Tasting tomorrow is a series of three participatory events exploring food futures in Malta. In Tasting Tomorrow: Futurecrafting FoAM designs and hosts a food futures workshop and culinary design challenge. We use futures techniques to ask “What might thriving food cultures in Malta look like?”

During a day-long futuring workshop on the 27th of April, we sought answers in divergent scenarios with food as the main protagonist. Looking for interesting historical examples, we asked what changes could be made today, what things should remain the same, and what could look different in 5, 50 or 500 years? By the end of the day several scenarios had emerged, pointing to divergent futures with signals in the present functioning as guiding lights or warning signs. Participants explored ways they could pro-actively contribute to the futures they prefer, while developing abilities to adapt to any future that might unfold. Together with local chefs, farmers and other foodservice providers, stories were translated into dishes, ingredients, tools, preparation techniques and serving methods. In a series of culinary prototyping sessions we cook up menus with dishes from alternate futures.

Workshop participants: Kurt Mifsud, Greta Muscat Azzopardi, Natalie Debono, Kurt Micallef, Johannes Buch, Stephen La Rosa, Leta Shtohryn, Diemo Gebhardt, Tim Boykett, Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney

Workshop design and facilitation: Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney of FoAM

Tasting Tomorrow futurecrafting


What do you notice emerging or changing in Maltese food culture?
What signals and drivers of change are you aware of in the present, that could influence food culture in Malta (positive, negative, neutral)?
How are they related? How are they influencing each other? What effects/impact do connections produce?

Selected critical uncertainties:

  • local food (locally grown and produced; what is “local”, how far does “here” extend?)
  • conscious eating
  • food waste
  • industrial food (fast food, fisheries, manufacturing desire, continuous availability, processed food for ease of import and as time saver, traditional food overtaken by industrial, so that traditional food becomes souvenir food)
  • ingredients (availability, disappearance)
  • logistics (traffic congestion, food to door by boat and bike, smart logistics, lack of space, low/no carbon transport
  • seasonality and tourism
  • education and branding (in schools, in events. empowerment of those feeling powerless to affect change
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Signals

  • food events (combination of celebration and education, e.g. pesticide action week, festival del gusto)
  • food trucks
  • tourism becoming more 'conservative' (i.e mass tourism, cheap familiar food, pasta/grill/fish)
  • rise in 'conscious' eating (e.g. veganism, ethical meat consumption, food allergies etc.)
  • food waste (garbage to gardens, composting…)
  • grassroots food co-ops (post-industrial collectives)
  • tradition + innovation in reviving/reinterpreting traditional dishes
  • people scarcity (lack of people willing to be involved/engaged in sustainable food-related initiatives)
  • disappearing ingredients
  • bureaucracy blocking entrepreneurial food initiatives
  • 'pastizzi plague', copy culture, cutting corners

Drivers

  • local food
  • political and economic climate
  • fast-food culture (pastizzi etc.)
  • tourism
  • ingredients (availability, temporality - best before)
  • fragmentation (lack of cohesion)
  • industrial food production (no concern for externalities and long term effects)
  • water resources (fresh water)
  • sea (water, fisheries)
  • fisheries
  • traffic problems
  • unsupportive political climate - supporting industrial production over more sustainable alternatives
  • weather, rain, climate

See Tasting Tomorrow Scenarios for more details.


Design session to translate four scenarios into a brief for culinary prototyping, towards menu and series of related artefacts for the Archived Futures Harvest exhibition at Studio Solipsis in Rabat.

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