“The Kingdom of Rye: Russian Food and National Identity” by Darra Goldstein
Darra Goldstein explores Russian national identity and cuisine from the earliest times to the present. Ever since Peter the Great opened his country to the West, Russians have struggled with ambivalence toward outside influences, with Western culinary trends either embraced or rejected depending on political leanings. Today, foreign food is once again fraught. The economic sanctions imposed by Western powers following the 2014 annexation of Crimea led Russia to ban certain imports. Widespread food shortages jumpstarted a revival of archaic techniques and artisanal production, transforming Russia’s gastronomic landscape and causing new forms of nationalism to play out in the culinary sphere.
Darra Goldstein is the Willcox B. and Harriet M. Adsit Professor of Russian, Emerita at Williams College. The founding editor of the journal Gastronomica, she is also the author of six award-winning cookbooks. Darra has consulted for the Council of Europe on using food as a tool for tolerance and diversity and has held distinguished fellowships in food studies at the University of Toronto and the University of Melbourne. She currently sits on the board of the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts and is a member of the advisory “Kitchen Cabinet” of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. In 2020 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals.