Food Culture in Russia and Central Asia

Overview

Russia and the newly independent states of Central Asia are struggling to reassert or create national identities and are receiving fresh attention from the West. After decades of oblivion, the vast Eurasian continent is once again divulging its intense cultural heritage and foodways to the international community. The diversity of food cultures within the former Soviet Union, with more than 100 distinct nationalities, is overwhelming, but this book brilliantly distills the main elements of contemporary cuisine ...

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Overview

Russia and the newly independent states of Central Asia are struggling to reassert or create national identities and are receiving fresh attention from the West. After decades of oblivion, the vast Eurasian continent is once again divulging its intense cultural heritage and foodways to the international community. The diversity of food cultures within the former Soviet Union, with more than 100 distinct nationalities, is overwhelming, but this book brilliantly distills the main elements of contemporary cuisine and food-related customs for students and foodies. Vibrant descriptions of the legacy of the Silk Road; the classic foods such as kasha, pirogi, non flatbread, pickles, and shashlyk shish kebab; the over-the-top Moscow theme restaurants; and meals at the dacha and tea time are just some of the highlights.

Russia and the newly independent states of Central Asia are struggling to reassert or create national identities and are receiving fresh attention from the West. After decades of oblivion, the vast Eurasian continent is once again divulging its intense cultural heritage and foodways to the international community. The diversity of food cultures within the former Soviet Union, with more than 100 distinct nationalities, is overwhelming, but Food Culture in Russia and Central Asia brilliantly distills the main elements of contemporary cuisine and food-related customs for students and foodies. Vibrant descriptions of the legacy of the Silk Road; the classic foods such as kasha, pirogi, non flatbread, pickles, and shashlyk shish kebab; the over-the-top Moscow theme restaurants; and meals at the dacha and tea time are just some of the highlights.

After centuries of contact and conflict among peoples of Eurasia, Russian and Central Asian cuisines and culinary cultures have much in common. To understand one, the other must be considered as well. Russia and Central Asia cuisines share many ingredients, dishes, and customs. This volume strives to emphasize the evolving and multifaceted nature of the food cultures. Readers will be able to appreciate the ingredients, cooking methods, and traditions that make up the Eurasian foodways.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Food historian Mack and Russian native and former journalist Surina provide a snapshot of contemporary food culture in the region, along with a bit of history to emphasize that culture is not static and to indicate what direction it might be heading. For students, culinary professionals, scholars, and enthusiasts, they describe major foods and ingredients, cooking, typical meals, eating out, special occasions, and diet and health."

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Reference & Research Book News

"This is a book that needs reading from cover to cover if you really want to get to grips with a cuisine about which little is known in the West."

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Menu Magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313327735
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/30/2005
  • Series: Food Culture around the World Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

GLENN R. MACK is a food historian who trained in the culinary arts in Uzbekistan, Russia, Italy, and the United States. He is the Director of Education for the Culinary Academy of Austin and founded the Historic Foodways Group of Austin. He has coauthored Uzbek Cuisine 1996, among other works.

ASELE SURINA is a Russian native and former journalist who now works as a translator and interpreter. Since 1999 she has worked at the Institute of Classical Archaeology at the University of Texas on joint projects with an archeological museum in Crimea, Ukraine.

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Table of Contents

Series Foreword
Introduction : Russian and Central Asian culinary culture
1 Russia historical overview 1
2 Central Asia historical overview 37
3 Major foods and ingredients 67
4 Cooking 105
5 Typical meals 117
6 Eating out 133
7 Special occasions 157
8 Diet and health 185
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