More than a cook book (which it also is) the Book of Tasty and Healthy Food is a bizarre time document of the Soviet State. It was first published in the thirties, in the midst of the Stalinist terror, and in the midst of huge shortages. While mist Muscovites were struggling to find any food at all, the Ministry of Food Industry presented them with a book telling them how to set a table for a three course diner with friends (don't forget the flowers in the middle of the table! And put the knives with the sharp edge towards the plate. Don't forget to wash your hands!). But of course, it also is a cookbook, with recipes ranging from the very basic (Sardines: take out of the can, put on the plate, cover with slices of lemon and sprinkle with parsley) to a bit less basic, but sometimes outright bizarre, like fruit salad dressed with mayonnaise. The book is illustrated with old black and white pictures of beautifully set tables, dressed salads and products of the Soviet food industry.