analysis could later be extrapolated. We are currently FULLY BOOKED AND NO LONGER ACCEPT PARTICIPANTS.