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Russian Food--Medieval and Otherwise

Russian Food--Medieval and Otherwise

Medieval Russian Food and Recipes

There isn't much information out there about medieval Russian recipes. We know what foodstuffs were available to them, but not what they did with them. I am making a list of the foodstuffs available in medieval Russia and I am also beginning to redact some of the recipes found in "The Domostroi".

Medieval Russia Resources

Several English-language sources exist for reading about medieval Russian foods, I recommend the following ones. You can find these books and other book's bibliographic information in the food section of the Slavic Interest Group's online bibliography.

Chamberlain, Lesley. The Food and Cooking of Russia. New York: Penguin Books, 1983.
I haven't looked at this yet, but it supposedly contains recipes that can be dated to period, along with historical notes.

Glants, Musya and Joyce Toomre, eds. Food in Russian History and Culture. Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis. 1997.
Contains two essays that could be useful, one is "Food in the Rus' Primary Chronicle" and the other is "Stovelore in Russian Folklife".

Pouncy, Carolyn Johnston, ed and trans. The Domostroi: Rules for Russian Households in the Time of Ivan the Terrible. Cornell University Press: Ithaca and London, 1994.
A period household book that contains some unredacted recipes that are probably just out of period

Smith, R.E.F. and David Christian Bread and Salt: A Social and Economic History of Food and Drink in RussiaCambridge Universtiy Press: Cambridge. 1984.
No recipes, but good info about food culture.

Web Resources
A page from Cariadoc's Miscellany. A wonderful source for medieval cookery, put here because he has done a redaction of a cabbage recipe found in the Domostroi. Hey! A period Russian recipe!!!

A Russian Spice Chest A list of spices and their frequency as found in the Domostroi

Non-Medieval Sources

Unfortunately, the bigger section. However, all is not lost, modern Russian food is delicious!

Some modern cookbooks I (or others) recommend

Goldstein, Darra. A Taste of Russia. New York: Harper Perennial,??.
Originally published in 1983 as A la Russe: Traditional Recipes from Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the other Soviet Republics. There is some period material here, but it is interspersed with a lot of out of period material. Happy digging!

Molokhovets, Elena. Advice to Young Housewives
First published in 1870's and intended for the use of, as the title says, young housewives. Mostly Russo-French and traditional Russian recipes of the cuisine bourgeoise. There is an English translation available, even though I haven't put the bibliographic info up here yet. Nice and very informative book, even if it is out of SCA period.

Papashvily, Helen and George Papashvily. Russian Cooking. New York: Time-Life Books, 1969. Two volumes.
The first volume contains color pictures, regional portraits and representational recipies, while the second wire-bound volume is strictly a recipe book.

Petrovskaya, Kira. Russian Cookbook. New York: Dover Books, 1982.
Originally published in 1961 as Kyra's Secrets of Russian Cooking. Some tasty and easy-to-follow recipes.

Von Bremzen, Anya and John Welchman. Please to the Table. Workman Publishing: NY, 1990.
No, that was not a typo. The title refers to a Russian way of saying "Let's eat!" Includes recipes from the former member countries of the Soviet Union.

Web sources
Various Russian Recipes
Russian Cyber-Cuisine Tour
Food in Russia: Modern, but nice info and an index of food terms in Russian
Recipe Database from the Friends and Partners organization
Vera's Kitchen: More modern Russian recipes
Berkeley University's Russian Recipes: despite what you might think, they don't all involve Stolichnaya
St Petersburg Bread Museum: You might have trouble connecting, be patient
Morten's Recipe Collection: Some more Russian recipes