Quirky Cookbook is a project that celebrates diversity and non-normative ways of eating. The publication is a collection of stories and recipes by people who reflect upon and challenge food norms. Instead of judging or going crazy about it, the cookbook puts all the dishes and habits, which do not fit into commonly known standards, in the spotlight – against the instagram-perfect looking nutrition and diet culture.
Eating habits are more personal than you think. We eat what we have learned at home, what others have taught us, or we create our own eating routines and rituals. Food carries memories, sometimes good ones, sometimes not. Food is identity. On the other hand, we are flooded with information about how and what we should eat, how much, what our plates should look like, and with pictures of smiling people holding flawless dishes that have been put together with the help of glue and paint. The food culture profits from feelings of guilt, claiming that a certain way of eating is somehow better or cleaner. The project therefore wants to give people space to talk about how they step out of culinary norms. They can share their habits and recipes, which others find weird and unusual. The focus of this extraordinary cookbook lies on stories and reflections from interviews rather than on the recipes themselves. Among other things, we asked people to tell us about their favourite quirky food, how they discovered it, memories and feelings they associate with it, and also reactions they have experienced from others. Each text is followed by imperfect illustrations and a recipe for one of the dishes mentioned by the participant. Once you realize that you are not the only one dipping French fries in ice cream, this may turn out to be helpful to escape glamorously presented norms.
- June 2020
- Evgeniia Kozlova
- Michalina Zadykowicz