Bread and Salt: A Social and Economic History of Food and Drink in Russia
Bread and Salt - a literal translation of the Russian word for hospitality - explores the social and economic implications of eating and drinking in Russia in the thousand years before 1900. Eating and drinking are viewed here as social activities which involves the economics of production, storage and distribution of food stuffs. These activities attract both social controls and state taxation; in this way the everyday process of eating and drinking is linked with the history of Russia. The dominance of grain in the diet throughout the period and the importance of salt, as implied in the title, are dealt with, as are the early Russian beer-drinking fraternities. The relatively late introduction of spirits, in the from of vodka, and it disastrous consequences in social terms are described. Tea and the samovar, also much more a latecomer than is generally realized, did little to diminish excessive drinking. Drinking, in any event, was by no means discourage by the state, since it was a major source of state income. The final section of the book looks at rural diets in the nineteenth century, when some variation and new items, such as the potato, became important. At the same time, peasants depended basically on the grain crop, as they had for thousands of years. Forced by txation to enter the market, afflicted by severe famines towards the end of the century, many peasants ate and drank no better as a result of the modernization of the county.
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grain and game
a major extractive industry
ale and alchemy
the seventeenth century
Tea and temperance
The established pattern
Tavern and treasury
1 Per capita consumption of vodka litres 18191905
2 Liquor taxes as proportion of ordinary revenue 18051913
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alcohol amount artisan quarter Astrakhan average beer Beloozero boyars bread brew brine buckets cabbage Cherdyn chets church consumed consumption decline dengas diet dietary distilled drink drink-shop drunk drunkenness early eighteenth century European Russia evidence f1gures f1rst famine farm feasts festivals fish flour foodstuffs frumenty gentry grain gruel harvest households Ibid important increased industry Istoriya kabakov Kholmogory kopeks kvas Kyakhta labour land late liquor farmers mead meat merchants monastery monopoly Moscow nineteenth century Nizhnii Novgorod Novgorod Ocherki officials peasantry peasants period Peter pot-house potatoes produced province Pryzhov Pskov puds quantities regions revenue rubles rural Ryazan salt salt-works samovar sell seventeenth century sixteenth century Smolensk sold Solevarennaya promyshlennost Solovki sometimes spirits St Petersburg Stoglav stove Stroganovs supplies Table tion towns trade tsar tsar's uezd variations village vodka Volga volosts votchina White Sea