Among the many victims of communism in Russia was authentic Russian cooking. Deprivations and food shortages kept an ancient and elaborate cuisine from modernizing and flourishing. Visson, whose first edition of The Russian Heritage Cookbook relied on recipes brought west by emigres, has now brought together recipes from contemporary Russians still residing in the motherland. Those who relish borscht will discover multiple regional and ethnic variations of Russia's ubiquitous beet soup. Zakuski, Russia's response to Sweden's smorgasbord, offers a vast array of nibbles suitable for any party, not just Russian-themed ones, either. Among the desserts is a clever "Russian salad" cake whose many bits of chopped fruits resemble that classic vegetable salad. Mark Knoblauch
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