Cookbooks, Memories and Family Recipes: Greek Cypriot immigrants' cultural maintenance and adaptation in Melbourne
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This paper draws from a larger oral history project on the domestic food cultures of a group of Greek Cypriots residing in Melbourne between 1947 and 2003. It explores the ways in which food, and specifically recipes, reveal immigrants’ processes of cultural maintenance and change. By analysing these immigrants’ accounts I show how memories and practical knowledge from mothers, families and friends were important for immigrants’ attempts to maintain their heritage and culture, not only in the food they ate, but also their relationships and personal identities. In line with this, I further argue that cookbooks and other popular media also provided important sources for innovation and cultural transmission. Sharing recipes amongst friends and family in Melbourne was a means for Greek Cypriot immigrants to communicate and negotiate relationships with others; in doing so they also reinforced and contributed to new knowledge about Cypriot identity.