Food & Drink
Russian Life|March/April 2021
Food & Drink
MARINA PUSTILNIK

The Taste of Childhood

For New Year’s, I gifted myself a book: Baking According to All-Union Standards. It is a collection of recipes of various baked goods that were made and served at state-owned delicatessens, school canteens, restaurants, cafes and bakeries all around the Soviet Union, when AllUnion standards were still a thing.

I can’t say that I have a lot of memories connected to any of the baked goods described in the book, because in our neck of the woods we didn’t have bakeries, restaurants, state-owned delicatessens or anything of that sort. There were some biscuits called коржики that you could sometimes get at the school canteen, but they were a rare occurrence. Such things as the famed Kievsky Cake, made mostly out of meringue, or the richly chocolate Praha layered cake from Moscow’s Praha Restaurant were out of reach. You could sometimes buy the Soviet version of the qurabiya biscuit in the store, but that was about it.

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