Unusual Ingredients: Gastronationalism, Globalization, Technology, and Zeppelins in the Lithuanian Imagination

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Diana Mincyte


This project focuses on a Lithuanian dish—a potato dumpling—known as the “zeppelin” to examine the construction of national food at two different historical moments—the turn of the 20th and the 21st centuries. In examining nation building as an everyday practice that is embedded in global cultural, economic, and technological transformations, this paper is an attempt to rethink a particular instance of East European nationalism beyond its current designation as agrarian, historical, and reactionary to understanding dynamic tensions surrounding its reproduction. First, I argue that the birth of national food in the 1920s and 1930s was deeply embedded in the processes of modernization and industrialization that allowed new ways to imagine the global, and, second, my research demonstrates that experiences of alterity continue to permeate national imaginaries in the Europeanising Baltics.

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