IRES takes part in the event "Food and food ways" at Museum Gustavianum

2019-03-11

This year the annual open lecture series at Museum Gustavianum – a collaboration between the Forum for African Studies, the Forum for Chinese Studies, the Swedish Institute for North American Studies, the Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies, the Forum for Turkish Studies and the Forum for South Asia Studies, was devoted to food and food ways. Food is not only essential to life, it is also a means of expressing and transmitting culture. As long as people have traded, foodstuffs and culinary customs have been important items of exchange. Along food trade routes we have exchanged ingredients, recipes and food rituals. The event that highlighted the topic from various perspectives attracted diverse audience. Anna Singer, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Scientific Field for Humanities and Social Sciences opened the day while anthropologist Sten Hagberg acted as chairman. Christina Wedén who conducts research on fungi held a talk entitled "Truffles - food for gods, Gutes and pigs", while forest ecologist Åsa Berggren enlightened the audience on the issue of "Insects as food in Sweden and other cultures". Sinologist Joakim Enwall and historian Ulrica Söderlind talked about "Migration of dough products through history" and showed how geographical travels of filled dumplings in Eurasia can be traced through language. IRES was represented by Ingvar Svanberg, who talked about "Smelt as food - from Värmland to Chukotka". This fish species is caught in spring and enjoyed not only in Värmland but also in Hamburg, Saint Petersburg and Anadyr. We got to know how the interest for this small fish unites Selma Lagerlöf, Peter the Great and the oligarch Roman Abramovich and that in many places, the catching season has given rise to specialized smelt festivals. Other lectures were devoted to diet and eating habits in other parts of the world. The audience was also given opportunity to taste delicious dishes from Uganda, something that was much appreciated.  

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