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Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  187 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published November 14th 2017 by Flatiron Books
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Average rating 4.42  · 
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☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
I do realise that Bonnie is a cook not a linguist. Still, 'kachka' is a 'duck' in Ukrainian and Belarussian and never in Russian. In Russian, the same bird would be 'utka'. Why not use Google translate and Wiki before naming a book?

PS. Got a look at the Google version aaaand... This is so much fun! This book introduces a lot of stuff Russians have no idea about:
- 'Pelmenitsa',
- 'pol poWn-da', which is fun in 2 ways (see in comments below, which ones),
- 'Chervona Wine',
- 'тархуне',
- 'Bloody
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: food
The subtitle is absolutely misleading. It should be - A Return to Soviet Cooking. Lot of these dishes I can make without a recipe because we used to eat like that. But I'm not Russian. I was born in Soviet Union and I'm Lithuanian. She gives recipes from Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan etc., I can see in pictures Lithuanian cured meat, Rigas Balzams - the most famous Latvian alcoholic drink, Borjomi - mineral water from Georgia. Does it really look like Russian cuisine?

Oh, and this romantic
Mar 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking-and-food
My family grew up in the Soviet Union so I grew up eating a lot of the food Morales writes about in her book, cooked by my grandmothers, aunts, their friends and my mom. When we came to the States, Russian food was something I felt really embarrassed about, comparing it to what I saw other kids around me eating and thinking about how weird our food was in comparison. We ate things like sauerkraut, boiled beef tongue, liver patés, pickled herring and beets, various types of dried and canned fish ...more
Irena Smith
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An unapologetically nostalgic all-in dive into Soviet nostalgia. This, I think, is how most former Soviet residents (my family included) would cook if they didn't have to stand in long lines with an avos'ka (a net bag whose name literally means "what-if?") hoping to "get" whatever's on offer—with gusto, joy, and no regard for salt, fat, or cholesterol. Ate at Kachka years ago while at Portland and fell in love with the hospitality, the Soviet-kitsch decor, and the Baba Yaga cocktail (and yeah, ...more
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food
this book is heartbreakingly fucking beautiful just as a standalone piece of art and I can't wait to try literally every recipe in it. (It's Soviet food tho.)
Cody Bennett
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have been reading this book on an off for a few weeks picking out certain recipes that I would love to try. After just finishing the book I was a little hesitant of writing a review after reading some of the things said about this book. Let me just put it out there right now I am not wanting to start arguments or anything of that nature. I just want to put my two cents in review form.
First off I loved this book from beginning to end. I know it’s not real “Russian cooking” some of it is and
Robert Muller
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the best "Russian" cookbook I've seen, and I'm seriously considering scheduling a trip to Portland to eat at the restaurant! The best part of the cookbook is of course the food, but the narrative and notes run a very close second. The index makes for heavy reading, but everything else in the book is so well written and coherent that I read straight through it in a few days. The recipes are detailed and thoughtful and include weights as well as volume, and the details on constructing a ...more
Sep 26, 2019 added it
Shelves: cookbooks, 2019
My rule for cookbooks is that I have to make a recipe from each one before I mark it "read," and...I'm sort of cheating with this one, because I haven't had time to make the recipe I bookmarked. But, I had to return it to the library, and I did really enjoy it. The headnotes alone are pretty fun, and I was a fan as soon as I saw the photographic guide to Russian chocolates in the back matter. If you, like me, enjoy Russian grocery store bulk bins, you will be happy with this cookbook.

(For the
Erin DeLaney
Nov 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I don't usually read cookbooks all the way through, but was drawn to the way she wove her family story in with the recipes.

I picked this up because I thought to myself that I didn't know what Russian/soviet food was and wondered why I hadn't ever cooked it. Reading this book helped me understand why: it is a cuisine based on a number of foods I really don't like. I'm picky with mustard, pickled things, fish, pickled fish, mayo, mushrooms, and parts of animals I didn't grow up eating. But this
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous book

