Local cuisine is an important reservoir of local ecological knowledge shaped by a variety of socio-cultural, economic, and ecological factors. The aim was to document and compare the current use of wild and semi-cultivated plant food taxa by Romanians living in Romania and Ukraine. These two groups share similar ecological conditions and historically belonged to the same province, but were divided in the 1940s by the creation of a state border. We conducted 60 semi-structured interviews with rural residents. The contemporary use of 46 taxa (plus 5 cultivated taxa with uncommon uses), belonging to 20 families, for food consumption were recorded. Romanians in Romanian Bukovina used 27 taxa belonging to 15 families, while in Ukraine they used 40 taxa belonging to 18 families. Jams, sarmale, homemade beer, and the homemade alcoholic drink "socata" are used more by Romanians in Southern Bukovina, while tea, soups, and birch sap are used more in Northern Bukovina. We discuss the strong influence of socio-political scenarios on the use of wild food plants. Cross-ethnic marriages, as well as markets and women's networks, i.e., "neighbors do so", may have had a great impact on changes in wild food use. In addition, rapid changes in lifestyle (open work market and social migration) are other explanations for the abandonment of wild edible plants.

Dining Tables Divided by a Border: The Effect of Socio-Political Scenarios on Local Ecological Knowledge of Romanians Living in Ukrainian and Romanian Bukovina

Nataliya Stryamets;Giulia Mattalia;Renata Soukand
2021-01-01

Abstract

Local cuisine is an important reservoir of local ecological knowledge shaped by a variety of socio-cultural, economic, and ecological factors. The aim was to document and compare the current use of wild and semi-cultivated plant food taxa by Romanians living in Romania and Ukraine. These two groups share similar ecological conditions and historically belonged to the same province, but were divided in the 1940s by the creation of a state border. We conducted 60 semi-structured interviews with rural residents. The contemporary use of 46 taxa (plus 5 cultivated taxa with uncommon uses), belonging to 20 families, for food consumption were recorded. Romanians in Romanian Bukovina used 27 taxa belonging to 15 families, while in Ukraine they used 40 taxa belonging to 18 families. Jams, sarmale, homemade beer, and the homemade alcoholic drink "socata" are used more by Romanians in Southern Bukovina, while tea, soups, and birch sap are used more in Northern Bukovina. We discuss the strong influence of socio-political scenarios on the use of wild food plants. Cross-ethnic marriages, as well as markets and women's networks, i.e., "neighbors do so", may have had a great impact on changes in wild food use. In addition, rapid changes in lifestyle (open work market and social migration) are other explanations for the abandonment of wild edible plants.
2021
10
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3736266
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