Anonymous Interviews: CULINARY HERITAGE – 1.4

1.4 Do you bring different food if you are invited to a barbecue or a dinner where there are only Slovenians?

Participant: Yes, that would be then typical Slovenian food. Maybe the difference is that if you are invited to a barbecue with just purely Slovenians you can bring the traditional food and enjoy it in the cultural context without having to explain what it is to anyone. You just have that shared cultural understanding of what it is.

Participant: This is one chance where we really get the chance to be with Slovenians and everyone has a bit of homesickness in a way, a little bit. When you meet Slovenians you try to be as Slovenian as possible. You just try to not blend in so much in Australian culture but you try to be Slovenian for a change and that’s when you can experience more traditionally Slovenian stuff and Slovenian language itself. It’s great to have all the group that speak Slovenian. When the meat comes, when the food comes, you really want to experience that as well. Because that’s your common sort of root, what really binds you. It’s like “oh, I haven’t had this for ages” and you really enjoy it because it’s something that you’ve missed or you don’t have every day. It’s a special occasion.

Participant: Depends. We tend to allocate who is to bring what. Occasionally if I’m engaged to bring a salad I will bring a salad and it’s rare.

Participant: We would mix it up. Sometimes we go [a name of the place] and we have some sort of family gathering with also family friends which are from different cultures. They love the food. Last time we cooked “bograč” [bograč goulash]. Last winter, and everyone loved it.

Participant: Usually the same. We like to try new things with our friends. Those new things that we try with our friends are usually the things that are natural for us to eat. So, strudels, a lot of cakes. We usually take sweet things when we go out.

Participant: If you mean only Slovenians, I do like to taste much better than bring anything special.

Participant: Sometimes dad prepares it and sometimes mum. When we get a chance to do it, we bring traditional Slovene food.

Participant: We try to do something different. But if there are younger Slovenes and if they are really missing one of the traditional foods, then we prepare something traditional. It depends what type of barbecue it is.

Participant: No, same.

Participant: Probably, no, not at all. Because whether it’s Slovenians or non-Slovenians, I like to share the Slovenian way because its different, it’s lovely, and [my husband]’s fallen in love with Slovenian food. He even learnt about the “ocvirki” [cracklings] while we were in Slovenia.

Participant: “Krompirjeva solata” [potato salad] is always got to be that, and strudel.

Participant: We would, but we don’t really have Slovenian friends.

Participant: Usually yes, or sometimes we extend a little bit down to the Serbia and “čevapčiči” [skinless sausages]. I’ve got a friend who works into the butcher shops in the delicatessen where they make “čevapčiči”. They usually ask for “čevapčiči” and we experimented with lamb done with beer so that’s acceptable. We do mixture and then [a family member], she is [an Asian nationality] and she prepares a lot of [Asian]. It’s a multicultural gathering when we get together. Everybody brings some of their own.

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Next:
1.5 Do you feel a need to show your ethnic identity through food? Do you feel more Slovenian if you prepare or eat Slovenian food? Answers.

Other questions:
1.1 On which occasions do you usually prepare or eat Slovenian food? Answers.
1.2 Is it you who usually prepares the Slovenian food or does someone else prepare it for you? Answers.
1.6 If you imagine a virtual or a physical museum exhibition presenting iconic Slovenian food what would be shown? Answers.
1.7 Which are the most iconic Slovenian food/drink brands? Answers.
1.8 For the 1st generation: Which food/drink or ingredients that you usually consumed or used in Slovenia, do you miss in Australia? It can be also a commercial brand. For other generations: If you go to Slovenia is there some kind of food you like and that you cannot have it here? Answers.

See also:
1 Culinary heritage (see Questions and Answers)
2 Growing and sourcing food (see Questions and Answers)
3 Digital technologies for communicating culinary heritage (see Questions and Answers)
4 Connecting with other Slovenian Australians (see Questions and Answers)
5 Identity (see Questions and Answers)
6 Conclusion (participants’ ideas) (see Questions and Answers)

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This is a website of a research project exploring digital technologies for communicating the culinary heritage of Slovenian Australians in collaboration with the University of Canberra under the 2015 Endeavour Fellowship Programme (PDR).