Monday, May 31, 2010

Historic Food Images 3: From L'viv

Historic food images I purchased at the outdoor market in L'viv.  They appear to be relatively new photographic (not digital) reproductions of historic photos, with no location or other information.   But, a close look reveals some interesting things.  Above, market vendors, in L'viv, I believe, with products for sale.   The crack tells me it's from a glass plate negative, but I can't quite make out what the women are selling--nor do I know L'viv enough to identify the location.  Any guesses?

Here's a closer view in a different photo.  The strings remind me of the strings of dried mushrooms you still see sold here.  Or?

Just a very nice view of a Ukrainian village house.  Based on my limited knowledge,  directly over the fence is a flower garden, with a larger kitchen garden out back.    Today, in some Ukrainian villages houses are hidden behind solid, higher fences--so much harder to take a peek at someone's garden!

It's difficult, anywhere, to find nice photos of people just having ordinary, everyday meals, not holiday ones, not picnics.  So although I didn't know whether this was Ukraine or Poland or somewhere else,  I just enjoyed this man's informal table with his glass of wine and those familiar soup plates that usually contain borscht.  What do you see in this picture?


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  2. Hi, Linda!
    Nice to see your new project. I think, most of our group can contribute to it, since all of us experience nostalgia recognizing typical everyday objects of the Soviet period, that is from our childhood.
    I think, this book might be useful for you:
    Svetlana Boym, Common Places: Mythologies of Everyday Life in Russia (Harvard University Press, 1994)

    Some details in this picture look familiar for me, e. g. typically Soviet title on the fridge and its style, typical Soviet 1/2 liter bottle (it could be beer, lemonade or Seltzer). I'll try to find visual materials on the objects ob the picture above, and other related materials and let you know.

    Good luck!

  3. Thanks for these wonderful insights! I have actually read chapters in Svetlana Boym's book and also recommend it. In fact, we will be exploring nostalgia in modern Ukrainian fast food in an upcoming post.

  4. typical milk/buttermilk bottle with aluminum foil cap
    this type of bottle is gone long ago
    but some are still to be found available in Lviv region

    typical kitchen cans for dry substances like sugar, grains, spices etc.

    typical milk/buttermilk/yogurt paper package

    typical fridge titlesсоветские%20холодильники/

    typical shopping bag - 'avoska', which was ultra-compact always to be in one's pocket to be able to buy several kilos of low-supply products when they suddenly appeared in the store

    typical beer jug
    my husband is still nostalgic about the shape of it, he prefers to have his tea in such jug, a kind of which is now available among products made in China

  5. article on dairy products and their packages (in Russian)
    the author reports that typical pyramid paper package is revived nowadays to attract customers

    it is new for me to notice that bottles with different content used to have different caps:
    - green - buttermilk (kefir)
    - silver - milk
    - striped silver - low-fat buttermilk (kefir)
    - blue - синяя — acidophilin
    - violet - ryazhenka (baked fermented milk)
    - striped yellow - cream

  6. Miriam--
    Thank you so much! I'm sorry to be a bit of a slow responder--comments go to Sarah (we can't figure out how to both get them) and of course, she didn't know I knew you! Would you be interested in writing a guest blog post that shares all the ways you show above in terms of how you knew it was a Soviet picture? It's incredible all the different things you identified.

    And, of course, we're interested in all kinds of food in Ukraine so if you wanted to do a post about Jewish food here, either past or present, that would be wonderful.
    And how are you otherwise?

  7. Hi, again.
    I'm pleased to receive your suggestion. I'll try to think over it.

    As for the first photo above, it is Rynok Sqare. I've asked my friend Olha who comes from Lviv and who is a historian about the details. She told, it was Korniakt Palace, whose appearance had slightly changed by nowadays. (Also, acoording to Olha, there are only two buildings with attic in Lviv.) Behind Korniakt Palace one can see Assumption Cathedral belfry.

  8. Soviet time food image from some children's institution

  9. concerning ordinary meals:

  10. more:

  11. more:

  12. I enjoyed reading your blog ~ thanks for posting such useful content./Nice article and great photos. Very nicely done!
    Kitchen Garden

  13. Thanks, Aline! Stay tuned for more fascinating stories, food histories, recipes and images!