Exhibition
11.03-12.12.2022

"What’s Cooking? Jewish Culinary Culture" – new temporary exhibition

Napis "Od kuchni" każda litera powstała z potrawy ułożonej w odpowiedni kształt, np. "O" to bajgiel.
fot. Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich

Show me your plate and I will tell you who you are: where you hail from, who your ancestors were, who your neighbours are and what lifestyle you lead. In the new exposition, we show our audience what is cooking in the Jewish world—we acquaint the wide public with Jewish culture in various corners of the globe by showing typical Jewish dishes, the way they are fixed, their origin and symbolism.

Culinary culture is a vital element of the Jewish identity—while enhancing the sense of belonging to a community, it testifies to Jewish distinctiveness. Shaped over millennia in different locations all across the globe, it has remained very diverse until today. That is why the tale about Jewish food is simultaneously a tale about Jewish religion, culture and history.

"What’s Cooking? Jewish Culinary Culture" exhibition takes you on a journey across time and space. We present the diversity of traditions and dishes consumed by Jews residing in the diaspora over the centuries. We demonstrate how certain dishes and products became widespread as a result of numerous migrations, from the Middle Ages to the great waves of migration in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We show the religious foundation which holds Jewish cuisine together—the rules of kashrut which inform the way certain dishes are prepared, as well as breaking away from that tradition today and rediscovering culinary roots. We also encourage our visitors to take a moment to reflect after viewing the four sculptures by Anna Królikiewicz produced especially for the POLIN Museum exposition.

By inviting you to come to the Museum and visit the exhibition, we encourage you to join us in seeking an answer to the question: what is Jewish cuisine? While discovering the link between potato pancakes and latkes, gołąbki with holishkes, cholent and adafina; while finding out why the New Yorkers regard pickled ghurkins and borscht as Jewish dishes, we acquaint ourselves with the richness of Jewish culinary culture.

  • Curated by: Magdalena Maślak, Tamara Sztyma
  • Exhibition design: ONTO | Kaja Nosal i Anna Wręga
  • Art installation: Anna Królikiewicz (cooperation: Tomasz Krupiński, Michał Majchrowicz, Małgorzata Markiewicz, Joanna Tofiło, Anna Wilczyńska)
  • Graphic symbols of food: Zofia Rogula
  • Cutouts: Monika Krajewska
  • Video recordings: Patryk Grochowalski
  • Production curator: Kinga Lewandowska-Doleszczak
  • Head of POLIN Exhibitions Department: Joanna Fikus
  • Registrar: Małgorzata Bogdańska-Krzyżanek
  • Conservation: Agnieszka Cyrulik, Erika Krzyczkowska-Roman, Marta Stawińska
  • Licences: Anna Rechentiuk-Tyszka
  • Translation into English and proofreading: Zofia Sochańska
  • Proofreading of Polish: Maria Koral
  • Key visual for the exhibition: Adam Żebrowski
  • Promotion: Marta Dziewulska, Marlena Bogusz, Michał Kulisiewicz, Jakub Woźniak, Radosław Wójcik
  • Coordinator of the accompanying program: Magdalena Maślak
  • Exhibition production: IKG Aleksander Sieklicki
  • Production of multimedia at the exhibition: Eidotech Polska Sp. z o.o.
  • Accessibility: Wioleta Jóźwiak
  • Technical support: Paweł Przyborowski, Tomasz Romanowski, Dariusz Różalski, Witold Słabuszewski, Jacek Szczygieł

Logos of coorganizer, partner of the exhibition, donator, partners and media partners of "What's Cooking? Jewish culinary culture" exhibition.