Migrating Cuisines: Mapping Migration Through Food

Food is a universal necessity but is also a representation of cultural phenomenon with its historical meanings, recipes, and traditions. People migrate across borders but how does food migrate and how do recipes evolve in new environments? As migration increases certain ingredients become scarce or inaccessible. This has led to many recipes from all over the world to adapt to new environments creating fusions and unique flavors for everyone’s taste.   

Therefore “Migrating Cuisines” is a project based on the recipes mostly retrieved from the personal archives of the individuals who migrated from the Middle East or who have Middle Eastern roots. The recipes included on this website are not claiming their authentic origin but rather the ways in which dishes have migrated and changed across time and space. The main intervention of this project is proposing an authenticity statement with the purpose to value the personal/individual heritages of the dish. The purpose is to show how foods migrate and carry multiple identities and meanings as they diffuse across borders onto different plates. The project encapsulates and presents the personal manuscripts of recipes and photos taken by people, from the personal archives of the creators of the project, and of their families and friends. The selected dishes are located in their origins based on the recipe holders’ personal experiences and variations of the recipes are listed for some of the dishes.  

This project presents how food has no identified borders and no certain “home”/origin as they fluidly move and modify across regions and countries and time. Wherever it is cooked and shared, is the home for that specific recipe. Its home is on that specific preparation and that plate at that moment. You can support the expansion of the scope to the other regions by submitting your traditional/culturally relevant recipes through this form.

Marwa Bakabas, Ezgi Karaoglu & Sari Saba-Sadiya


Posted on

May 7, 2021

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