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The Food and Cooking of Russia (At Table) Paperback – 1 Jun 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press; 4th Revised edition edition (1 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803264615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803264618
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,060,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cookery next to philosophy? An academic profile but also a novelist? I've been a published writer for more than thirty years now. After a short stint news reporting in Moscow what I most wanted was to combine the immediacy of journalism with the greater depth of a scholarly approach. It's what I'm still after. A character in my next novel says: connect everything and you'll go mad, connect nothing and you'll be corrupt. I was never able to keep my different kinds of inquiry and writing apart. Even when I was first writing cookery books I was wondering how to write a novel in recipes. Food was one way of writing about Russia which when it was a Communist country was almost entirely a political story. There was very little written about contemporary culture and daily life, except as evidence of a failing political system. I thought it deserved description - and even some admiration - it its own right. I wouldn't say I was a Russophile, at least, not any more. It's more like being divorced after being married for thirty years: I know a lot about my former partner!
University study was one of the happiest times of my life and the reason why I almost became an academic right at the start of my career. I studied German language, literature and philosophy, a lifelong love, and added Russian into the mix. One thing that propelled me on to a less orthodox path was I'm an adventurer. I like to get out there and take risks. I love places and ideas and I don't mind getting lost. I trust myself to find the way out. I love languages and put as many different languages into my books as I can.
More seriously, not about me, I've been preoccupied with themes of exile and loss. Travelling in Germany, West and East, and in Russia, Communist and after, and through all the lands inbetween that were the Communist Bloc, I immersed myself in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the Second World war, and the Holocaust, in a way that determined my life and my biggest historical and human topics. You can find them tucked away in the novel I wrote about a ten-year-old girl whose mother has a lasting fear of the war now passed, Girl in a Garden; and they are round every corner in the journeys I made, some with my then five-year-old daughter, for In the Communist Mirror.
Are you one of those very literary writers of German novels, I was asked not so long ago. I think of myself as literary, and I'd love to be thought of as up there with the German novel, whatever that actually is.
My plans are to continue writing both fiction and non-fiction. On the German side of things I'm toying with the third in a series. First there was Nietzsche in Turin, then The Secret Artist A Close Reading of Sigmund Freud. I always thought of Freud as not so much the father of psychoanalysis but an extraordinary literary figure who was one of the psychologist Nietzsche's most influential successors. Subject number three is under wraps at the moment, but he will certainly be a big name in German literature.
Do have a look at my blog where I publish articles on all my interests most weeks. lesleychamberlain.wordpress.com . My latest news is also on my website www.lesleychamberlain.co.uk

Product Description


"The Food and Cooking of Russia draws you first to read its history of the cuisine and its author's descriptions of past meals... Above all it tempts you to try out its mass of recipes." Daily Telegraph "The first really good book on this fascinating subject. I read it from cover to cover as one would a novel." Observer

About the Author

Lesley Chamberlain studied Russian and German languages and literature before working as a journalist for Reuters in Moscow. She has traveled extensively in Eastern Europe, Central Europe, and Russia, and now works as a writer and a freelance scholar. In addition to her cookery books, her published works include "Nietzsche in Turin: An Intimate Biography" and "In the Communist Mirror."

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
That the Russians have a special gift for borrowing foreign ideas and making them their own is as true in the kitchen as it is in any of the finer Russian arts. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By H. Brown on 2 May 2009
Format: Paperback
This is the book that I dip into when I want inspiration or to authenticate a Russian recipe. There is an extensive range to choose from, from the commonly known Borsch and blini, everyday and celebratory dishes.

The descriptions are excellent and the provenance is easy to read and enjoyable. It has detailed regional variations on dishes, such as pelmeni. There are no photos, so it is for the confident cook who knows a little bit about Russian cuisine. If you want to go beyond chicken kiev and borsch for truly authentic cooking, then this is definately one for the shelf.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 7 April 2010
Format: Paperback
I like cookbooks that are a mix of great recipes, and are interesting to read because they tell you about the place the food comes from. I found this better than most cookbooks, which usually just explain what is eaten everyday, and what is eaten at festival time. This had a lot more on the history of food in Russia, and of specific dishes. I've only tried a couple of the recipes so far, but the ingredients are fairly easy to get, and even though there are no pictures, it is easy to follow the processes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bulldog on 28 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If there had been some photographs, this book would have merited five stars. It gives an excellent idea of the variety in Russian cuisine together with good literary quotes, history, origins of much of the outside influences that have had an impact over the centuries. A useful book, worth reading first of all from cover to cover and thereafter for use as a book of recipes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
Nice book 6 Mar. 2014
By Lawrence wybrant - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nice cookbook, no photos, just a lot of well written recipes. Seems to be an honest depiction of Russian food.
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