Tastes like Home

Local communities use words and creativity to express customs and sensations surrounding food

Date of project: 2024-2025

About Tastes like Home

Who is the best cook you know? When is your favourite meal? Why do some food smells transport us through time? What do you offer to guests in your home?

The culture of food – how we gather, grow and catch it; make, share and store it; give thanks for it – is the story of humanity. It defines us individually, and yet also connects us to the places and people that have influenced us. Museum objects collected from past centuries – such as baskets, bowls, spoons and teapots – remind us of special and everyday moments in modern life.

Local community groups are involved in the run-up to a 2025 exhibition about food at Exeter’s museum – the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM). This project will create a year-long display in the Café at RAMM. The aim is to explore the memories and family traditions of people living around Exeter, and enjoy some free activities. Residents who grew up in places from Afghanistan to Beacon Heath, the Philippines to St Thomas will use their words and creativity to conjure up the taste, sight and scents of food that matters to us now.

From May 2024 to February 2025, people will be invited to:

  • A museum tour
  • Do crafts together
  • Share snacks and conversation
  • See local opinions and stories on display in the museum
  • Find out about museum objects connected to local and global history

Participants and partners

Participants are being invited from migrant communities and a variety of neighbourhoods around Exeter, in collaboration with Hikmat and community hubs for families confronting food scarcity.

Feedback so far

My comfort food is homemade egg and noodle soup. My mum used to make it for me, my Italian nonna made it for her; and now I make it for my daughter.” Participant at Beacon centre

“It was fun talking about food with you.” Participant at Beacon centre

“People in my grandparents’ village in China used handmade baskets to catch prawns to eat, until recently. Now they are mostly too rich or too lazy, and go to market.” Participant from Hikmat

“In Afghanistan, we sometimes have milky tea with cardamom and ginger. We drink it in a coloured glass.” Participant from Hikmat

What next?

Groups will create adornment for RAMM’s café space, working with an artist. The opening will be celebrated in March 2025, alongside a brand-new, thought-provoking RAMM exhibition about the history, culture and future of food.

Quotes from some participants will feature in digital labels in the Making History galleries, and on RAMM’s online database, as part of our Dynamic Collections project. These voices will illuminate new angles of food-related museum objects throughout time and across the globe.

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Further information

Ruth Gidley, Engagement Officer
[email protected] 01392265305