History Department
History Department

Graduate student publishes book on "Food Culture in Russia and Central Asia"

Fri, August 19, 2005

Based on years of work and life experience in Eurasia, "Food Culture" explores the varied customs, traditions, holidays, and cuisine in this region. Glenn, a former journalist with "Time Magazine," also included 30 original photographs in the book that chronicle the vibrant role of food in daily life. This work follows another publication in 2003, "Crimean Chersonesos," a collaborative effort with Dr. Joseph Coleman Carter of UT's Institute of Classical Archaeology, about a Greek settlement on the shores of the Black Sea in present-day Ukraine.

The diversity of food cultures within the former Soviet Union, with more than 100 distinct nationalities, is overwhelming, but "Food Culture in Russia and Central Asia" distills the main elements of contemporary cuisine and food-related customs for scholars, students, and food professionals. Vibrant descriptions of the legacy of the Silk Road; the classic foods such as kasha, pirogi, non (flatbread), pickles, and shashlyk (shish kebab); the over-the-top Moscow theme restaurants; and meals at the dacha and tea time are just some of the highlights.

After centuries of contact and conflict among peoples of Eurasia, Russian and Central Asian cuisines and culinary cultures have much in common. To understand one, the other must be considered as well. Russia and Central Asia cuisines share many ingredients, dishes, and customs. This volume strives to emphasize the evolving and multifaceted nature of the food cultures. Readers will be able to appreciate the ingredients, cooking methods, and traditions that make up the Eurasian foodways. For more information, please visit Central Asian Food.

GLENN R. MACK is a food historian. After seven years in with Time Magazine in Moscow and New York, Glenn left journalism for culinary research on the Silk Road. His travels took him to all the Central Asian nations, including several trips to Xinjiang, China. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in American History at The University of Texas at Austin.

ASELE SURINA is a Russian native and graduated from Moscow State University with a Master's degree in Journalism. Since 1999 she has worked at the Institute of Classical Archaeology at the University of Texas, responsible for joint projects with an archaeological museum in Crimea, Ukraine.

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