Food and table manners
From the very first encounter between Japanese and Dutch, food played an important role. Before the trade negotiations started, food and drinks were served. Food is not only a way to bring people together, it is also an effective means of communication. During eating, all senses are stimulated.
Food can be considered both as a material and an immaterial heritage. It tells us a lot about the similarities and differences between the Netherlands and Japan, and about the way they form images of each other. For example, there are few Dutch who can appreciate nattō (fermented soybeans), whereas it is for many Japanese people a treat. Conversely, there are hardly any Japanese who like licorise, which by the Dutch is considered to be a delicious candy.
Noribread / Breadnori
In the context of Edo Sanpu 2020 we create an interdisciplinary food project with nori and bread.
Nori is edible seaweed and is an important ingredient for many Japanese dishes. It is famous for its distinctive ‘fifth taste’ – umami – which is widely used as a flavor.
For several years now seaweed are also grown in the Netherlands and being examined for all sorts of small and large scale applications; varying from seaweed cheese to meat replacements, and from biofuel to sustainable building materials.
Bread has a long history in the Netherlands and is daily consumed by many. The Dutch language knows many sayings with bread and it is also regarded as a symbol of spiritual food.
For Edo Sanpu 2020 we’re going to develop new bread–seaweed dishes and seaweed–bread dishes. Next to that we will create edible bowls, cups and plates, made of bread and seaweed. The hollow form of a bowl is a famous symbol in Japan. In short: emptiness, filled with possibilities
The added value of edible bowls is given by the enjoyable fact that they can be consumed; together with all the sensitive memories and wishes which are literally taken in with them.
The dishes and edible bowls will serve as a starting point for workshops in the Netherlands and Japan, to make more people acquainted with the many variations of seaweed and bread in both countries. The workshops are organized in close collaboration with Artist in Residencies, local producers of bread and seaweed and schools and residential care homes. At the end of the workshops, the work will be presented on the spot, via the website and through social media.
The products and workshops will be documented and presented during the final event. On top of that manuals will be made available for schools and museums.
Read report about our visit, presentations and workshops in Yamada Machi.
With the support of Yamada Machi ‘Arigato’ Host town (Supporting Reconstruction for the Netherlands during Olympic/ Paralympic games 2020).