Silvena Rowe turns to countries such as Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Poland, Georgia, Russia, and the Ukraine for her inspiration. She cooks game with sweet-and-sour stuffing, sauces and marinades; smoked fish; wild mushrooms; fruits such as quince, figs and pomegranates; and seeds and grains such as lentils, pearl barley and poppy seeds. She plunders the traditions of the poor and wealthy alike in her quest to bring us a taste of what is put upon the tables in these countries. The food is untamed and the flavors are strong.
Alongside Silvena’s recipes are photographs of the food markets, farms, homes, grand cafés and restaurants of Eastern and Central Europe by renowned photographer Jonathan Lovekin.
As the author describes is her book: “The soups vary from the hearty winter warmers of Hungary to light, delicate, chilled summer soups; the stews encompass goulash and the aromatic braised lamb recipes of Georgia; and there are legions of dumplings, including the classic pierogi, the delicate uszka, the savory leniwe and the hearty pyzy. Subtle, yet forceful, marinades; pickles and preserves; smoked fish, sausages, and meats—they all play a role in this rich and almost unknown treasure trove that can rival the culinary cultures of France and Italy in its depth and breadth.”