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Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore [A Cookbook]

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100 traditional yet surprisingly modern recipes from the far northern corners of Russia, featuring ingredients and dishes that young Russians are rediscovering as part of their heritage. Russian cookbooks tend to focus on the food that was imported from France in the nineteenth century or the impoverished food of the Soviet era. Beyond the North Wind explores the true h 100 traditional yet surprisingly modern recipes from the far northern corners of Russia, featuring ingredients and dishes that young Russians are rediscovering as part of their heritage. Russian cookbooks tend to focus on the food that was imported from France in the nineteenth century or the impoverished food of the Soviet era. Beyond the North Wind explores the true heart of Russian food, a cuisine that celebrates whole grains, preserved and fermented foods, and straightforward but robust flavors. Recipes for a dazzling array of pickles and preserves, infused vodkas, homemade dairy products such as farmers cheese and cultured butter, puff pastry hand pies stuffed with mushrooms and fish, and seasonal vegetable soups showcase Russian foods that are organic and honest--many of them old dishes that feel new again in their elegant minimalism. Despite the country's harsh climate, this surprisingly sophisticated cuisine has an incredible depth of flavor to offer in dishes like Braised Cod with Horseradish, Roast Lamb with Kasha, Black Currant Cheesecake, and so many more. This home-style cookbook with a strong sense of place and evocative storytelling brings to life a rarely seen portrait of Russia, its people, and its palate--with 100 recipes, gorgeous photography, and essays on the little-known culinary history of this fascinating and wild part of the world.


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100 traditional yet surprisingly modern recipes from the far northern corners of Russia, featuring ingredients and dishes that young Russians are rediscovering as part of their heritage. Russian cookbooks tend to focus on the food that was imported from France in the nineteenth century or the impoverished food of the Soviet era. Beyond the North Wind explores the true h 100 traditional yet surprisingly modern recipes from the far northern corners of Russia, featuring ingredients and dishes that young Russians are rediscovering as part of their heritage. Russian cookbooks tend to focus on the food that was imported from France in the nineteenth century or the impoverished food of the Soviet era. Beyond the North Wind explores the true heart of Russian food, a cuisine that celebrates whole grains, preserved and fermented foods, and straightforward but robust flavors. Recipes for a dazzling array of pickles and preserves, infused vodkas, homemade dairy products such as farmers cheese and cultured butter, puff pastry hand pies stuffed with mushrooms and fish, and seasonal vegetable soups showcase Russian foods that are organic and honest--many of them old dishes that feel new again in their elegant minimalism. Despite the country's harsh climate, this surprisingly sophisticated cuisine has an incredible depth of flavor to offer in dishes like Braised Cod with Horseradish, Roast Lamb with Kasha, Black Currant Cheesecake, and so many more. This home-style cookbook with a strong sense of place and evocative storytelling brings to life a rarely seen portrait of Russia, its people, and its palate--with 100 recipes, gorgeous photography, and essays on the little-known culinary history of this fascinating and wild part of the world.

30 review for Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore [A Cookbook]

  1. 4 out of 5

    Terry Pearson

    Thank you @tenspeedpress for the free book. What a great cookbook. Read the stories in travel to and through a Russia you’ve probably not imagined. Frigid temperatures, quaint villages, cozy homes, and friendly faces. And then there’s the food. Food swans forgotten and now resurrected by the youth of Russia. Rummaging through the pages it’s quite evident the author did some extensive research in prepping for her book. Russian cuisine is full of fermented, preserved, and pickled foods. It’s also fu Thank you @tenspeedpress for the free book. What a great cookbook. Read the stories in travel to and through a Russia you’ve probably not imagined. Frigid temperatures, quaint villages, cozy homes, and friendly faces. And then there’s the food. Food swans forgotten and now resurrected by the youth of Russia. Rummaging through the pages it’s quite evident the author did some extensive research in prepping for her book. Russian cuisine is full of fermented, preserved, and pickled foods. It’s also full of hardy board organic flavors. Before this book my Russian food sampling had been limited to borscht in Russian pumpernickel bread. Since receiving it I have made baked fish cakes, dumplings with mushroom in buckwheat, and sour cream honey cake and savored every bit. What a joy to cook new foods and discover an appreciation for a new cuisine. This book contains one hundred recipes, photos, and enough lore and history to make you want to sit down with a cup of coffee and spend an afternoon by a fire reading it like a novel. Much love for this book !

