Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Russia a country which has presented many different faces to the world—from the time of Mongol rule in the early medieval period through the centuries of the Tsarist Empire to being the core of the Soviet Union for most of the 20th century, to the Russian Federation of the 1990s.

Behind these various faces have always been the masses of ordinary Russians, mostly peasants. Their food, unlike that of the wealthy and privileged (whether at the Tsarist court or belonging to the upper reaches of the Communist Party), has been consistently simple. A similar dichotomy between the food of the wealthy and that of the poor has of course been observable in many countries; but it has been especially noticeable in Russia.