The author is being interviewed today on "The World" on NPR. It is a memoir and a history of Russia and the USSR via food and the food described in classic Russian literature. Anya von Bremsen (sp?), the author, describes her mother's ecstasy at seeing the abundance of food in American supermarkets when first they immigrated. She wrote an actual cookbook of regional Soviet recipes that was published the year the USSR split apart. She makes an interesting point - that much of the joy people take in foods is fueled by nostalgia and scarcity. That is, the foods we want/enjoy the most are the ones we can't access often, or at all.