Khojand - Lenin Statue

Tajik Adventures, Part 2: Khujand, Where Lenin Is Bad

Once upon a time, there was a country named Soviet Union. It was known, among other things, for its adoration of the great Vladimir Ilyich Lenin; its peculiar conception of art, known as socialist realism, and its insistence on making such art omnipresent in the lives of its citizens; its obsession with WW2 and its slightly distorted historical […]

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Blueberry-Chocolate Roll, Apple Sorbet, and Buckwheat Crème Anglaise

Blueberry-Chocolate Roll, Apple Sorbet, and Buckwheat Crème Anglaise

It all started with Irina Chadeyeva’s Vypechka po GOSTu, a compilation of Soviet era baking hits, from the Kiev cake to the kartoshka (each of which I’ve encountered here and here, respectively). Chadeyeva’s recipes, often named after cities from the four corners of the Empire, for reasons unknown, are backed up with nostalgic pictures of the […]

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The Food Perestroika Manifesto

When I started this blog over two years ago, I never took the time to write a mission statement. So I’ll kick off 2013 by fixing this. Here is the Food Perestroika manifesto! I’m also adding it to my About page. The word perestroika may be forever associated with Mikhail Gorbachev’s reformation movement in the late eighties, but […]

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Salad Olivier

Salad Olivier

After my recent complaints about the lack of originality of Onegin‘s salad Olivier, I figured I would bring my humble contribution to this Russian salad’s already extensive literature. Salad Olivier can contain many ingredients, but it is at its core a potato salad with a variety of vegetables and proteins, bound by mayonnaise. It was invented […]

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Vodkas from the Vanished Empire

During my recent trip to France, I spent some time unearthing forgotten vodka bottles scattered across my parents’ apartment in every possible cabinet and closet. Most of these bottles, acquired in the late 80’s and early 90’s, have been gathering dust ever since, quite often because of the dubious nature of the spirits they contained. […]

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Blueberry Jam

Blueberries are mostly found in North America, but their cousins, bilberries, are found all across Europe and are highly praised in berry-gathering, preserve-loving Russia. The Russian Wikipedia informs us that in 1964, Soviet Union issued a stamp representing bilberries, and the Great Soviet Encyclopedia mentions that bilberry juice can be used for the dubious purpose […]

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