Previous Conferences 2010-2013
ICR Annual Conference 2011
Changing Tastes – Local Gastronomy and Regional Museums
August 22-28, 2012
Every region has developed distinctive patterns of eating and drinking in response to the natural resources available in its physical environment. However, rapid development, globalisation and international fast food are rapidly overtaking local dishes, eating houses and family food practices. Nevertheless movements such as “Slow Food” are reclaiming locally grown ingredients and traditional recipes, while the popularity of television cooking programmes and well-researched cookery books show that public interest in regional foods and drink is strong. ICR suggests that regional museums can add new dimensions to our understandings of the inventiveness of cooks, gardeners, fishermen, farmers and hunter-gatherers across time and across cultures. Almost every museum holds some food-related material in their collections: still-life paintings, farm tractors, kitchen utensils, plant and animal specimens, traditional table textiles, cookbooks, historic photographs recording wedding feasts, fish nets used by indigenous cultures and pottery from archaeological contexts. Regional museums document, collect, interpret and present all aspects of life in their regions, including the vital activities around foodways. How can museums best share their rich resources of tangible and intangible gastronomic heritage with their many visitors and researchers?