The Classic Cuisine of Soviet Georgia: History, Traditions, and Recipes

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9780131382152: The Classic Cuisine of Soviet Georgia: History, Traditions, and Recipes

This cookbook captures the cuisine of Soviet Georgia in more than 100 traditional recipes, including dishes such as mtsvadi (skewered lamb), kupati (meat sausage), tolmas (stuffed grape leaves), kada (Georgian kweet bread), and pakhlava kartulat (Georgian bakhlava). More than just a cookery book, this text is rich with lore, lifestyle, history and the unique cultural and religious traditions of Soviet Georgia. Including sections on special ingredients, with American equivalents, Georgian wines, and the rituals of the Georgian table and the tamada (toastmaster).

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From Publishers Weekly:

In dramatic contrast to the Western view of a drab and gray Soviet Union, where food is ever in scant supply, the Soviet Georgia described by food historian and folklorist Margvelashvili is an untouched paradise where "plates piled high with fragrant opal basilsic , tender cilantro, flat-leaf parsley, long stems of tarragon, green onions, and young garlic infuse life into even the most lifeless soul at any table." Her book reveals a culture immersed in the from-scratch preparation of time-honored recipes, many of which resemble Middle Eastern specialties--e.g., a pilaf with meat, and stuffed grape leaves called tolmas which resemble their Greek cousin. Vegetables, fresh cheeses and yogurts play an important role in Georgian dining; included are recipes for eggplant in walnut sauce, chilled yogurt soup and Georgian ricotta. While introductory chapters define some of the ingredients found in Georgian fare, many recipes feature shaffran , a mysterious spice consisting of dried marigold petals, "not to be confused with saffron as to flavor and especially quantity"--without offering substitutions. This flaw aside, the volume takes an illuminating look at an obscure corner of the world.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Margvelashvili--a Canadian married to a Soviet Georgian- -divides her time between Vancouver and Tbilisi, Georgia, and has taken fine advantage of the opportunity to investigate the cooking styles, native spices, and culinary legends of this region rich in colorful and fragrant foods. The result is one of those highly readable cookbooks that convey the cultural context along with the food. As for the food, Georgian cuisine makes heavy use of eggplant, yogurt, wild greens, game, chicken, sour plums, pomegranate syrup, hot paprika, and coriander, both fresh leaves and ground seeds. There's also an ubiquitous paste made of ground coriander, garlic, walnuts, and marigold petals; a leaf called ekala, for which a recommended substitute is sarsaparilla or green brier; and a spice called utseko suneli, for which the closest substitute is powdered fenugreek petals. Since you can't get far without these ingredients (and even the substitutes are a little obscure), we'll be waiting for the list of mail-order sources to come in the finished book. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Margvelashvili, Julianne
Published by Simon & Schuster (1991)
ISBN 10: 0131382152 ISBN 13: 9780131382152
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