Mamushka: Recipes From Ukraine & Beyond by Olia Hercules
Photography by Kris Kirkham
Published by Mitchell Beazley, £25
Mamushka came into the world - last year - when Cookbook Corner was dormant, and I have long since wanted to bring it to your attention. Like many first-time cookery books that make their mark robustly and deservedly, this one came out of left field: a personal collection of recipes from Ukraine, with influences from Russia, Armenia, Georgia and Moldova, Mamushka is a book that isn’t about trends but about telling stories, my favourite sort of cookbook. Olia Hercules has a voice that is vibrant and original (without striving to be so) and it is impossible not to read these recipes, and her introductions to them, without itching to get into the kitchen and cook; the recipe I’ve selected below shows you just what I mean. But I do have to say that I pored long over the Bread & Pastries, Vegetables & Salads, Fermented Pickles & Preserves and Desserts chapters as I made the difficult choice of just one recipe; my own copy of Mamushka is littered with post-it notes, as indeed yours will be too, I’d bet. But that’s just as it should be. This is a rich gift of a book for which this mamushka is very grateful!