Olia Hercules has single-handedly put Ukrainian cuisine on the gastronomy list. She reads three extracts from her latest Book, Summer Kitchens: Recipes and Reminiscences from Every Corner of Ukraine.
“Summer kitchens” used to be ubiquitous in Ukraine, though she says they are becoming less common. These simple outdoor cooking spaces werer where meals and preserves were prepared from the bountiful produce of the summer months. Talking of Food is particularly grateful to Olia for making these recordings, as she did so only days after Putin launched his invasion of her home. The three extracts she chose to read are :
In which she briefly states the importance of borscht to the people of Ukraine.
In the second extract she relates her friend Natalia Yatsankov’s reminiscences about her grandmother’s summer kitchen.
Another friend, Olia Arabe’s memories of her grandparent’s summer kitchen.
Summer Kitchens is published by Bloomsbury Press.