As someone who remembers life in the Soviet Union, this book is an excellent window into Soviet cuisine. We still eat like this, and these dishes are well loved on our tables. Many times when I see recipes for borscht or olivier salad they are too far removed from the canon, but the dishes in this book are really close to our family favorites, giving it instant legitimacy. And where the recipes do deviate, they do so thoughtfully and with an eye for improvement, the deviations make
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks, 2018
I was torn a bit between four and five stars, but this book is such a joy to read I had to go with five. The recipes I've tried have been amazing. I highly recommend the recipe for Georgian Lobio, if you make nothing else. If you like beets and pickles, the Vinegret Salad is amazing; if you don't... well, more for those of us who do, right? Some of the dishes seem a little impractical but it is, after all, a chef's cookbook. I'd love to make hundreds of pelmeni. Maybe someday I'll have a few ...more
Melissa Mitchell
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was looking to try out a new ethnic cookbook when I came across this one. I've never tried Russian cooking. So, I was delighted to read the recipes are from the former Soviet Union. I enjoyed her down to earth writing style, retelling of personal family stories, and beautiful pictures of her family & food. I found the recipe ingredients easily accessible for the most part, and the recipes ranged between beginner to experienced cook.
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is funny and oh-so informative. It's an homage to her family too which makes it a sentimental and wonderful book to have created and to hold close to her heart (I'd imagine). The photographs and the graphic designs are terrific too, with amusing charts about chocolate and caviar and how to shop in a Russian market. And how to toast properly. And it's got wonderful (superstitious-y0 home remedies. I love this book.
Ambur Taft
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
Lovely, not just the pictures and the food, but also the stories. “Food from the former Soviet Union”, the drinks and meals and pickled delights look fantastic....the stories about herself growing up, her parents immigrating, and her grandmother staying alive are awesome, along with snippets of Soviet Union history & folklore. I am also pretty excited about trying out the remedies and the art of the pyanka.
I will definitely be visiting her restaurant in Portland as soon as possible.
I agree with many of the other commenters that this is less about Russian food, and more about the states and ethnic groups of the former USSR. To me, it would've been better to market it that way, because it would've better demonstrated the diversity of recipes within a culinary tradition. Great recipes, explanation of culture.
Karla Winick-Ford
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have a list ... of wonderful things I'm making.... I've reviewed a lot of cookbooks, and this is one which is so well presented it has to be in my home. From the lobio, the dacha, pumpkin dolmas or sirniki with raspberry kissel, it's hard to decide which to make first. The author gives plenty of details and there is a TON of additional information about Russia and the culture. BUY THIS.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm giving 4 stars only because I haven't tried the recipes. It certainly makes me want to go to her restaurant in Portland, OR. This cookbook would be a nice companion to Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking - whereas that was a wonderful memoir with a few recipes, this is lots of recipes with a few entertaining stories.
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
beautiful, funny, interesting recipes and i love the anecdotes. would definitely make a few of these, especially the awesome section on infused spirits and the short rib borscht looks phenomenal. i have been lucky enough to eat at kachka twice in portland. yes, i did immediately buy a pelmini mold on amazon...
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good cookbook (though I usually like novel cookbooks). With my dietary restrictions there wasn't much here for me personally, but it looks like those who eat Russian cuisine would like it. The dumpling section was quite nice!
Brianna Sowinski
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautiful cookbook highlighting recipes from the author's restaurant in PDX that I would now like to visit. I am not that familiar with Russian cuisine, but the cookbook made me want to try more recipes. Would check out again
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My great-grandmother was from Siberia, and my mom and I have enjoyed many of the recipes in this book. I know many are Soviet and originated outside Russia, but there are also many that are reminiscent of my ggrandma’s pre-Revolutionary recipes.
Pat Mckay
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food-cooking
I was thrilled to see the recipes for my favorites like Sour Cherry Vareniki and Rabbit in a Clay Pot --which is what the gods on Mount Olympus eat when they're tired of ambrosia.

If you can't get to Portland, OR to eat in Ms. Morales' restaurants, you owe it to your tastebuds to get this book.
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! Honest and heartfelt family memories written if a relatable format. The recipes are written in a clear format easily enough for a beginner. Who doesn't love a cookbook where the beginning is all vodka recipes?!
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful book

I love the variety of recipes from liqueurs and mixed drinks to pickles and everything in between. I highly recommend, for cooking and for the cultural immersion as well.
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookery
I don't cook at the level of this book, but it is beautiful and informative.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting stories and some good ideas for party recipes
Jenna Amundson
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most beautiful cookbooks! Love the stories behind the food and my introduction to Russian cuisine. And, spoiled enough to live in Portland. It is long-past time to visit Kachka!
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks, read-2019
I got this through ILL since my local library didn't have it, and I'm going to have to buy it. There are just too many recipes I want to try.
Feb 01, 2020 rated it liked it
A good cookbook, just not my style of food. Not vegetarian friendly!
Lisa Bricker
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-nonfiction
Great recipes that I've already started making! A fun and interesting history to go with them. Beautiful illustrations. A really solid, detailed cookbook that pleases me.
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