Photography: Jake Caleb
'Pelmeni: A Conversation Cookbook' presents the starting point of an investigation into the histories of pelmeni, a type of dumpling originating from nomadic peoples of the Ural mountains. Over a course of four small pelmeni-making sessions with women from different backgrounds, I collected oral histories of language, food and practices of home in 2021.
This is part of a longer-term project that looks into the origins of pelmeni from hunters' sustenance to their present status as a national dish of Russia. Alongside looking into this history of assimilation through the expansion of the Russian Empire, I also seek to set down minor histories: stories of day-to-day life for women who have moved to the Netherlands from elsewhere.
The collaborative making of pelmeni—literally translated from Udmurti as ear-bread—foregrounds cooking together as a time for listening. The workshops took place in Rotterdam and Utrecht, in the autumn of 2021 in English, Dutch and Russian languages.
The book is available for sale in Printroom, Rotterdam and Kunstinstituut Melly, Rotterdam.
Please get in touch if you would like a copy or would like to stock these in your premises.
This project is supported by Stichting Droom en Daad.
Printed with PrintRoom.
Publication launched at LIFE, Rotterdam with generous help of Ash Kilmartin.