  2. 5 out of 5

    David Cain

    Darra Goldstein (an American who has lived in and visited Russia numerous times throughout the last 40 years) clearly has a deep relationship with Russian cuisine. The 100 recipes she presents in this book have a very specific focus - mostly recipes from European and particularly northwestern European Russia - and French-inspired recipes as well as Soviet-era creations are explicitly excluded (Asian Russian cuisine is also largely absent). Nevertheless, it's easy here to get a clear picture of w Darra Goldstein (an American who has lived in and visited Russia numerous times throughout the last 40 years) clearly has a deep relationship with Russian cuisine. The 100 recipes she presents in this book have a very specific focus - mostly recipes from European and particularly northwestern European Russia - and French-inspired recipes as well as Soviet-era creations are explicitly excluded (Asian Russian cuisine is also largely absent). Nevertheless, it's easy here to get a clear picture of what makes Russian food unique, even when some of the recipes are the author's personal riffs on more traditional preparations. I loved the discussions of various aspects of Russia's food culture, history, and environment, and that's where this book really shines - it's basically a travelogue. For some reason these vignettes appear after the corresponding recipes, although it would have made more sense for the reverse sequence. Not every recipe comes with a picture either, which I consider a missed opportunity. Otherwise, this book makes fun reading for anyone interested in Russian culture, even if (probably like me) one does not have strong intentions to make any of these creations.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Reading Fool

    I was immediately intrigued by this book when I read the Introduction, an interesting and informative essay about the history and geography of Russian cuisine. The author calls it the "poetry of Russian life," and I understood her notion through her excellent writing. I have tried a couple of recipes, a familiar-sounding one (Blini) and a not-so-familiar-sounding one (Venison Meatballs with Roasted Celery Root and Mushrooms). The recipes were approachable and not too intimidating. The photography I was immediately intrigued by this book when I read the Introduction, an interesting and informative essay about the history and geography of Russian cuisine. The author calls it the "poetry of Russian life," and I understood her notion through her excellent writing. I have tried a couple of recipes, a familiar-sounding one (Blini) and a not-so-familiar-sounding one (Venison Meatballs with Roasted Celery Root and Mushrooms). The recipes were approachable and not too intimidating. The photography in this book is lovely also. I have enjoyed reading the book and look forward to trying more recipes when I have the time. Thank you to Darra Goldstein for your beautiful writing. Thanks for the free book, @tenspeedpress!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Margo

    This is such a gorgeous book. Knocking one star because almost every recipe has ingredients that are not easily accessible. Which is fine. Its just killing me that I can't go raid the local produkti :( This is such a gorgeous book. Knocking one star because almost every recipe has ingredients that are not easily accessible. Which is fine. Its just killing me that I can't go raid the local produkti :(

  5. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    It's easy to forget that cookbooks can contain incredibly entertaining and informative materials beyond the recipes. Although Darra has studied and written of Russian life before, this is my first experience with her writing. She explores various aspects of Russian country life and wraps them around related recipes from the old country ways. I cannot rate the recipes as I haven't tried any yet, but am eager to after reading the history which my great ancestors were all too familiar with. Enjoy a It's easy to forget that cookbooks can contain incredibly entertaining and informative materials beyond the recipes. Although Darra has studied and written of Russian life before, this is my first experience with her writing. She explores various aspects of Russian country life and wraps them around related recipes from the old country ways. I cannot rate the recipes as I haven't tried any yet, but am eager to after reading the history which my great ancestors were all too familiar with. Enjoy a step back into the simple country life!

  6. 4 out of 5

    James

    Some fun stories and history make this a good read on Russian food. I'm familiar with many of the dishes and have books with recipes for them so it's not a keeper. Some fun stories and history make this a good read on Russian food. I'm familiar with many of the dishes and have books with recipes for them so it's not a keeper.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Geo

    Great recipes and anecdotes. Love the farmer's cheese pancake recipe especially 💛 Great recipes and anecdotes. Love the farmer's cheese pancake recipe especially 💛

  8. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    Beyond the North Wind's essays are full of love, nostalgia, and mouthwatering detail. Not to mention a humble reminder to refrain from demonizing a whole nation of people because of who runs their government. Instead, Darra Goldstein invites compassion and admiration for how Russians have "endured more than their share of horrific regimes [...and] are adept at devising ways to lead emotionally rich lives despite oppressive politics and sometimes-murderous governmental control. [...] Russians kno Beyond the North Wind's essays are full of love, nostalgia, and mouthwatering detail. Not to mention a humble reminder to refrain from demonizing a whole nation of people because of who runs their government. Instead, Darra Goldstein invites compassion and admiration for how Russians have "endured more than their share of horrific regimes [...and] are adept at devising ways to lead emotionally rich lives despite oppressive politics and sometimes-murderous governmental control. [...] Russians know well that occasions of joy and pleasure can prove unexpectedly fleeting, so they've learned how to revel in them." That spirit (and the book's call to embrace Nature, Food, and Community, even and especially in winter) is something I can definitely use right now. I'm just starting in on the recipes--brined tomatoes are up first!--and they're delicious. I'm super looking forward to visiting the Russian Gourmet grocery in Alexandria this weekend in search of ingredients for some of the other things I want to try next. Also, all the talk of foraging in the essays is inspiring me to get back out there after my close call with hemlock last January. I'm so glad I grabbed this book at the Book Loft in Columbus the day after Christmas.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Juli Anna

