In my crunchy opinion
2022 – 2023
The taste of memories, the taste of home, food identity or an integration issue.
Globalization affects our Food preferences. Yet, cultural identity still derives very much from the traditional food and the traditional cooking. To eat the Dutch Pinda kaas (peanut butter) in Australia, it would cost time, money, carbon dioxide emissions, but it would taste like home....or almost.
Relocated to a new place, one always looks for the connection to something familiar. Very often this is a favorite traditional food. Taste is one of our mind's most powerful tools for retaining memories. Whatever we eat as children will be the tastiest and most desirable. Whenever we eat it, it will remind us of home.
In the city of Eindhoven - home to many immigrant communities, Tina Zlatina tracks down more than 20 food stores offering international food. There, she selects products, based on country of origin, shape, popularity, but most of all, based on the fact that all of them (with very few exceptions) are produced abroad and imported in the Netherlands.
Globally, transportation plays a significant role in the food supply and has led to an increase in the environmental, social and economic burden associated with it. However, this is the price any immigrant would pay to consume a delicacy from their homeland.
Samples of the foreign food are casted in fine porcelain and terracotta with a delicate touch of glaze. Resembling artefacts of an archeological exposition, they are labeled with their exact title, origin and provenience.
Artefacts, 2022. Ceramics, museum stand, museum labels. Variable dimensions
“As a real archeologist, I have discovered a big variety of known and unknown for me food products. They may be a precious memory of home for someone, but for me, they are simple artefacts. Taken out of their context, I find them blank, tasteless, irrelevant to this place and time. No matter their shape, all these food products taste to me like the place I am at, they taste like the Netherlands, they taste like my favorite Dutch cookies Kruidnoten.”
A selection of the foreign food items is baked as the traditional Dutch cookies Kruidnoten. An okra, a dried tomato, a hot chili pepper Madame Jeanette – all taste like delicious Kruidnoten.
Kruidnoten, 2023. Food grade silicone moulds, kruidnoten dough, plate. Variable dimensions
Another piece of this project looks into a different part of the world and presents a portrait of the very traditional Dutch delicacy Pinda Kaas (peanut butter) being in a great contrast with the environment it is in.
“In my crunchy opinion” questions what our food identity is, what the personal perception of food is and why food or anything else changes its properties when taken away of its context.