Eating Habits in the Republic of Ragusa at Kinofokus 2012

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Eternally immersed into the Mediterranean and as such representing a whole universe of communication and multi-layered interaction, for centuries the people of Dubrovnik have been travelling and hosting, learning and sharing.

Seeking to expand their horizons as a counterbalance to the existent containment and insulation the Dubrovnik view of the world was being formed as their curious mesailliance. Wishing to communicate with other cities, nations and states the people of Dubrovnik very often used food too as a way to approach a collocutor. There are numerous testimonials about it that have been preserved for us in the historical files of the Dubrovnik Archives as well as in older literature often depicting rich dining tables and jolly feasts. From modest farmers and commoners’ dishes, through the city’s open-air markets and fishmongers’ all the way to important ceremonial meals under the state protocol the people of Dubrovnik have always been treasuring and maintaining moderation and prudence. However, even within those frameworks there was always a place for graciousness and splendour when choosing the ingredients, preparing dishes and beverages, and serving the same.

One of the most well known examples are the state gifts in food and drinks when foreign notables where in the City, as well as the cult Pomet’s monologue about Tudesko’s table. So at this lecture you will have the opportunity to find out what kind of the state’s messages were mediated by food, what sort of schemes could have been hidden behind kind protocol gifts and what was a poor man’s view of the rich people’s tables as well as how food was interwoven through the older literature and politics of Dubrovnik.