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CCCP COOK BOOK: True Stories of Soviet Cuisine Hardcover – September 29, 2015
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CCCP Cook Book is an amazing work of culinary history. The book as an object is a marvel... It’s my new "You Must Buy This Book" recommendation for my foodie friends. (Christina Ward BoingBoing)
From Russia with Mayonnaise (Pavel Syutkin NPR)
Food for comrades. (The Guardian Gift Guide)
If you think of the Soviet period in Russia as a culinary desert, a new book in English by the country's most prominent food historians, Olga and Pavel Syutkin, may change your mind (Michele A. Berdy The Moscow Times)
Soviet food nostalgia has taken off in the last few years, as a post-Cold War generation grows up intrigued by a period which many older than them would rather forget. Soviet-style canteens like Kamchatka serve herring in a fur coat to queues of Moscow hipsters,… Olga and Pavel Syutkin’s CCCP Cook Book continues the trend, serving up recipes of Soviet-era classics while delving into the stories behind the dishes to offer a cultural history of the USSR through its food (The Calvert Journal)
Food shortages and limited access to staples like bread, milk, and fresh produce were commonplace in the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s. Whenever rations are tight, creativity rules. Every day citizens were inspired to invent dishes that sustained them through long winters and hard economic times (Daniela Galarza Eater)
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You can see the illustrations want to show bounty, plenty, sufficiency, but at those exact points where all this stops, you can also see the creeping paucity. There are parallels to recognise in our own (UK) post-war food-coupon economy, but the images in this book are shaded by the extra knowledge of a planned economy that intentionally produced the epic tragedies of gulags and starvation.
My favourite illustration is the one of the jar and two tins of fish, one invitingly open, all against a backdrop of trawler afloat on a choppy, freezing Baltic Sea.