    I did not expect to find this book as enticing or as user-friendly as it is! Fresh, veggie-forward, seafood-rich recipes and a wealth of cultural information and lore make this a stand-out volume. I picked this up as a fun companion to The Bear and the Nightingale, but I ended up saving more recipes than I expected. I did not expect to find this book as enticing or as user-friendly as it is! Fresh, veggie-forward, seafood-rich recipes and a wealth of cultural information and lore make this a stand-out volume. I picked this up as a fun companion to The Bear and the Nightingale, but I ended up saving more recipes than I expected.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    Truly a joy to read with lots of great historical anecdotes. The day I got my preordered copy I started a batch of Sparkling Kvass. It's still in process but I am looking forward to trying it once it is done. I already have quite a few Russian cookbooks, but this one is a worthy edition to my collection and I look forward to eating more out of it. Truly a joy to read with lots of great historical anecdotes. The day I got my preordered copy I started a batch of Sparkling Kvass. It's still in process but I am looking forward to trying it once it is done. I already have quite a few Russian cookbooks, but this one is a worthy edition to my collection and I look forward to eating more out of it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ashani

    Russia in a well versed nut shell. Russian culture(Food+Folklore+Politics+History+Geography). I just loved reading about every chapter,every word. Have to try some recipes. Over all ,this was a beautiful read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marge

    I truly enjoyed this book. It really gets into the history of the real peasant Russian style of cooking. The book is a joy to read . The recipes are hearty and what you would think a nation near the arctic circle would prepare. Not all recipes are stick-to - ribs fare, however. Some are delicate and quite sophisticated. The dried mushroom and barley soup is delicious and warming (I made it on a cold wintry day). Looking forward to preparing a few more dishes the next few weeks.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jenn Adams

    Really loved this. Learned so much about not just Russian food but also history and culture. The only thing holding me back from saying five stars is that I really would have benefited from more pictures. SO many of these foods were completely new to me that not having a visual took away from the book. 4.5

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nadia

    Gorgeous cookbook, extensively researched, covering the far northern regions of Russia and the people that live there. Beautiful photography, tasty recipes, and moving stories about this remote region of the world that little is known about. This is one of those cookbooks that one wants (and should) read cover to cover.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Morissa

    Her narrative voice is clear, evocative, and engaging. I love her prose describing quintessential Russian things like Kvass and Dacha, and her short personal narratives interspersed throughout The recipes are easy to follow and she has a list of resources to source hard-to-find ingredients. Highly recommend to read this along with David Greene's "Midnight in Siberia." Her narrative voice is clear, evocative, and engaging. I love her prose describing quintessential Russian things like Kvass and Dacha, and her short personal narratives interspersed throughout The recipes are easy to follow and she has a list of resources to source hard-to-find ingredients. Highly recommend to read this along with David Greene's "Midnight in Siberia."

  16. 5 out of 5

    Colton Brydges

    In 2021 and 2020 I've taken to reading cookbooks to make up for not being able to travel. This one definitely fit the bill. An insightful and detailed exploration of Russian cuisine past and present. A fascinating journey into a food culture most of us tend to write off as being dull meat+potatoes In 2021 and 2020 I've taken to reading cookbooks to make up for not being able to travel. This one definitely fit the bill. An insightful and detailed exploration of Russian cuisine past and present. A fascinating journey into a food culture most of us tend to write off as being dull meat+potatoes

  17. 5 out of 5

    Misha

    Good to read, unlikely to cook from (not thrilling and every recipe I might try has some difficulty in the ingredients). Not traditional but a riff on the traditional items and methods still hanging about in NW and extreme northern Russia.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    I love the intermediate recipe and stories in this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Holly Wood

    Absolutely adorable and rich in context.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    Super interesting stories interspersed with recipes that I’ll probably never make. I did save a couple though.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Teresacooks

    absolutely fascinating and well written. Did not try the recipes but read it like a novel.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle Sedor

    Written with love, filled with recipes I can literally taste in my memory, tinged with stories that make me want to know more about Russia's pre-christian stories and lore. So well done. Written with love, filled with recipes I can literally taste in my memory, tinged with stories that make me want to know more about Russia's pre-christian stories and lore. So well done.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nancym

    Enjoyed this book that deals with Russian food, people, and culture. The recipes call for a number of not readily available ingredients. Great photography.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Karalalala

    Totally in love. My favourite kind of cookbook.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Even if you don't try any of the recipes, the photos and background info are worth the read. Even if you don't try any of the recipes, the photos and background info are worth the read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

  29. 5 out of 5

    Herb Randall

  30. 4 out of 5

    Miriam

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