Some meals and drinks have outlived socialism

Cod salad and fried cheese were made out of necessity. Here’s how these iconic socialist dishes became traditional Slovak meals.

Fried cheese has outlived socialism. Some restaurants serve it as the only vegetari-an meal. Fried cheese has outlived socialism. Some restaurants serve it as the only vegetari-an meal. (Source: Kuchárska kniha, Ľudmila Dullová-Horecká - Libor Vozár, vydavateľstvo Osveta, 1983) )

Food was meant to be healthy, nutritious and available for all, but much like other socialist plans, the reverse happened; fried cheese and cod mayonnaise salad were crowned the kings of socialist cuisine.

People who experienced socialism believe socialist groceries are of higher quality, despite the limited selection and endless queues to buy fruit or meat.

"Very high Czechoslovak qualitative food safety standards oftentimes went beyond those of other countries," explained ethnologist Rastislava Stoličná, who specialises in culinary culture.

A survey on socialist consumption, carried out four years ago, showed respondents regarded bread, milk, yoghurt and meat of the highest quality. The survey involved people born before 1970.

On the other hand, they said vegetables, fruit, meat, salami, sausage, and pastries were of the worst quality. They also stressed Cuban oranges were exceptionally unsavoury.

Most people, however, wrote they were satisfied with the food quality back then, adding that it was better than it is now.

"It is hard to say whether it's retrospective optimism, or if they're half-right, forgetting about mistakes of the past," said Stoličná.

Set a woman free

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