A Culinary Antidote to a Toxic Appetite

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Argentina Sazbados, Director, IOM Vienna Regional Office reflects on the success of a book of regional recipes, which is helping to nourish a healthy debate on migration


A year ago, when we published “The Migration of Culinary Traditions in the Region” we could not have foreseen the success it has gone on to enjoy. During the course of my work, I meet diplomats, heads of state, and important UN figures on a regular basis, and I always been genuinely proud to give away and leave behind as a gift this book. If they are from the region they will quickly turn, smiling, to the recipe from their country, and if not, they will find something they know and comment on it. IOM Chief of Missions missions in the region, such as Zeynal Hajiyev in Belarus and Dejan Keserovic in Kazakhstan, have appeared on radio and TV shows, presenting the book and often cooking a recipe themselves.

What we experience is that a discussion about how food and culture are blended by migration is the perfect antidote to the toxic appetite, which we experience these days in debates about migration.