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The Kingdom of Rye: A Brief History of Russian Food

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by Darra Goldstein
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For a limited time we have copies signed by Darra Goldstein.

Tracing Russian culinary culture from its pre-Christian beginnings to the present day, Darra Goldstein offers a concise, vivid account replete with examples that dispel aromas of overcooked cabbage and evoke a world defined by the contrasts between hardship and abundance, rigor and indulgence.

A professor of Russian literature who has been writing about Russian food since 1983, Goldstein employs her knowledge of the Russian language to help illuminate ideas and attitudes inherent in the way Russians speak and write about food. She cites Tolstoy as readily as accounts of the development of masonry stoves in peasant cottages, and reproduces paintings, photographs, cartoons, and other visuals to provide context.

The Kingdom of Rye invites you to explore a land where there were once cookbooks devoted solely to using leftover black bread, where Soviet-era citizens spent hours every day in their quests for groceries, where hospitality was so central to life that it was almost a devotional act.

Hardcover. Black-and-white illustrations.


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