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Food Culture in Russia and Central Asia (Food Culture Around the World Series) [Hardcover]

Glenn R. Mack , Asele Surina
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 30.65
Price: 30.58 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

30 Jun 2005 Food Culture Around the World Series
Russia and the newly independent states of Central Asia are struggling to reassert or create national identities and are receiving fresh attention from the West. After decades of oblivion, the vast Eurasian continent is once again divulging its intense cultural heritage and foodways to the international community. The diversity of food cultures within the former Soviet Union, with more than 100 distinct nationalities, is overwhelming, but this book brilliantly distills the main elements of contemporary cuisine and food-related customs for students and foodies. Vibrant descriptions of the legacy of the Silk Road; the classic foods such as kasha, pirogi, non (flatbread), pickles, and shashlyk (shish kebab); the over-the-top Moscow theme restaurants; and meals at the dacha and tea time are just some of the highlights. Russia and the newly independent states of Central Asia are struggling to reassert or create national identities and are receiving fresh attention from the West. After decades of oblivion, the vast Eurasian continent is once again divulging its intense cultural heritage and foodways to the international community. The diversity of food cultures within the former Soviet Union, with more than 100 distinct nationalities, is overwhelming, but Food Culture in Russia and Central Asia brilliantly distills the main elements of contemporary cuisine and food-related customs for students and foodies. Vibrant descriptions of the legacy of the Silk Road; the classic foods such as kasha, pirogi, non (flatbread), pickles, and shashlyk (shish kebab); the over-the-top Moscow theme restaurants; and meals at the dacha and tea time are just some of the highlights. After centuries of contact and conflict among peoples of Eurasia, Russian and Central Asian cuisines and culinary cultures have much in common. To understand one, the other must be considered as well. Russia and Central Asia cuisines share many ingredients, dishes, and customs. This volume strives to emphasize the evolving and multifaceted nature of the food cultures. Readers will be able to appreciate the ingredients, cooking methods, and traditions that make up the Eurasian foodways.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwood Press (30 Jun 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313327734
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313327735
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,574,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Food historian Mack and Russian native and former journalist Surina provide a snapshot of contemporary food culture in the region, along with a bit of history to emphasize that culture is not static and to indicate what direction it might be heading. For students, culinary professionals, scholars, and enthusiasts, they describe major foods and ingredients, cooking, typical meals, eating out, special occasions, and diet and health." - Reference & Research Book News "This is a book that needs reading from cover to cover if you really want to get to grips with a cuisine about which little is known in the West." - Menu Magazine

About the Author

GLENN R. MACK is a food historian who trained in the culinary arts in Uzbekistan, Russia, Italy, and the United States. He is the Director of Education for the Cullnary Academy of Austin and founded the Historic Foodways Group of Austin. ASELE SURINA is a Russian native and former journalist who now works as a translator and interpreter. Since 1999 she has worked at the Institute of Classical Archaeology at the University of Texas.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Until recently, defining cultural phases within a national history often meant forcing the square peg of culture into the round hole of dynastic timelines. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Asia and Europe 4 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book is very well organized and leads you in the world of food as it is prepared and cooked in the Russina Federation according to the variety of peoples who live there.
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Amazon.com: 2.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not terribly interesting 17 Dec 2010
By C. J. Thompson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I enjoy reading about food and food culture from all over the world and so the title of this book appealed to me. Unfortunately, the content did not. I was rather expecting the sort of book I usually enjoy which is essentially an illustrated cookery book with a lot of supplementary material about the cuisine in question. This book, however, while it did contain a handful of recipes near the very end, read more like a master's thesis on the culture, economics, and history of Russia and Central Asia (albeit with a particular slant towards the general regional eating habits). It was, in consequence, rather dry and not very enjoyable. To be fair to the authors, of course, my disappointment stemmed primarily from my misguided expectations rather than the merits of the content but, again to be fair from an alternative perspective, I rather feel that I would also have been disappointed had I instead been looking for a more erudite and in depth look at the `food culture' of the region. This book contains only 260 pages so to attempt such a vast and complex topic in so little space inevitably means that each aspect of the subject is given short shrift indeed. Some may find this book useful but it did not interest me very much.
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