“Soviet cooking” seems like an oxymoron, considering that during most of the USSR’s existence food was in short supply. Yet in Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking (Crown, $26), award-winning food writer Anya Von Bremzen gives us a fascinating and often surprising look at the history of the USSR and her own family through the lens of food (or the lack thereof). She is a talented memoirist, and the book is much more than just a list of recipes and favorite dishes. Von Bremzen and her mother recreate classic pre-Revolution fare, prepare Stalin’s Deathday Dinner, and devise their own version of Salat Olivier (which Von Bremzen calls a “salady Soviet icon”). This touching memoir is a must-read regardless of your familiarity with Soviet cuisine (and yes, a recipe for borscht is included in the back).

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780307886811
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Crown Publishing Group (NY) - September 17th, 2013

Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307886828
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Broadway Books - September 16th, 2014

Artists as well as cooks know that presentation is everything, and in the gallery of pleasures that is The Modern Art Cookbook (Reaktion, $39), Mary Ann Caws pairs visual and literary evocations of food with matching recipes. Many of these dishes come from the kitchens of the great modern artists; here’s Renoir’s special sea urchin sauce, Picasso’s herb soup, and van Gogh’s monkfish and mussel stew—or try Dalí’s mesclagne landais, if you dare. Writers are also ready chefs, and Caws samples the bass dish Alice B. Toklas prepared for Picasso and serves up Emily Dickinson’s instructions for gingerbread, alongside recipes and brief narratives from iconic food writers such as M.F.K. Fisher and Elizabeth David. A serious scholar and the author of books on surrealism and poetry, Caws specializes in the French arts, but her range is broad and deep. She wears her learning lightly in this anthology, whose point, she says, is “affection,” as well as harmony and joy.
The Modern Art Cookbook Cover Image
$39.00
ISBN: 9781780231747
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Reaktion Books - October 15th, 2013