Food Culture in Russia and Central Asia

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005 - Cooking - 222 pages

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.

 

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Contents

2 Central Asia Historical Overview
37
3 Major Foods and Ingredients
67
4 Cooking
105
5 Typical Meals
117
6 Eating Out
133
7 Special Occasions
157
8 Diet and Health
185
Glossary
199
Resource Guide
203
Selected Bibliography
213
Index
217
Copyright

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Page xxi - I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
Page viii - The joys of the table belong equally to all ages, conditions, countries, and times ; they mix with all other pleasures, and remain the last to console us for their loss.

About the author (2005)

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 Culinary Academy of Austin and founded the Historic Foodways Group of Austin. He has coauthored Uzbek Cuisine (1996), among other works.

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 on joint projects with an archeological museum in Crimea, Ukraine.

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