VESTNIK ARHEOLOGII ANTROPOLOGII I ETNOGRAFII ¹ 3 (34) (2016)
Local food tradition of Vishera Komi
Chudova T.I. (Syktyvkar, Russian Federation)
The article is dedicated to an ethnographic description of national food of the Vishera Komi differentiating in originality of the language and ethnographic relation within a big ethnographic group of Komi (Zyrians) living in the Verkhniaia Vychegda river basin. The local tradition of culture of alimentation reflecting features of subethnic character is closely connected with an ecological niche and economic and household traditions which have predetermined contents and structure of food raw material, ways of its preservation, and technology of preparation of the dishes. The developed strategy of alimentation is one of the results and, at the same time, a mechanism of adaptation to the environmental conditions, while religious identity of the ethnos forms a system of food preferences and taboos. Grain, meat and dairy products with a share of commercial production are typical for the Vishera Komi. Carbohydrate components of the food ration are represented by grain crops which were used for preparation of various bakery products, grain soups and porridges. Grain soups and porridges formed a food basis which was reflected in the collective name of food «soup porridge». The range of meat, dairy and fish dishes as protein food components was not very rich, and their inclusion into the menu wasn't so frequent which was connected with a practice of Christian fasts observance. However the collective name of food meaning «full life» was defined by the phrase «to live by milk and meat». The range of vegetable menu was not rich but it brought some variety into the food ration. In general, it was the main layer of products connected with the major economic activities. Wild plants rich in vitamins brought some variety to the food repertoire and represented a substrate layer connected with rudiments of the previous economic order. The third, superstrate layer was represented by grocery raw materials acquired through a commercial network. Technological ways of cooking are predetermined by the use of Russian furnace which is not created for frying. Absence of fried food and minimum use of spices makes the food useful for health. Daily practice of consumption of hot food and compliance of a nutrition regime acted as indicators of a healthy lifestyle.
Key words: Vishera Komi, food raw material, traditional dishes, table etiquette.
Syktyvkar State University, Oktyabrsky prospect, 55, Syktyvkar, 167001, Russian Federation