Russian Culture & Cuisine: From Peter the Great to the Present

  • Wednesday, August 15, 2018
  • 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
  • Berkshire Museum, 39 South Street Pittsfield MA 01201



Russian Culture & Cuisine

An illustrated talk with food historian and Williams College Russian professor emerita

Darra Goldstein
author of A Taste of Russia: A Cookbook of Russian Hospitality and other books

Wednesday, August 15th, 3pm
Berkshire Museum
39 South Street, Pittsfield Mass.

Plus a booksigning of A Taste of Russia afterwards!

Join us for another fascinating discussion in OLLI's 2018 Distinguished Speakers Series. We'll explore Russian national identity and cuisine from the 18th century into the present. Ever since Peter the Great opened his country to the West, the Russians have struggled with ambivalence toward outside influences, alternately embracing and rejecting Western foods. Today, following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the economic sanctions imposed by Europe, Australia, and the U.S. have led Russia to ban imports of meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, and dairy products. The resulting shortages have led to a revival of artisanal production that is transforming Russia’s gastronomic landscape.

Darra Goldstein is Professor of Russian, Emerita at Williams College and Founding Editor of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture. She has published widely on literature, culture, art, and cuisine. In addition to serving as editor-in-chief of the James Beard Award-nominated Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets, she is the author of five cookbooks.

Darra has consulted for the Council of Europe as part of an international group exploring ways in which food can be used to promote tolerance and diversity. Darra did her undergraduate work at Vassar College and holds a PhD from Stanford University.

She currently serves on the Kitchen Cabinet of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and on the Advisory Board of the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts.

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR. Admission is $10 for OLLI at BCC and Berkshire Museum members, and $15 for the general public. Admission is free to Berkshire Community College students and youth 17 and under.

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