A set of food fermentation vessels called SOUR is the result of Julia Jaworska’s degree piece. The project was realised as part of her BA degree under the direction of Dr Bartłomiej Mejor, at the Faculty of Design, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.
What I find special among everyday activities is the preparation, serving and eating of meals. Eating is a social activity. Specific dishes root us in our culture, accompany our celebrations. We associate flavours with memories. With food we define our preferences, we build identity. Fermented food has always played a huge role in Polish culture and in creating relationships. A significant number of meals, feasts and celebrations revolve around the basic products of fermentation – bread and wine – some of the oldest products created by human hands, to which the fermentation process gives value and durability.
The most unusual and fascinating aspect of the practice of fermentation is the physical coexistence with bacteria and plants from our environment. Some of the bacteria come from very primordial strains. The present organisms therefore have ancestors from a time when there may not yet have been humans in the world. Knowing that we are part of the coevolution of all species has a huge impact on our decisions and perception of the world.
The food fermentation set is a project that draws attention to the problem of the contemporary food model, based on highly processed food, hurriedly consumed meals and the disappearance of local gastronomic cultures. The designed objects suggest a solution – building healthy habits by activating the user individually in the practice of working with food. The three different objects signal three areas of action – three categories of products we can obtain – pickled fruit and vegetables, tonic drinks and dairy products like yoghurt and kefir.
The set consists of three ceramic vessels, each complete with a dedicated lid: one for pickling vegetables and fruit, another vessel for tonic drinks and another separate one for dairy products. Each mould has a water trough, allowing the vessel to be hermetically sealed. Essential elements for achieving such a seal are ceramic lids with a simple shape that does not dominate the main body. They have been designed in such a way that, in addition to their covering function, they act as bowls for serving or tasting the pickling fruit. The set is completed with cotton covers that contain pockets for the activated carbon filter. Placed over the dish, they protect against outside contamination, neutralise intense odours and ensure air flow
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