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Katja Jug

Hermes Kochbuch © Katja Jug

Katja Jug, Hermes Kochbuch
Self-publishing, 2013

In the past the transmission of cooking recipes belonged to the domain of medicine. The history of recipe collections reaches back to antiquity, as does that of Hermes, the patron god of travellers. Since the days of old, travelling, culinary discoveries and nostalgic memories have been closely linked. For many people, moreover, food is a major balm for the soul. Hermes Kochbuch (Hermes’ cookery book) comprises over 40 traditional recipes from the Balkans. Plum gratin, Dalmatian pudding, braised rabbit or Bosnian stew with beans and five kinds of meat evoke the fragrances and palatal experiences of childhood. She portrays people and regions of the Balkans through the medium of local cooking and food and so becomes a Hermes figure herself. Hearty and savoury dishes served with instructions on how to prepare them are combined with suggestive text fragments and quotes, creating a book of multilayered souvenirs. Each recipe is enriched with a story from personal memory, and the book as a whole explores the subjects of cultural identity and belonging in an oblique and poetic manner. Alice Wilke