Pakistan is a country with a diverse and rich cultural heritage, especially when it comes to food. From the spicy and aromatic dishes of Punjab and Sindh, to the mild and nutty flavours of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, to the fresh and fruity delicacies of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir, Pakistan has something to offer for every palate and preference.
However, with the changing times and lifestyles, some of the traditional recipes and practices are at risk of being lost or forgotten. To preserve and celebrate the culinary legacy of Pakistan, a new project has been launched by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a renowned Pakistani-Canadian filmmaker and activist, in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture and the British Council.
Pakistan’s Museum of Food: A Digital Hub for Food Lovers
Pakistan’s Museum of Food is an online platform that features over 9000 images, over 90 videos and over 100 stories that capture the vibrant culinary tapestry of Pakistan’s five provinces and beyond. The project also includes recipes from the Pakistani diaspora, contributed by their UK-based co-creators, W M Legacy.
The project aims to not only showcase the diversity and beauty of Pakistani cuisine, but also to document its dynamic evolution and progression. It also explores the social, cultural and environmental aspects of food, such as:
- The impact of climate change on eating habits and the efforts of organizations like PODA (Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy), run by Samina Nazir in Chakwal, that promote sustainable agricultural practices.
- The role of women in preserving culture and cuisine and their substantial contributions to the agricultural sector.
- The distinct ingredients that define Pakistani flavours include Kunri’s red chilis, Pasni’s salt, Ranipur’s sugarcane, and Empress Market’s spices.
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The project also features a film that documents some of Pakistan’s most authentic recipes, such as:
- The coastal allure of Gwadar’s seafood
- Multan’s decadent Sohan Halwa
- The innovative incorporation of yak meat in Hunza
How to Access Pakistan’s Museum of Food
You can access Pakistan’s Museum of Food through Google Arts & Culture website or app. You can browse through different categories, such as:
You can also use the Art Transfer feature to transform your photos with classic artworks inspired by Pakistani food. Or you can use the Art Selfie feature to discover which artworks from the museum resemble you.
You can also explore other collections from over 2000 cultural institutions from 80 countries on Google Arts & Culture. You can learn about the history, art, people and wonders of our world through high-resolution images, videos, stories and virtual tours.
Why Pakistan’s Museum of Food Matters
Pakistan’s Museum of Food is a valuable initiative that not only celebrates the culinary heritage of Pakistan, but also educates and inspires people to appreciate and enjoy it. It is a living narrative that invites people to contribute their own stories and recipes to enrich the collective knowledge and culture of Pakistan.
As Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy said, “Pakistan’s culinary heritage is an intrinsic part of the country’s cultural identity, but with the passing of generations and the challenges brought about by climate change, certain domestic practices and traditional recipes are at high risk of being lost. In response to this looming crisis, we embarked on a mission to not just reminisce about the flavours of yesteryears but to actively preserve and revitalize the vanishing recipes and customs that define our past. We hope this project will inspire people to explore, appreciate, and enjoy Pakistan’s vibrant culinary culture, lineage and food practices, as well as to contribute their own stories and recipes to this living narrative.”
So what are you waiting for? Visit Pakistan’s Museum of Food today and discover the delicious diversity of Pakistan.
We hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new about Pakistan’s culinary heritage. What are your thoughts on this project? Have you tried any of the recipes featured in the museum? Do you have any stories or recipes to share with us? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.