Illustrated Cookbook Renews Culinary Traditions
Ukrainian recipe books from the 20th century have been republished as new collections. In addition to traditional dishes, they feature housekeeping tips
No color agents, preservatives or flavour enhancers. One hundred years ago, Ukrainians used to cook simple and healthy dishes, using mostly home made ingredients. One of them was a pie, popular in the family of Ukrainian writer Olha Kobylianska.
“The main ingredients of this pie are flour, eggs, a block of butter, and apples for the filling. Today, we made an apple pie, since plums are not in season now, unfortunately,” cooking project participant, Alla Savchenko said.
The recipe was found in a book called ‘How to cook good and healthy dishes’. It was published in the 1930s in the town of Kolomyia, in Ukraine’s Ivano-Frankivsk region. When participants of a recent culinary project learned where the dish came from, they decided to learn more about it.
“When we met with the grandson of Olha Kobylianska, he said he would make some changes to the recipe. In the book, it’s described as an apple and plum pie. While at home, they mostly made it with plums. There was a large plum tree in their garden, and they had to do something with those plums,” cooking project participant, Larysa Latypova said.
In addition to Ukraine’s culinary history, the project studies the women who formed it. In the new versions of the cooking books, original texts have been decorated with illustrations. They also feature information about the authors of the recipes.
“If you look at this book, you’ll see that many of the recipes are signed. And behind each of them, there’s the fate of the woman. Some are simple, while others are difficult. And it’s especially interesting to find relatives when you study recipes,” Latypova said.
The main goal of the project is to revive historical culinary traditions, to demonstrate the richness of Ukrainian cuisine, and to switch people’s attention from fast food to the culture of conscious consumption.
“The books have more than recipes. They also show how people lived, how they cooked, how the food was presented, how tables were set, and what tableware was used,” Savchenko said.
The authors of the culinary project have already presented their books in several Ukrainian cities. In the future, they plan to hold cooking workshops, so that even more people could learn about the best recipes.