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The Georgian Feast: The Vibrant Culture and Savory Food of the Republic of Georgia Paperback – December 24, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Goldstein is the author of the well-respected A Taste of Russia (published as A La Russe , LJ 8/83; HarperPerennial: HarperCollins, 1991) and a Russian professor at Williams College. Here she focuses on an area known for its warm hospitality and diverse regional cuisine. Beginning with a brief history of the Georgian republic and an exploration of its cultural and culinary traditions, she then presents 100 or so recipes. Goldstein's scholarly credentials are evident in her informed commentary. Juliane Margvelashvili's earlier The Classic Cuisine of Soviet Georgia ( LJ 8/91) has a lighter, somewhat more engaging tone, and, not surprisingly, many of the recipes in the two books are similar. Nevertheless, good books on Russian food remain few and far between, and Goldstein's is a good addition to the literature.Sciences
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

"If you've got Georgia on your mind, then The Georgian Feast is required reading. This superbly written book is part ethnography, part geography, and part cookbook. Ms. Goldstein describes the rugged topography and turbulent history of this region that was once a crossroad of trade between Asia and Europe. These cultural influences, along with a healthy variety of food-producing environments, have led to a rich native cuisine."—Anthony Dias Blue, host of Blue Lifestyle

"Nobody writes better about discovering culture in a kitchen than Darra Goldstein, and few are as adventurous or knowledgeable as she in searching out kitchens to explore.  What a treat it is to revisit the people and places of a country Darra first revealed to us two decades ago, when our food-culture maps, as well as our geographic ones, were smaller. To join her in celebrating the feasts of Georgia is a very good way to celebrate the art and nature of the human heart, mind and spirit."—Betty Fussell, author of Masters of American Cookery

“One part long-simmering history, two parts recipes, The Georgian Feast is an ode to walnuts, pomegranates, yogurt, and fresh herbs, from everyday cheese kneaded with mint to feast-day whole suckling pig."—Phyllis Richman, former Washington Post restaurant critic
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Edition, Updated with a New Preface edition (December 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520275918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520275911
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,870 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

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By MollyM/CA on October 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
Thanks to some bright soul at UC Press, who probably had a Christmas list when the original went out of print, this best of all cookbooks for the area is again available. If you read through the reviews you'll see some confusion -- one reader wants mushroom Khimkali, another says she's wrong that there's no recipe-- Khimkali are dumplings and the recipe in the book is for (delicious!) meat, not mushroom, dumplings. It's also uncertain if Basturma, the marinated grilled meat recipes given, is the same as the un-marinated Mtsvadi two Georgian readers yearn for. If your mouth isn't watering yet, consider Fish with Pomegranate and Walnut sauce, succulent chicken sauteed in butter under a weight (one of the most useful techniques ever for game birds or less than tender backyard chickens), green beans cooked over a lamb stew and pureed into it (a pearl beyond price for the gardener confronted with tough beans or the cook who finds only tasteless frozen beans at hand), stellar sweets --easy and exotic with many featuring fruits, --I've found something delicious and something easy in every chapter. For real enthusiasts and the congenitally curious there's much material about the way of life then and now in Georgia. Some unusual herbs are described accurately enough so that you can research them; common herbs are used by cupfuls and handfuls as in --Ms. Goldstein says-- the true Georgian cuisine, and, also as she says, have a completely different effect --another inspiration for exploration among the many you'll find in this book.
This would make a great gift book, for those who already own it, or what the heck, get copies for yourself and your Christmas list!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Evelina S. on March 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
As someone who was born and grew up in Tbilisi, I was very happy to find this book -- it captures all of my favorite recipes, and when I prepare them according to this book, they taste just like my grandma's cooking.

More than just a recipe book, this is also an exploration into the rich history and culture of Georgia, and how the history shaped the cuisine. I suggest this book to everyone who would like to add some interesting preparations to their cooking. For vegetarians, Georgians have plenty of healthful and filling ways to prepare veggies and beans, and also some mouth watering sauces that will enliven any dish (veg or not).

I enjoy this book both as a cook book, and as a historical book!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Alina Kostina on June 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is precious just by the fact that it exists! The recipes work amazingly well, directions are clear and easy. The sections on culture and customs are extremely helpful in understanding the roots and reasons behind the preparations and techniques. Highly recommended to anyone who knows and loves Georgian food or those trying to expand their culinary horizons.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "barnovstreet" on November 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am living in Tbilisi, Georgia and have a part-time cook. I've sat in the kitchen as she prepares dishes for me and basically followed along in the Georgian Feast. With very few exceptions (mainly the spices and herbs we cannot get in the US) her unwritten recipes follow quite closely the ones in the cookbook. The flavors and look of the food I've prepared myself using this cookbook are accurate in comparison to the food I've gotten here! This is a wonderful addition to any international cookbook collection!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Karen Chung on July 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a marvelous, utterly authentic encyclopedia of Georgian cooking. I tried some of the recipes before leaving for Georgia in summer 2006, and they were great, and gave me a good idea of what to expect. Once in Georgia, the book was an invaluable reference that I constantly turned to whenever I tried something new. Just about *everything* I had is in here, along with many things I didn't get around to sampling.

This book also helped me learn the correct Georgian names for the dishes and many of the ingredients. A significant portion of the book is devoted to providing cultural background on Georgia and Georgian food, such the elaborate rules for a _tamada_, or Georgian toastmaster. With its charming photos of representative paintings scattered generously throughout its pages, it also made me a Pirosmani fan, and better able to appreciate the originals when I saw them for myself.

Most importantly, as the other reviewers say, the recipes *work*. We just made the potato salad with walnut paste (p. 172), and it was delectable. Other dishes we have tried and like include tomato soup with walnuts and vermicelli (p. 73) and green beans with egg (p. 130). Pkhali was one of my favorite dishes in Georgia, and I'm glad to have the recipe for when I get around to making it myself. There is a recipe for beets with cherry sauce, a dish a travel companion had tried but that even some of our Georgian hosts weren't familiar with. For the few recipes that seem to be missing from this book, like eggplant with walnut paste, try Please to the Table: The Russian Cookbook, another excellent collection of delicious recipes from all the former Soviet republics.

_The Georgian Feast_ is well worth having even if you don't eat meat - many of the recipes are completely vegetarian. This book is a real treasure.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 1, 1999
Format: Paperback
Having tasted authentic Georgian food, I feel confident saying that the recipes in this book make excellent reproductions of the real thing! Goldstein also gives a fascinating insight into the peculiar love of food and wine by the Georgians. Love the book, love the recipes! If you want some rich food that is different, try this!
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