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Duration: 1 hr 25 min
Sylvia Onusic, PhD
Traditional Foods of Slovenia: Foods of the Past Much Alive in the Present
In this presentation Sylvia will discuss the traditional foods and foodways of Slovenes, an ethnic group belonging to the larger Slav family which has inhabited large parts of Central and Eastern Europe for centuries. Her experiences living in Slovenia closely resemble those of the author, Frances Mays, in her book, Under the Tuscan Sun, which, in large part, involves the discovery and enjoyment of real food by getting to know the people and the country. Through her first hand experiences with Slovene foods, gleaned through living and working in the country, and continuing yearly visits, she will describe their historical origins, how they have evolved into the present day, possible future directions of these heritage foods and why they continue to be valued by the people as their foundation of health and well being. And finally, how Slovene mothers, through their kitchens and gardens, "knew" what to feed their families to keep them healthy, a tradition they continue lovingly today.
Sylvia Onusic, PhD completed her bachelor of science in the field of food and nutrition education and her PhD in the fields of public health education and nutrition at Penn State. Shortly after completing her PhD, she won a Fulbright Grant to conduct health research in Slovenia, part of the former Yugoslavia, which had newly become an independent country. It was an exciting time. After the Fulbright, she continued to live and work in Slovenia with her family. She was appointed as an advisor to the Minister of Health as WHO (World Health Organization) liaison, and in International Cooperation and Exchanges, a position she held for six years. After returning to the US, she completed further food studies in dietetics. For the last 10 years she has been studying and working in the area of traditional and ethnic foods. This coming June she is planning to lead a seven day culinary adventure to Slovenia, in cooperation with Slovene cheesemakers, honey makers, wine makers, olive producers, prosciutto and sausage makers, farmers, and food producers, and invites you to join her.