One of Austrians internationally known Christmas pastries is the Christstollen; a sweet yeast dough filled with raisins, almonds and candies lemon and orange peel with a butter and sugar layer around it. This traditional Christmas bakery has it origin in the Middle Age as a fasting pastry consisting just out of flour, yeast and water after the abstinence rules from the Catholic Church. Ever since the Stollen symbolizes Christ Child because the shape reminds of a swaddled baby. In the Christmas night white sugar powder is dispersed onto the pastry as a symbol of the snow.
Christmas is supposed to be a reflective time surrounded by our beloveds; not anymore in the 21th century. Starting from the middle of November on, people are getting stressed, hunting after the perfect present in overloaded malls and the pressure to present everyone in their family. In average the Austrians are spending 420 Euros (2012) for Christmas presents; rising up each year.
The Christstollen food data visualization project represents six different personal Christmas stories in six Stollen. After having a detail research on the amazing huge amount of Christmas presents expenses each year, which we could not believe, we got interested in personal Christmas experiences and spendings from different social stratums. Based on that research data the Christstollen recipe was recalculated to visualize the Christmas stress from six individuals.
Production: Vesela Mihaylova and Veronika Krenn, 2013