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Eating/Banned Cook Book

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169936.  Thu Apr 26, 2007 11:59 am Reply with quote

Elena Molokhovets' A Gift to Young Housewives" first published in 1861, became the Bible of cooking and household management for generations of middle- and upper-class Russian women up until the revolution in 1917, when it was banned by Soviet censorship: most of the ingredients recommended for a "young housewife of modest means" were unobtainable in the USSR, the book was regarded as "capitalist propaganda", albeit its copies were circulated in Samizdat and were at times copied by hand - like those of Orwell and Solzhenitsin!
Incidentally, Elena Molokhovets was often called Russian Mrs Beeton: there were lots of parallels in their lives, including the fact that both died in their 20s.
Probably the world's only cook book that was banned...

Source: and many other
Plus own research (I saw the book's title in aweekly Glavlit bulletin of books banned in the USSR)

Last edited by Vitali on Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:43 am; edited 1 time in total

170325.  Sat Apr 28, 2007 5:43 am Reply with quote

This can be added to "Eating", I think...

393965.  Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:38 am Reply with quote

I wonder if this one has been banned.

393973.  Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:56 am Reply with quote

I'm sure the Simpsons spoofed that story in one of their treehouse horrors chapters

393988.  Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:19 am Reply with quote

They did, in the very first one.

483319.  Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:03 am Reply with quote

most of the ingredients recommended for a "young housewife of modest means" were unobtainable in the USSR

hang on. If most of the ingredients were unobtainable then why would it be banned? Eye of Unicorn and the sperm of a female newt must be added to get the best out of this dish. Such a cookbook wouldn't have been banned - it'd have been positively promoted.

483572.  Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:34 am Reply with quote

Except, you don't want people to realise how much they're missing out on by showing them what they haven't got.

484292.  Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:41 pm Reply with quote

We've got that book actually! A very old copy too, it's all written in Old Russian.

484323.  Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:05 pm Reply with quote

Ooh, being pre-revolutionary Russian I guess it uses the abandoned letters like fita and ižica.

I once saw a book in Romanian Cyrillic in an antiquarian store (Romanian adopted the Roman alphabet in 1862). It was very expensive and so I didn't buy it, but I sometimes wish I had!

484359.  Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:25 pm Reply with quote

Exactly right suze! (what
ď is one letter that I can actually type on the forum. But others include a symbol that looks like the hardening symbol but with a line facing the other way as well, and one that looks like a W on a stick or a goblet-fork.


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