Eastern European food gets a fresh look

Mamushka
When you hear the phrase "Eastern European cuisine", what images come to mind? For many people, the first thoughts they conjure include meaty stews, doughy dumplings, and overcooked vegetables. Recently a new generation of chefs is reinvigorating the cuisine, riding on growing trends that embrace many Eastern European traditions like pickling and smoking. The Wall Street Journal explores
the growing popularity of Slavic cuisine. 

The young chefs chronicled in the article aren't cooking traditional foods, they are putting their own spin on classic recipes. Apteka, a modern Polish restaurant in Pittsburgh, PA, riffs on Polish classics with vegan dishes like Silesian-style dumplings in a carrot juice broth. Restaurants across the country are also adding Russian, Armenian, Uzbeki, and other Eastern European foods to their menus. The trend can also be found in the UK, where Mamushka by Olia Hercules - focusing on Ukrainian cuisine - was a surprise hit cookbook in 2015.

PolskaAlso in the UK, Zuza Zak's recently released cookbook Polska updates the cuisine of the author's homeland. Ms. Zak left Poland and settled in England in the late 1980s, when she was 8 years old. She quelled her homesickness by researching and recording Polish recipes. She's placed her contemporary take on these recipes and is now sharing them with the world. The WSJ article includes links to several recipes from Polska, in addition to the dumplings mentioned above and a pickle and bean salad with yogurt and dill.   

3 Comments

  • Jenny  on  11/4/2016 at 8:08 PM

    Love both of these books.

  • TrishaCP  on  11/5/2016 at 9:25 AM

    I really want Polska. Jenny, do you have any favorites from Mamushka? I tried the Georgian beef soup recipe, but unfortunately, I didn't love it.

  • Jenny  on  11/5/2016 at 11:43 AM

    Trisha: I made the Garlic Bread - it was really good - and a chicken dish - I have to go look at the index - it was chicken and pasta - it was good - husband loved it.

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