Polish “canteen revolution” in 1945-1962. The application of Soviet model of “collective feeding” and its failure
Projet hypertext link symbol Manger au travail
Colloque hypertext link symbol Manger au travail (XVIIIe-XXIe siècle)
Auteur(s) : Czekalski Tadeusz
Durée : 28 minutes

Référence électronique : Czekalski Tadeusz, « Polish “canteen revolution” in 1945-1962. The application of Soviet model of “collective feeding” and its failure » [en ligne], 2014, disponible sur https://lir3s.u-bourgogne.fr/phonotheque/c-886, page consultée le 04/12/2021

Présentation des auteurs

Tadeusz Czekalski, Associate Professor of Contemporary History, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Field of interest: Polish culinary culture in 19th-20th centuries, Everyday life in communist country, Balkan social history in 20th century.

Résumé de la communication

The first decade after the Second World War in the history of Polish gastronomy brought a significant experiment of massive feeding popularization, in accordance with the model, implemented since the 1920s in the Soviet Union. The main purposes of this culinary revolution was deprivatization of home meals, and the strengthening between this form of collective life and the workplace. The worker’s meal in this new configuration would be prepared in accordance with the purposes of a healthy lifestyle and a high efficiency of physical work. It means in practice – the application of various forms of Soviet obschepit (social feeding) into Polish reality and the creation of factory canteens on a large scale.

The first phase of canteen intensive development was strictly connected with Plan Sześcioletni (Six-Year Plan), set up in 1950-1955, understood as a programme of the rapid industrial development of Poland. The net of industrial canteens covering over 5 500 items, just in the second part of the 50s was radically reduced. Ideologically the determined project of collective feeding was in practice greatly improvised, without strong financial basis. The decrease of canteen popularity was linked to the effects of growing meal prices and their low quality.

The shocking summary of “canteen revolution” was described in the report, prepared by the Department of Gastronomical Industry in 1962, depicting in detail the problems of premises, equipment, hygiene and the quality of meals offered by canteens. In practice “the canteen system” (thought as fully competing with home meals and with “open” gastronomy) became the typical example of temporary solutions inspired by ideological slogans.

Polish “canteen revolution” in 1945-1962. The application of Soviet model of “collective feeding” and its failure [durée : 28 min.], Czekalski Tadeusz

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