How to Cite
Palatkin, V. V. (2021). Alimentary Landscape of the Astrakhan Region: Stages and Specifics of Formation. Heritage of Centuries, (2), 81-90.
Regional Historical and Cultural Studies

Alimentary Landscape of the Astrakhan Region: Stages and Specifics of Formation

  • © Palatkin Vladimir V. Postgraduate Student, Astrakhan State University, Astrakhan, Russian Federation


The article aims to identify the specifics of the formation and determine the stages of transformation of the Astrakhan alimentary landscape, which arose on the basis of a set of natural and cultural landscapes of the region. The materials of the research were travelers’ notes, the results of the studies of Russian and foreign historians, culturologists and naturalists. The research was carried out mainly in line with the historical and anthropological approach, which provided a holistic understanding of the natural and ethnocultural features of the region and made it possible to use a rich set of specific methods (comparative and systems analysis, problem-chronological and historical-genetic methods). The natural resources of the Astrakhan region of the pre-Soviet period were studied, the ethnic diversity that had developed in the region was characterized. Numerous economic activities of the population were analyzed as the basis of the Astrakhan alimentary landscape. Close attention was paid to the regional characteristics of the production and consumption of certain types of food products (fish and fish products, some flour products, tea). The transformation of the alimentary landscape of the studied region in the period after the establishment of Soviet power was analyzed. It was determined that the process of evolution of the Astrakhan alimentary landscape developed in two stages. In the first of them, it was mainly influenced by both objective (richness of natural resources, diversity of ecological zones) and subjective factors (polyculturalism and polyethnicity of the region, cultural exchange between different ethnic groups). The second stage of the transformation of the alimentary landscape began after the revolutionary events of 1917, its main content was the change in the attitude of the population to food (food preferences were simplified due to the influence of the socioeconomic upheavals of the first half of the 20th century) and the gradual unification of gastronomic practices throughout the country. It was revealed that the reorientation of the region to new types of agricultural products added new types of products to the population, but practically destroyed the already traditional ones, especially those that could act as a regional brand. It is emphasized that many regional practices, while slightly transforming, remained under the influence of national trends. At the end of the second stage, the preparation of products for a long time by drying, salting and pickling retained a significant role in the diet.

Keywords: food, alimentary landscape, alimentary culture, multiculturalism, cultural codes, transformation, consumption, Volga region, famine