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A Taste of Russia: A Cookbook of Russian Hospitality Paperback – September 1, 1999

14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1880100424 ISBN-10: 1880100428 Edition: 2nd Rev

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Goldstein... manages to make Russian cuisine dance. It's hard to imagine anything that might have been left out of this delightfully comprehensive collection." --Publishers Weekly

"It is not suprising that Goldstein, a Williams College professor who later founded the food studies journal Gastronomica, is particularly literary in her books on Russian and Georgian food, placing zakuska (grand appetizer buffets) and dacha (summer house) picnics alike in the context of Russia's great writers. But cerebral as she can be, her prose is rooted in hands-on kitchen advice: 'There are a few basic rules to follow in laying a zakuska table, not the least of which concerns the shape of the table itself. It should be oval or round and placed away from the wall, so that all foods are accessible to all guests at all times.'" --Slate Magazine

"The imaginative range of the selection would be enlightening in itself even without the multitudinous snippets from Chekhov, Gogol and Oblomov. First rate." --Kirkus Reviews

From the Publisher

The best-selling Russian cookbook in English! More than 200 recipies from the traditional cuisines of Russia, with copious cultural notes, fascinating history and easy-to-follow instructions. If you are interested in Russian cuisine, look no further.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Russian Information Services, Inc.; 2nd Rev edition (September 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880100428
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880100424
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,615,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Darra Goldstein is the Willcox B. and Harriet M. Adsit Professor of Russian at Williams College and Founding Editor of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture, named the 2012 Publication of the Year by the James Beard Foundation. She has published numerous books and articles on literature, culture, art, and cuisine, and has organized several exhibitions, including Feeding Desire: Design and the Tools of the Table, 1500-2005, at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. She is also the author of four cookbooks: A Taste of Russia, The Georgian Feast (the 1994 IACP Julia Child Cookbook of the Year), The Winter Vegetarian, and Baking Boot Camp at the CIA. Goldstein has consulted for the Council of Europe as part of an international group exploring ways in which food can be used to promote tolerance and diversity, and under her editorship the volume Culinary Cultures of Europe: Identity, Diversity and Dialogue was published in 2005. Goldstein has also consulted for the Russian Tea Room and Firebird restaurants in New York City and served on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Culinary Professionals. She is currently Food Editor of Russian Life magazine and Series Editor of California Studies in Food and Culture (University of California Press). In 2013 she was named Distinguished Fellow in Food Studies at the Jackman Humanities Institute, University of Toronto. Goldstein is Editor in Chief of The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, and her new cookbook, Fire and Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking, will appear from Ten Speed Press in October 2015.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By John T. Suhr on June 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a great book on the food of Russia and the culture also. All to many times we seem to channel Russian cuisine into a few simple dishes. Granted the few simple dishes we view as "Russian" are grand and quite tasty, we tend to shove aside the rich culinary history this country has and the peoples grand capacity to share and truly enjoy food and life. Many times it has been written of the sharing and emphasis of food and being together to enjoy it in other european cuisines, however Russia tends to be overlooked in the cloud of past paranoia of the political state of the land. Ms. Goldstein gets beyond that and makes it clear that food is the binding stuff of a country and of people just as it is in this country and all around this globe.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By T. Davignon on July 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
Having spent a lot of time working in the former Soviet Union, and trying to reconstruct many of the wonderful and interesting dishes from various republics, I was delighted to find a book that "translated", "a pinch of this and a gram of that" into something I could understand and make with products available to me here in the US. I recommend this cookbook to anyone who has tried food from Eastern Europe, enjoyed it and wants to bring it up to our standards. The book is so popular with my friends that I keep giving it as a gift. However, I do feel the title "A Taste of Russia" is not "politically correct", since the dishes are from many of the 17 former republics of the Soviet Union, Russia being only one of them.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 26, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great cookbook. A lot of time & work was put into it. However, some of my favorite Russian recipies are missing from this book. I would recommend "The Art of Russian Cuisine" for those of you who are interested in food that Russians cook daily or for holidays.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By I. Darren on May 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a book that has a lot of promise, masses of information yet sadly might only "preach to the converted" due to its somewhat reduced accessibility.

Here is a veritable bible of Russian cuisine, featuring a very comprehensive introduction to a relatively unknown, pre-judged subject and over 200 recipes that you can make at home using locally-acquired ingredients. This is a new "30th Anniversary edition" of this classic book yet, sadly, things have not been brought up to typical production standards for 2013.

There are no photographs of the finished recipes to encourage you to try something possibly unknown or unfamiliar. So you need to be either very open to try new things based on a textual description alone or do some additional research to first learn about a given dish, possibly see a picture elsewhere and then look the recipe up in this book. This is such a let down as this book is more than capable of being the "go to" book, a central part of your reference library, a thing to look through to get inspiration. One feels rather let down by this rather unforgivable omission.

Other than that, everything just goes swimmingly. It is one of those books that you really should read, at least once, sequentially to get the most out it as well as any dipping in and out you may do to get a certain recipe. You really do get a fairly comprehensive education about Russian cuisine by the end and you will want to start cooking. You might even learn a little Russian along the way (or get help should you ever travel to Russia) as the recipes also feature their name in cyrillic.

The recipes are fairly clear to understand and sufficiently detailed but the measures are only given in U.S. units (a strange oversight).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeanette Morris on December 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
Hooray for Russian food! If you haven't tried it, you should. And while no effort to duplicate the fresh, tasty, and attractive cuisine of Russia quite measures up (no pun intended)to having it in country, these recipes come as close as you will get on this side of the world. I bought this years ago when my ache for pelmini, borsch, plov, and many other favorites became overwhelming. It's definitely my go-to cookbook when I need a Taste of Russia in between trips.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. L. Dickerson on September 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
I spent a month visiting Russia. I tried to sample as many Russian dishes as possible. I eat in homes, small town cafes, etc. On my return, I was looking for a cookbook that had the foods I tasted. This cookbook brings true Russian cooking to the USA table. If you want to enjoy tasty Russian meals without going to visit Russia, this is the cookbook for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 27, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought if for my son who cooks on board a supply ship, in the Gulf of Mexico, with a small complement of Russian Sailors.
They thought the recipes he prepared for them from the book was excellent.
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