Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

The composition of peasant food was determined by the natural character of his farm, purchased food were rare. She was distinguished by simplicity, she was also called coarse, since it required a minimum of time for cooking. A huge amount of work on the housework did not leave the cook for cooking dainties and everyday food was monotonous. Only on holidays, when the hostess had enough time, other dishes appeared on the table. A rural woman was conservative in ingredients and cooking.

The lack of culinary experiments was also one of the features of the household tradition. The villagers were not pretentious in food, so all recipes for its diversity were perceived as self-indulgence.

The well-known saying “Shchi and porridge is our food” truly reflected the everyday content of the food of the villagers. In the Oryol province, the daily food of both rich and poor peasants was “brew” (soup) or soup. On early days, these foods were seasoned with lard or "grilled" (internal pork fat), and on fasting days - with hemp oil.In Petrovsky Post, the Oryol peasants ate mura or a turi of bread, water, and butter. Festive food was distinguished by the fact that it was better seasoned, the same “brew” was cooked with meat, porridge with milk, and on the most solemn days they fried potatoes with meat. On large temple festivals, peasants cooked jelly, aspic from legs and giblets.

Meat was not a permanent component of the peasant diet. According to the observations of N. Brzhevsky, the food of the peasants, quantitatively and qualitatively, did not satisfy the basic needs of the organism. “Milk, butter, cottage cheese, meat,” he wrote, “all foods rich in protein substances appear on the peasant table in exceptional cases - at weddings, on the feast days. Chronic malnutrition is common in a peasant family. ”

Another rarity on the peasant table was wheat bread. In the Statistical Sketch of the Economic Situation of the Peasants of the Oryol and Tula Gubernias (1902) M. Kashkarov noted that “wheat flour never occurs in the everyday life of the peasant, except in gifts brought from the city, in the form of rolls. To all questions about the culture of wheat, I repeatedly heard the saying: “White bread is for the white body.”At the beginning of the twentieth century, in the villages of the Tambov Gubernia, the composition of bread consumed was distributed as follows: rye flour - 81.2, wheat flour - 2.3, cereals - 16.3%.

Of the cereals eaten in the Tambov province, the most common was millet. From it cooked porridge kulesh, when pork lard was added to porridge. Lenten soup was filled with vegetable oil, and skorimnye soup whitened with milk or sour cream. The main vegetables eaten here were cabbage and potatoes. Carrots, beets and other root vegetables were grown little before the revolution in the village. Cucumbers appeared in the gardens of Tambov peasants only in Soviet times. Later, in the 1930s, tomatoes were grown in vegetable gardens. Traditionally, in villages they cultivated and consumed legumes: peas, beans, lentils.

The daily drink of the peasants was water, in the summertime they were preparing kvass. At the end of the 19th century, tea drinking was not common in the villages of the chernozem region, if tea was consumed, then during the illness, brewing it in a clay pot in the oven.

Usually, the order of food among the peasants was as follows: in the morning, when everyone got up, they were reinforced by what: bread with water, baked potatoes, yesterday’s leftovers.At 9-10 am we sat down at the table and had breakfast with a brew and potatoes. Hours at 12, but no later than 2 days, everyone had lunch, ate bread and salt at lunch. We had dinner in the village at 9 o'clock in the evening, and in the winter even earlier. The field work required considerable physical effort and the peasants, to the best of their abilities, tried to consume more high-calorie food.

In the absence of any significant food supply in the peasant families, each crop failure caused serious consequences. In the hungry time, the consumption of food by the rural family was reduced to a minimum. For the purpose of physical survival in the village, cattle were slaughtered, seeds were eaten, inventory was sold out. In the famine, peasants ate bread from buckwheat, barley, or rye flour with chaff. K.Arsenyev after a trip to the hungry villages of Morshansk uyezd of the Tambov province (1892) described his impressions in the Herald of Europe as follows: “During the famine, the family of peasants Senichkin and Morgunov were fed with soup made of unfit gray cabbage leaves, strongly seasoned with salt. This caused terrible thirst, the children drank a lot of water, swelled and died. ”

Periodic hunger has developed a tradition of survival in the Russian countryside.Here are sketches of this hungry everyday life. “In the village of Moscow, Voronezh district, during the famine years (1919-1921), existing food bans (not eating pigeons, horses, hares) were of little importance. The local population ate a suitable plant, plantain, did not disdain to cook horse soup, ate "sorochinu and varanyatinu." Hot dishes were made from potatoes, covered with grated beet, toasted rye, and added quinoa. In the years of hunger, they did not eat bread without any impurities, in which they used grass, quinoa, chaff, potato and beet tops, and other surrogates.

But even in prosperous years, malnutrition and unbalanced nutrition were commonplace. At the beginning of the twentieth century in European Russia, the peasant population accounted for 4,500 Kcal per consumer per day, 84.7% of which were of plant origin, including 62.9% of bread and only 15.3% of calories received from food of the animal origin. For example, sugar consumption by rural residents was less than a pound per month, and vegetable oil - half a pound.

According to the correspondent of the Ethnographic Bureau, meat consumption at the end of the 19th century by a poor family was 20 pounds,wealthy - 1.5 pounds per year. In the period 1921-1927, plant products in the diet of Tambov peasants accounted for 90–95%. Meat consumption was negligible: 10 to 20 pounds per year.

But this information surprised me. According to A. Shingarev, at the beginning of the twentieth century, there were only two baths in 36 families in the village of Mokhovatka for 36 families, and in the next Novo-Khimberkin one in 10 families. Most of the peasants washed once or twice a month in a hut, in trays or simply on straw.

The tradition of washing in the stove persisted in the village until World War II. An Oryol peasant woman, a resident of the village of Ilinskoe, M. Semkina (born in 1919), recalled: “We used to swim at home, from a bucket, there was no bath. And the old men climbed into the stove. Mother will sweep the stove, the straw is flooded there, the old men climb, the bones warm ”.

Permanent household and field work practically did not leave time for peasant women to maintain cleanliness in their homes. At best, once a day, swept litter out of the hut. The floors in the houses were washed no more than 2-3 times a year, usually for the feast day, Easter and Christmas. Easter in the village has traditionally been a holiday to which the villagers put their houses in order.

source On the peasant diet and hygiene is written by Doctor of Historical Sciences Vladimir Bezgin in the article “Traditions of peasant life of the late XIX - early XX centuries (food, housing, clothing)” (“Bulletin of Tambov State Technical University”, No. 4, 2005)

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  • Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century

    Food in the Russian village of the late XIX century