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19th Century Princess And Cookbook Author Was Also Georgia's First Feminist

Princess Barbare Jorjadze is renowned for her cookbook. But she spent most of her life writing letters, poems and essays, to fight for a greater public role for Georgian women.
Portrait of Barbare Jorjadze in the Georgian National Library's reading room named after her. Source: George Lomsadze for NPR

In 19th century Georgia, Princess Barbare Jorjadze grew up to be the country's first feminist. But until recently she's been best remembered for another accomplishment – her cookbook.

Jorjadze's book, Georgian Cuisine and Tried Housekeeping Notes, has long been a prized household possession. While its more elaborate recipes have been forgotten, the book's simpler dishes have retained currency through nearly 150 years of cataclysmic changes. Two centuries, two world wars, and two empires (Tsarist and Soviet) later, Georgians still make a holiday dish of satsivi, with turkey in a walnut puree-thickened gravy, pretty much the way Jorjadze instructed in 1874.

"Put half a pound of crushed walnuts in the stock. Add two diced onions and two cloves of finely chopped garlic, coriander and other herbs, and bring to boil."

Jorjadze suggested boiling and then broiling the turkey to soften the meat. Scrawny and petite compared to their giant American

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