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Mamushka: Recipes from Ukraine and Eastern Europe

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  452 ratings  ·  45 reviews
A celebration of the food, flavors, and heritage of Eastern Europe—from the Black Sea to Baku, Kiev to Kazakhstan—Mamushka features over 100 recipes for fresh, delicious, and unexpected dishes from this dynamic yet underappreciated region. 

Olia Hercules was born in Ukraine and lived in Cyprus for several years before moving to London and becoming a chef. In this gorgeous a
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Weldon Owen (first published June 4th 2015)
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Nov 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! I've tried many recipes in it so far, and they are all fantastic! And and they are all truly authentic, really the flavors that I grew up with. Plus, all of the recipes are very easy to follow, and the once-daunting cake recipes off of my mother's and grandmothers' recipe collections now seem feasible (and actually quite simple) to make! Well-done Olia!
Andrea James
Jun 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
This is really charming book - the author has such an effortless way about her when she tells stories of her childhood and her love of food. I've sadly never been to Ukraine or any of Eastern Europe. I'd really like to go and this book has inspired me even more!

This is a book to soak in on a quiet weekend. I could feel my grandma and her amazing cooking (even though she cooked such different food) as I read through the recipes, tagging the ones that I wanted to make. Many of the recipes are indu
Apr 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: buy, 2016
This book was suggested by the NPR Best Books of 2015. When I saw the title I thought, "Mamushka? The dance of brotherly love?" So glad to see the Addams Family reference! I feel like Olia would fit right in with my family.
I must buy this book and make everything in it, especially the pickled things.
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really, really, really wanted to buy this book for myself. I'm very picky in buying books, and cookbooks in particular need to be obviously and essentially useful in order to earn a place in my library. This one is beautiful, and tantalizing, and I really wanted to make the decision to buy it.

Unfortunately, I couldn't convince myself, but not due to any lack of merit on the book's part. I can't eat dairy, and my family doesn't eat a lot of meat, so I couldn't imagine myself turning to this boo
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
I absolutely love this book! I got it for Christmas and have tried a few things from it now and everything's been delicious. We had one disaster with one of the pasta dishes, but that was my own fault, really (I tried substituting ricotta for twarog, and I also forgot the salt). All the other things I've tried from it have become firm favourites. As a student, this book is great from the point of view of affordable, healthy meals. While some dishes are very stodgy, most are very healthy and many ...more
Valerie Brett
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food, heritage
I love this book! I got it to learn more about my heritage & it didn’t disappoint. Not only is the cover gorgeous, but the overall feel is nice: solid, matte, and mouthwatering photos. I love how at the top of each page she wrote a very brief anecdote (where she got the recipe, her memory of it from her childhood, or her family’s history with it, or where it originally hails from country-wise). I’ve also tried 3 recipes so far & two were delicious (the third was gherkins and they molded, but I t ...more
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cuisine
Edit: I made bortsch and chicken tabaka more than 5 times already... That means something!
First of all the cover is so beautiful. On the inside the book looks great too, mind you. Its not another of these minimalistic or overly stylised pictures. There are pictures from Ukraine and of author's family. Olia's writing about her family, traditions and memories is an added value to the book.

I made Borscht recipe and its delicious. I make a big pot and have it for next few days. Chicken tabaka is an
Laura Sharp
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this cookbook! The ingredient list is not a hard one to obtain and also cost friendly, and everything in it is beautiful, I want to make every single recipe in the book! I made Olia's "Birthday Ice Cream and Strawberry Cake" for my daughter's first birthday and loved it, who can resist a meringue topping! If you want to travel the world by food, this is a good place to begin! I really hope our library decides to get her new cookbook also!
Beth Lequeuvre
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I had never gone out of my way to try to find out about the food of the Ukraine, after reading this cookbook I really feel I've been missing out. So many things I want to try from this one. I have to buy this book.
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Cookbooks totally count toward my goodreads challenge, right? RIGHT?
Elyse Black
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book. From the front cover to the personal stories to the photographs - it is absolutely glitteringly gorgeous.
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
The beet and stuffed cabbage dishes you would expect but plenty of other recipes to try. Quite a few fry type breads along with fermented vegetables. Everything seemed doable with ingredient access.
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Very simple to follow (mostly) recipes. Some nice twists on recipes from my childhood that I'd like to try. A bit too much sunflower oil.
Sep 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
There were a lot of things I knew I'd miss when I left home, but Ukrainian food didn't actually make the original list. It’s a bit strange seeing as some of my fondest memories of Ukraine have associations with food: the cold, crisp mornings on the fishing lake were made bearable with a few slices of rye bread, salo and a customary swig of warming vodka, while the evenings were spent in great anticipation of my grandmother’s homely cooking. Unfortunately, the recipes didn’t get passed down to me ...more
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
I learnt a lot of interesting things about the history and development of Eastern European cuisine from reading this book, as well as a few Russian words. I feel like I understand why certain foods became staples due to a history that I don't think feels as relatable and understandable when read in a history book as it can in a cookbook. I've been introduced to a new style of food and cooking, and everything I've made from it has been delicious. It's becoming one of my go to cookbooks, especiall ...more
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
Beets! Pork! Fermentation! Cabbage! Pancakes!

I've been searching for a Eastern European cookbook like this for years. I love to moon around the Polish deli and buy candy and flatbread at the Serbian grocery. But, uh, I just didn't have recipes for any of that good down home Eastern European food. I only read English and don't have a granny to call on for it. Olia Hercules, thank you for sharing!

bibliotekker Holman
Dec 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I ran across this on a list of best food books of 2015 and decided to buy it in ebook form because the price was right. I've been looking for an eclectic, well formed book of recipes from this region that is virtually ignored by the american restaurant and food culture scene. The author mixes her personal reflections with photos and recipes. I'm hoping to spend one cold Saturday this winter making her recipe for vareniky.
J.D. Bass
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There are no words to express enough how much I love this cookbook. I love the stories, I love the recipes - which I didn't know I love until I started to make them. It's enough for me to know that out of 10 recipes I've already tried - all 10 of them were a pure success. Though all those recipes were new to me; I still managed to re-create them. That's what I call a truthful cookbook.
Thank You, Olga, for introducing me to wonderful flavors of Ukranian cuisine.
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A lush, lovely delightful cookbook.
While I might not make everything in this cookbook, or even most of it, I may...depending on who I am having over. Not just a cookbook, but a look at an attitude about cooking and culture.

Reccomend this to you if you are a food lover like me.

I will be purchasing this to have in my collection.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Though I do spring from Russian roots aside from borscht, I have not sampled much cuisine from that side of the globe. Can't say many of the recipes sound enticing but the photographs certainly are beautiful and I'd be curious to try some of the fare featured here.
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Finally, a book with Russian (former Soviet Republic) recipes that can be followed easily, that gives clear directions and measurements. I very much enjoyed making dishes from the book. Olia did what hundreds of other immigrants did not - published a recipe heritage.
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I can't wait to try these recipes. Especially the bread and cheese and dough ones.
Dec 09, 2015 marked it as to-read
A great cookbook for you, Judy Carruth!
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Lovely book highlighting Ukrainian and Eastern European cuisine!
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is lovely I love the forward by olia and the recipes are all wonderful and look forward to coming back to this book again and again!
Jun 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the introduction and lots of healthy beet recipes. Can't wait to make a few.
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Good and easy to make recipes, however, there were a couple of traditional recipes I was looking for which are not featured in the collection.
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I totally loved this book. Great stories, different and interesting recipes.
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Makes me want to cook
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
A beautiful book with easy to follow and delicious recipes. I enjoy making recipes from this.
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