I picked up this book, like many of my book selections, thinking I could learn a bit more about Soviet food, culture and history than my limited Americana knowledge. This book might actually be even better to read if you have more than the basics on Soviet history. I’ll admit, I have read some Tolstoy, Anna Karenina and probably a cliff note or two on War and Peace, but many of the references might have more relevance if you’re past Soviet 101. The author dives very deep into history here, creating dinners with friends in the U.S. around meals that would have been served during a specific decade, an often around the leadership that was in place at the time. I felt like it was taking each leader by leader, history, food, personal memories and bread lines one decade at a time. It’s certainly was an interesting read, hard to follow at times and more than just a food memoir. It even prompted me to cook the beets that I photographed here. They didn’t turn into anything interesting though given the strong smell, that’s for a later date. Pirochki might have been the tastier option!