I recently had the pleasure of meeting Anya von Bremzen in Portland through our mutual friend, Chef Vitaly Paley. In Anya’s honor, Paley set out a lovingly prepared table of zakuski, a generous spread of Russian appetizers not unlike Mediterranean mezze. And many of the recipes were foods Vitaly and Anya grew up eating from their respective Russian childhoods. Flat breads, blini, and house-smoked fish shared the spotlight with pickled vegetables, cured meats, and caviar.
Anya’s story is fascinating and her memoir serves forth a delicious and loving story of her family as well as a good dose of Soviet culture and history, with recipes.
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