Book of Tasty and Healthy Food: Iconic Cookbook of the Soviet Union Paperback – 30 Aug 2012
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Top customer reviews
Of cause I held the original book in my hands because many families were proud owners of a copy. My family wasn’t and I had a fascination with the number of dishes and occasional exotic ingredient – in my childhood 1970s sturgeon and black caviar were very hard to obtain.
The salads are very simple, and believe me, sour cream makes nice dressing. Beet soup is simply divine and for the rest – it is simple enough to try it just once - you may just love it. One can trace similarity to Jewish Ashkenazi cuisine but without kashrut limitations.
I wouldn’t mind more explanation from the translators, but the book is over 700 pages long so may be it is OK as it is.
And by the way – sauce “Yuzhny” – very similar to British brown sauce – fruitier version of ketchup.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
It's a fascinating read; the book combines traditional Russian cuisine with contemporary international influences and puts on paper the now-famous Russian kotlety, the breaded hamburger patty created in imitation of American food (supposedly by Mikoyan himself) that's still a staple in Russian kitchens. It is also, depending on your perspective, either unrealistically aspirational or deeply delusional, making it (in context) a darkly humorous mirror of, of all things, In Memory's Kitchen, the culinary memoirs of anonymous and doomed Jewish housewives in the Terezin concentration camp. Frankly, it's impossible to rate on its own terms; the people who bought it certainly knew it was little more than propaganda, but, hey, you're welcome to try the recipes.
Four stars reflects its value as a historical document. It should be five, but unfortunately what you wind up getting is a translation of the book, a smattering of background, and little more; it lacks even an index, and doesn't really reach the standard of the Toomre translation of A Gift to Young Housewives, for which it's an otherwise ideal companion volume. (To create an even triad, throw in a copy of Please To The Kitchen by Anya von Bremzen to learn about what the (later) USSR *actually* ate.)