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Book of Tasty and Healthy Food by [Mikoyan, Anastas]
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Book of Tasty and Healthy Food Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Length: 724 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product Details

  • File Size: 5931 KB
  • Print Length: 724 pages
  • Publisher: SkyPeak Publishing (September 1, 2012)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00957AYR8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #334,347 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. Burlakoff on October 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
I am one who is very happy to see a translation of "Book of Tasty and Healthy Food: Iconic Cookbook of the Soviet Union," which in the Soviet Union was simply known as "The Book." This is the most important cookbook of the Soviet period, and arguably the third, or fourth, most important cookbook in Russian and Soviet History. Most people begin the history of Russian cookbooks with the Medieval morals tract "The Domostroi: Rules for Russian Households in the Time of Ivan the Terrible" (available on amazon) which had important things to say about food, food preparation and proper diet in an Orthodox Christian society. In the 19th century, Elena Molokhovets defined the current Russian cuisine for upper middle class households with the book wonderfully translated and researched by Joyce Toomre: "Classic Russian Cooking: Elena Molokhovets' "A Gift to Young Housewives" (also available on amazon).

"Book of Tasty and Healthy Food: Iconic Cookbook of the Soviet Union" was intended to define Soviet cookery with some very specific goals in mind: 1) that the food be nutritious, 2) that cooking time was to be to me minimized, so as to free women from the "drudgery" of the kitchen, 3) to set standards, and promote public eateries (again, to ensure liberation from the kitchen), 3) to define an overall national cuisine for the Soviet Union. The Soviets deeply admired American industrialized agriculture and food production, and attempted to imitate them.

Russia and the Soviet Union were/is an enormously complex country with over 100 nationalities and languages within its borders. Each of these groups has its own cuisine. "The Book" reflected many of the major cuisines, and combined them into a generalized culinary culture.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The "Book of Tasty and Healthy Food" is an interesting mix of cold war Soviet propaganda that also serves up some decent recipes. Written at a time when the USSR was desperately trying to convince the world and it's own citizens that communist country's way of life was the best in world, the book is a cross between a study of good table manners, practical food preparation and meal planning guide, and cookbook. It had to also be very frustrating since, as noted in the "Introduction", many of the ingredients would not have been commonly available to the average Russian citizen at the time.

The recipes are actually quite good and several have dated pictures to show how the dish should be served, which was actually very interesting to see.

This is a very good cookbook for those looking for something a little different.

Recommended!

CFH
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A fascinating view into the passion of the man behind almost all the food extant during the soviet years. Mikoyan survived numerous leaders, purges and eras, by wile, guile and a savvy knowledge for what the people wanted to eat. The are a surprising number of really good recipes hee, as well as a glimpse into the kitchens of The Other Side.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anastas Mikoyan seems to be a divisive figure in the former Soviet Union, especially in his native Armenia, but this curious bit of history is, more than anything else, a monument to one man's survival at the top echelons of Soviet power when many of his colleagues wound up dead on the whims of Stalin. It is to be presumed that Stalin really, really liked his ice cream.

It's a fascinating read; the book combines traditional Russian cuisine with contemporary international influences and puts on paper the now-famous Russian kotlety, the breaded hamburger patty created in imitation of American food (supposedly by Mikoyan himself) that's still a staple in Russian kitchens. It is also, depending on your perspective, either unrealistically aspirational or deeply delusional, making it (in context) a darkly humorous mirror of, of all things, In Memory's Kitchen, the culinary memoirs of anonymous and doomed Jewish housewives in the Terezin concentration camp. Frankly, it's impossible to rate on its own terms; the people who bought it certainly knew it was little more than propaganda, but, hey, you're welcome to try the recipes.

Four stars reflects its value as a historical document. It should be five, but unfortunately what you wind up getting is a translation of the book, a smattering of background, and little more; it lacks even an index, and doesn't really reach the standard of the Toomre translation of A Gift to Young Housewives, for which it's an otherwise ideal companion volume. (To create an even triad, throw in a copy of Please To The Kitchen by Anya von Bremzen to learn about what the (later) USSR *actually* ate.)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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