Friday, 21 October 2016

Leo Tolstoy: A Vegetarian's Tale - S. Pavlenko

Leo Tolstoy: A Vegetarian's Tale: Tolstoy's Family Vegetarian Recipes Adapted For The Modern Kitchen
S. Pavlenko

Step back in time and dine on the family recipes of Leo Tolstoy, one of the world’s preeminent vegetarians and the author of War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

Learn the recipes of one of history’s most famous writers and vegetarians in Leo Tolstoy: A Vegetarian’s Tale . Featuring the writer’s original recipes as interpreted by renowned modern-day chef, this book is guaranteed to provide you with some of the best-tasting meat-free meals you’ve ever cooked!

Leo Tolstoy was a trendsetter. He was one of the most important and prolific writers of his time—his novels, like Anna Karenina and War and Peace , are still being taught in schools and adapted for the screen. But he was also one of the first widely known vegetarians. Though a meat-eater early in his life, by the time he turned 50 he’d decided it was immoral for someone to kill on his behalf just so he could enjoy a slab of beef for lunch. He became an ovo-lacto vegetarian, but because of the time in which he lived it was up to him (and particularly his lovely wife, Sofia) to create vegan and vegetarian recipes that would both taste good and keep him healthy.

Now, for the first time ever, Tolstoy’s mouth-watering, meat-free meals have been collected in Leo Tolstoy: A Vegetarian’s Tale . This book features vegan and vegetarian recipes from Tolstoy’s wife. Sophia Tolstoy’s 1874 “Cookery Book”, which was compiled for her by her brother from her diaries, provides a rich tapestry of the Tolstoy family’s dining habits.

The recipes range from homemade Macaroni and Cheese to Potatoes a la Maître D’Hôtel, with plenty of tasty options in between (including family specialties you can’t find anywhere else, such as Tolstoy’s Herbal Liqueur). Many of the original versions of the recipes lacked exact descriptions of ingredients and cooking times, but the recipes were edited by chef de cuisine at some of Moscow’s best fine-dining restaurants to insert the missing elements to make the meals you prepare as delicious as possible. So whether you’re looking for a modern revision on a classic or the original recipe right from the 1800’s, you’re guaranteed to find a meal you’ll love.

The book contains not only original recipes from Tolstoy and his family; it also includes diary entries written by his wife Sofia, his children, and others who stayed at his estate. These fascinating passages help illuminate the famous writer’s day-to-day life.

Please Pass The Books Review:

An interesting peek into the former family cookbook of Leo Tolstoy's wife, Sophia.

The author has gone through the trouble of modifying Sophia Tolstoy's original recipes to suit today's ingredients and kitchens. That said, the recipes aren't really the highlight of this cookbook, and I didn't find one that stuck out as particularly appetizing or inspiring enough to warrant an attempt. Where this book holds its appeal is in the personal insight into Tolstoy's eating habits and preferences, which are interspersed between each recipe in the form of a family story. As a cookbook (and as someone who loves to cook myself), I'd probably pass this one up. But as a literary buff, I think this cookbook would make a delightful addition to the bookshelf of likeminded Tolstoy fans—and possibly prove useful for a themed dinner party.


I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion, which this certainly is.

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