Leningrad: Pishchepromizdat, 1938. Item #1396
274 pp.: ill. 31x44 cm. In original cloth with silver debossed lettering and embossed ornament on the front cover; the block fastened with red cord. Binding restored, modern endpapers, title page soiled and chipped, some soiling and foxing of pages. Otherwise very good.
First and only edition. One of 4,000 copies. Scarce.
Compiled by Abram Konnikov (1901-1981), a well-known figure in the Soviet food industry and co-author of the legendary cookbook “The Book of Tasty and Healthy Food” (1939).
This parade edition was published by the Main Directorate of the Meat Industry for wealthy party officials. Despite the food shortage active in the Soviet Union throughout many decades, some social groups were profusely supplied with high-calorie meat and meat products. Weighing 6,5 kilograms, this heavy album was intended to lie on wide office tables.
The catalog contains meat products that weren’t available in ordinary stores at that time: recipes and drawings were published to demonstrate the achievements of the meat industry. These sausages and smoked meats were cooked at the enterprises of the People’s Commissariat for Food Industry.
In the early 1930s, a delegation of the Soviet meat industry was sent to Chicago to master new technologies and practices. The People’s Commissar for the Food Industry, Anastas Mikoyan, visited the United States personally in 1936 and managed to achieve the rapid development of the food industry. The new butchery combinats were equipped with advanced machinery.
Unlike most parade editions of that time, the layout of this catalog is rather inelaborate, without photomontages and fold-outs. The entire album was printed on coated paper leaves. Product recipes are placed on the verso of the leaves. The rectoes feature remarkable color lithographic illustrations by V. Loginov. Overall 121 images show high-grade checkered glazed sausages, first-class Russian frankfurters, high-grade sujuk sausages, high-grade smoked mutton ham, etc. The illustrations are supplemented with captions in Russian and English.
According to the printer’s information, the book illustrations were created for about 2 years. The products are divided into 11 sections. Each one of them opens with a photograph: the Leningrad Butchery Combinat named after Kirov, the Semipalatinsk Butchery Combinat, processing mincemeat, new machinery installed, etc. The edition closes with a photo of the Engels Butchery Combinat.
This large album was outrun by thin non-parade albums on certain types of meat products; they came out under the same title “Sausages and Smoked Meat Products” but consisted of only 30- 70 pages. This edition was the most expensive among several other versions published in 1938.
The only copy is located in Chicago University.