Commonwealth of Independent Tastes: Recollections and Recipes of Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union
By Rinat Goldberg, Vadim Blumin, Yan Gitcelter, and Kira Kletsky
Photography: Kira Kletsky
Winner of the 2016 Gourmand World Cookbook Award. Category: Jewish Cooking (under the working title The Russian Jewish Cookbook)
Israel’s culinary bookcase offers forays into Moroccan, Iraqi, and Hungarian cuisines, among many others. The time has come to add the voice of one of the largest immigrant groups in the country: Jews from the former Soviet Union. Four of us set out to capture and record the foods of this vast former empire: Rinat Goldberg, whose family came from Uzbekistan; Vadim Blumin, from the Ukraine; chef Yan Gitcelter, from Azerbaijan; and photographer Kira Kletsky, from Belarus. Along the way, we found many similarities in our childhood stories, centering on food, families, and immigration to Israel; the homes we left behind and the new ones we built. We all shared memories of warm blinchiki and piano lessons, Grandma’s borscht, Novy God (New Year’s) dinners, and more. But we were also surprised to discover how different the cuisines of our individual motherlands are.
This book is a collection of stories about food and family, accompanied by recipes for the dishes we remember so fondly. And you don’t have to be Russian to enjoy them.
Haaretz: A piece of culinary-literary craftsmanship. / Walla Food: This is, above all, an historical document. / Saloona: Like all LunchBox’s books, this one offers recipes alongside stories that whet your appetite and make you feel a little homesick. / Reshet Bet: Another wonderful book from LunchBox.