Somehow, it is believed that under the Soviet regime the country was total deficit. This is not so. In the 60-ies and 70-ies of the last century, the expensive and exquisite the food was in any city at least one store in the center.
However, there is a perception that the delicacies received only the party and Soviet nomenklatura (usually via tables of orders). But in any city there were hundreds and thousands of wealthy people, figures of culture and art, the employees of the trade bases and grocery stores, sellers Commission, fur and jewelry shops, waiters, employees of oil depots, gas stations and other “bread” places.
But ordinary working people then were very small salaries, so they went to the city center for a meal or even visited such stores. For example, my mother, who worked as a nurse, wage was first 56 rubles, then 60 rubles, and only in the 70 years she began to pay 70 rubles per month.
So a family of simple workers and employees, who lived in the peripheral cities, then thought not only about caviar, sturgeon, and pork, but even on a good cheese. And bought something that was simpler and cheaper…
I once met at a tram stop their classmate, the daughter of the chief, and was amazed that she specifically goes to the city Center to buy a solid piece of (Dutch) cheese. But in our family could afford to buy no more than 250-300 grams of the cheapest cheese in a month when the expected arrival of guests.
Remember going with my grandmother to the market to buy chicken giblets, which are considered a delicacy. There, on the market, I saw many people bought “broken” (cracked or dent makes people) chicken eggs. But in this case I already knew that these people have little money.
As a child I always wanted to try the kippers-smoked – she was so Golden and so fragrant smell ! But my parents didn’t have money for it, so they bought a simple herring. And when does “life has become better, life has become merrier” we began to go to the regional center, even for a cheap herring.
By the way, in many peripheral cities in those years were sold mostly “gray” and white bread (black bread in the South did not bake). But it was baked mostly in the form of bricks.
Once to visit us for the big celebration came the familiar father and brought with him a bag of food. I was just shocked to see that there was a beautiful loaf of white bread.
Before this bread I just saw ! Of course, the shops in the centre of loaves of bread were probably on sale. But in the working class neighborhood was selling white bread in the form of bricks, because this bread was cheaper and more available workers.
By the way, I want to remind you that the author talked about events more than half a century ago ! So I suggest to Muscovites and those who are less than 60 years, not to Excel in writing hateful and “accusatory” comments.
(This is our country, it is our biography)