Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Review: Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing by Anya von Bremzen

First of all, I love the cover of this book, which resembles cookbooks from the 1960s.  I also love the title, which is of course a play on the title of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  When I first heard the title of this book, I laughed out loud.  Soviet cooking?  Really?  And of course that was precisely the reaction that von Bremzen wanted.  The title, and the cover, give you an excellent sense of the tone of this book, which is humorous and nostalgic, and a bit sad, and filled with strange and kitschy-sounding food.  Von Bremzen was born in the Soviet Union and escaped with her mother to Philadelphia when she was 10.  This book gives you an excellent sense of life in the Soviet Union through food and personal experience.  She shows the reader what daily life in the Soviet Union was like, describing both her love of her mother's cooking and her fear of the secret police. It was a wonderful read, both illuminating and fun.
(I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.)

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