Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking
A James Beard Award-winning writer captures life under the Red socialist banner in this wildly inventive, tragicomic memoir of feasts, famines, and three generations
Born in 1963, in an era of bread shortages, Anya grew up in a communal Moscow apartment where eighteen families shared one kitchen. She sang odes to Lenin, black-marketeered Juicy Fruit gum at school, watched her father brew moonshine, and, like most Soviet citizens, longed for a taste of the mythical West. It was a life by turns absurd, naively joyous, and melancholy—and ultimately intolerable to her anti-Soviet mother, Larisa. When Anya was ten, she and Larisa fled the political repression of Brezhnev-era Russia, arriving in Philadelphia with no winter coats and no right of return.
Now Anya occupies two parallel food universes: one where she writes about four-star restaurants, the other where a taste of humble kolbasa transports her back to her scarlet-blazed socialist past. To bring that past to life, Anya and her mother decide to eat and cook their way through every decade of the Soviet experience. Through these meals, and through the tales of three generations of her family, Anya tells the intimate yet epic story of life in the USSR. Wildly inventive and slyly witty, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is that rare book that stirs our souls and our senses.
Baker & Taylor
A multi-generational memoir by a celebrated food writer captures the flavors of the mid-20th-century Soviet experience, tracing her upbringing by an anti-Soviet mother, her witness to the political events that led to the empire's collapse and the parallel food universes of her life that evinced both simple and sumptuous fare.
a memoir of love and longing
Feasts, famines, histories
1910s: Last days of the Czars
1920s: Lenin's cake
1930s: Thank you, comrade Stalin, for our happy childhood
1940s: Of bullets and bread
1950s: Tasty and healthy
1960s: Corn, communism, caviar
1970s: Mayonnaise of my homeland
1980s: Moscow through the shot glass
1990s: Broken banquets
Twenty-first century: Putin on the Ritz
Mastering the art of Soviet recipes
COOKING Regional & Ethinic Russian
HISTORY Europe Russia & the Former Soviet Union
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY Personal Memoirs
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