Connecting Personal Recipes
In our family, we have a seasoning called ‘cold koji’ that has been passed down for generations. It is made by mixing malted rice, mochi rice, salt and sugar, and it is used daily to flavor vegetables, meat or fish. My mother has always made our cold koji. Each year in winter she made enough to last for the whole year.
Two years ago, my mother passed away. She was survived by my father, who had never cooked before; but with the help of the cold koji that my mother had made, my father was able to prepare meals for himself.
With the cold koji in the kitchen, cooking was easy, and the food tasty. With the cold koji, the food still tasted as if my mother had cooked it even though she was no longer alive. Thanks to the cold koji, my father seemed to enjoy standing behind the kitchen counter. But since it is used every day, the cold koji that my mother had made eventually ran out. Last year, I started preparing the cold koji myself, with my mother’s notes in front of me.
In this way, it is possible to pass on tastes and flavors, and they become something with small but important stories to tell. Their stories are not of the kind that would ever appear in historical chronologies, but nonetheless it is the accumulation of precisely such stories that forms and supports our daily lives today.
In Cuisine, we will collect recipes that people have received from a special someone in their lives, and display them as part of the exhibition. We will also make it possible for visitors to take home recipes and add their own during the exhibition period. As the exhibition proceeds, more and more recipes will be part of the display. By collecting and sharing flavors and memories in this way, we hope that we can pass them on to the future.