“Grated” by Nikolai Gogol: you ate devils and Cossacks

«Жратвиада» Николая Гоголя: что ели черти и казаки

© RIA Novosti, Pavel Balabanovcreativity of the great writer is a veritable feast for the mind and body. Ukraine.ru continues the publication of “Literary cookery”. Last time we talked about some of the culinary preferences of Shevchenko. Now the focus is on Gogol.Everyone who from childhood were absorbed in the works of Nikolai Gogol, knows that they are a veritable encyclopedia of folk life of Ukrainians and Russians – and the first place here, of course, is the description of a traditional cuisine. Patsyuk and Chichikov, Taras Bulba, Sobakevich, Korobochka, and most of the other Gogol’s characters in full drink and eat – and the author describes their cuisine with genuine inspiration, which gives it a true foodie and chef.

“A remarkable feature of many of Gogol’s works is that the reader is constantly keeping contact with the stomach of a character, almost real feeling, well-fed character at the moment or hungry. The plot of saturation goes hand in hand with the plot event, or even largely prepares and conditions”, so wrote about this philosopher Leonid Karasev, revealing the peculiarities of the literary method of Gogol, who certainly knew the way to the soul and heart of the reader often goes through the stomach.The roots of the interest in a good and varied diet, of course, go directly to the Ukrainian childhood of the great writer. Hospitality, Patriarchal way of life described in the story “old world landowners,” written by Gogol, after visiting the family estate Vasilevka. The prototypes of its heroes Pulcheria Ivanovna and Athanasius Ivanovich Tovstogub are considered the grandparents of the writer – Tatyana S. (nee Lizogub) and Athanasius Demyanovich Gogol Janowskie. Couple of Gogol’s heroes spent their idyllic days of continuous feast which was distinguished culinary diversity: “in addition to dishes and gravy boats on the table stood a variety of pots covered with lids, so it didn’t fizzle out some delicious products vintage delicious cuisine.”Not surprisingly, the Ukrainian Gogol constantly beat the culinary theme. So, the famous devil of the novel “Evenings on a farm near Dikanka” is it real “by chistera”, which is “wearing a hat and standing in front of the hearth… roasted sinners with the same pleasure with which usually the woman cooks for Christmas sausage”. And another representative of the evil forces – medicine man pot-Bellied Patsyuk – juicy absorbed in the post of small dumplings with sour cream. “Patsyuk opened his mouth, looked at the dumplings and even more gaped. At this time, the dumpling splashed from the bowl, slapped in the sour cream, turned over on the other side, jumped up and just hit him in the mouth. Patsyuk ate again and opened his mouth, and dumpling the same order went to again. Only he took the trouble to chew and swallow.” Everyone agrees that this famous comic scene has become a classic both for Russian and for Ukrainian culture.

There, on the pages of the first part of “Evenings on a farm near Dikanka”, you can read this the national anthem of the people’s simple and healthy food: “But how will welcome in guests, the melon will provide such kind as you age, may not be eaten; but of honey, and sabaeus, best not syschete on farms. Imagine that how to make a hundred, the spirit will go around the room, you can not imagine what: clean as a tear or a crystal dear what happens in the earrings. And what pie will feed my woman! What pies, if you only knew: sugar, perfect sugar! And the oil is now flowing and lips when you start to eat… Drink have you ever, gentlemen, pear brew with thorny berries or a variety with raisins and plums? Or if you did not happen often, there is poetry milk? Oh, my God, what in the world of savory meat! Will be there – yummy, and complete. The sweetness is indescribable!”.

«Жратвиада» Николая Гоголя: что ели черти и казаки

© photo from the film “Evenings on a farm near Dikanka”by Ukrainian villagers prepare Gogol ritual Christmas dishes that were used in the rituals of the winter carols. The ability to eat well is for him a necessary quality of being a Cossack. “He lived like a real Cossack: nothing worked, and slept three-quarters of a day, ate for six haymakers and drink at one time almost the whole bucket” — describes Nikolai this kind of national ideal of a knight and a hero, which today is a model for a sufficient number is always full and drunk, but never worked “Patriotic activists”.

But the real peak of gastronomic creativity of Gogol, of course, are famous. “Dead souls”. The writer and critic Andrew White described this piece ironic the word “Grated”, rightly noting the great appetite of the heroes of this poem. Just remember that arrived in the provincial city of Chichikov immediately served lunch “soup with puff pie, purposely kept for rides in a few weeks, brains with peas, sausages with cabbage, a roast fowl, pickled cucumber and eternally sweet puff cake”. Then on the pages of the works carries on a feast — until his final lines.

Suffice it to recall the landowner Box, which heartily entertains visiting the official homemade pickles: “on the table were already fungi, pies, skorodum, sanicki, pagli…tortillas with all sorts of pripiceni: propecai with onions, propecai with poppy seeds, propecai with cheese, propecai with snastochkami… you, mother, blintze very tasty, — said Chichikov, as we approach born hot”.

And what about the way Sobakevich, who is one of the first gourmets in Russian literature — demonstrating a funny national-Patriotic bias. He also eats with a taste of traditional folk dishes, cursing at the same taught by the French Governor’s cooks, who allegedly made under the guise of a hare, a cat, accuses the French eating frogs and then pounced on the Germans because they invented the diet, and “treat people to death”.

Nikolay Vasilievich Gogol clearly did not favor such treatment. He loved to complain about problems with digestion, but with taste and ate perfectly cooked — treating with his Moscow friends with exotic dishes from his beloved Italy.

“The third, two hours before lunch, we suddenly resorted to Goldeneye (I was out), pulls out of the pockets of pasta, Parmesan cheese and even butter, and requests that called for the chef and explained to him how to boil pasta… When was pasta, which, according to the commandment of Gogol, was not dovarenny, he began to cook. Standing before the bowl, he rolled up his cuffs, and with haste, and at the same time with accuracy, put the first lot of oil and two tablespoons of the sauce began to stir the pasta, then put salt, then pepper and finally the cheese and continued long to disturb. It was impossible without laughter and amazement to see Gogol; he was so heartily engaged in this business as if it was his favorite craft, and I thought that if fate had not made Gogol a great poet, he would certainly be a artist chef. How soon was a sign that the pasta is ready, that is, when full-blown cheese began to stretch the yarn, Goldeneye with great haste forced us to put on plates of pasta and eat. The pasta was definitely delicious, but many seemed not too dovaren and sprinkled with pepper; but Gogol found them very good, ate a lot and didn’t feel then any of the hardships that some then complained… During all the time of stay of Gogol in Moscow, the pasta came to us quite often,” wrote about that Sergey Aksakov in the famous memoir, “the Story of my acquaintance with Gogol, with the inclusion of all correspondence from 1832 to 1852”.

In fact — it is a recipe classic Mediterranean pasta Maccheroni con parmesan, which, ironically, left to posterity a classic of Russian and Ukrainian literature, Nikolai Gogol — who knew a lot about and ravioli, and dumplings with sour cream. And it gives us a reason again on a new to re-read his favorite books.Andrey Manchuk

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