Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Dover Publications (November 4, 1992)
Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #694,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #44 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Regional & International > European > Russian #1393 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Beverages & Wine > Wine & Spirits #4901 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Methods
This book was recently discovered by me on a bookshelf in a spare bedroom. "Well, it couldn't be that bad", I thought. I was wrong. It can.As far as I remember, I have not cooked a single recipe out of it in the three years that I have owned the book (the fact that my father sent me a cookbook in Russian from Russia must have played a role). The recipes in Petrovskaya's book are NOT authenticly Russian. So if you are indeed a Russian living in America, don't waste your money (and if you are not convinced, should I mention her recipe for plov without meat?)! It is geared towards an American cook not familiar with Russian food in the least.On the positive note, it will not send you on a wild goose chase searching for some exotic ingredient (tvorog, for example) to the local supermarket. So if you fit the description above (American, never been to Russia, never tasted Russian food) it might be for you.A personal grudge I hold against Kira Petrovskaya is her CONSTANT mention of unsatiable Russian appetite. In fact, from my experience (and from my 20 years of experience living in Russia), Russians don't eat anywhere near as much as Americans (and hence as a nation are not obese).Overall, pass this book for a much better (although not perfect) Anya Von Bremzen's "Please to the Table"
My husband bought this book for holidays. I didn't make any recipes from this book because they are disgusting. I grow up in Ukraine so I know Russian and Ukraine cooking and this book wouldn't taste like Russian cooking. I would never make any cooking from this book, better buy a "Please to the Table: The Russian Cookbook" very good cookbook and great recipes. Don't waste your money on this book.
This cookbook is the same one published under the name "Kyra's Secrets of Russian Cooking", but nothing about this book lets you know it had a previous title. The recipes are not authentic-how "Russian" is white rice cooked in beef broth? Another recipe mixes cooked meat, canned vegetables, powdered sugar, dill pickles and mayo...and calls it a whole meal salad! Better buy Rice-A-Roni and a Betty Crocker cookbook instead! Kira Petrovskaya is from Russian royalty, and has many nice things with Royal Viking cruises. Her cookbook, however, is neither nice nor royal.
The Russian Cookbook first appeared in 1961 as Kyra's Secrets of Russian Cooking. I received a copy as a gift from my mother in 1963, so I have a sentimental attachment to it. It is not the best cookbood on Russian food. For that I would buy anything by Darra Goldstein whose recipes are authentic, consistent, and clear. However, I kept Kyra's Secrets of Russian Cooking as a reference book and have used it all these years for comparing her recipes to those in other books. Most of Kyra's dishes that I made, I modified. (I make notes right in my books.) Therefore, I would recommend The Russian Cookbook to those who are experienced cooks and familiar with Russian cuisine. I would not agree that this book is as bad as some have rated it. Those who say this book is not authentic perhaps forget that Kyra learned to cook after the Revolution of 1917 when ingredients were hard to come by in the former Soviet Union. So many Russians had to modify family recipes, substitute ingredients or take other short cuts. Cooking is like languages, always evolving. Even a classic dish like Beef Stroganoff may have had French roots. Enjoy this book for what it is....a compilation of Kyra's favorite selections that she chose to share with us.
Unlike some of the other reviewers, I have actually cooked some of the recipes in this book. It is a decent little cookbook. Some people may not like it because the recipes are not EXACTLY like their mother used to make in the "old country", but Russia is a huge place with millions of people -- recipes vary. To complain that one recipe is different (as one reviewer does) is like complaining that there are different ways to serve a hamburger.I am not a Russian and cannot tell if the recipes are absolutely authentic. But the ones I tried are tasty enough to suit me.
Another perspective on Russian cooking for an American audience- Kyra Petrovskaya published this book first in 1961, when few Russian cookbooks were available, therefore it is interesting to read her comments and the book's recipes for historical content alone.
The recipient is Russian, and she liked this a great deal. It has several of the recipes she needs to learn. This also came sooner than expected. I'm glad.
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