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What was the average cookware available in someone's home (apartment) in the Soviet Union? The period I'm most interested in is the post-war up to the Brezhnev Stagnation, so this is roughly 1945 - 1965.

I want to know if the State invested into this and mass produced it, or if it was largely left to artisan crafters. And did they follow any trends of the west or copied anything directly?

So cookware is anything like pots, pans, baking trays, measuring cups/spoons, utensils, plates, cutting boards. Where did people buy these things? What materials were available---glass, ceramic, wood, metals, plastics?

Was there anything esoteric/advanced for the time like pizza cutters, special knives, cheese graters, temperature probes, scales? (These are just guesses as to what may be advanced for the time and place.)

**Note: ** I'm avoiding appliances (blender, microwave, toaster, coffee maker, etc.) because that might be getting too broad and technical. Also I'm aware of "The Kitchen Debate" so it appears Khrushchev did not pursue appliances anyway. I am much more interested in the average kitchen situation of the USSR overall.

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    What research have you already done? Do you have reason to believe that some devices that were available in the West at the time were absent - if so, which ones?
    – SPavel
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 1:27
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    If you want some advice for focusing your question, consider one time period, one location, and possibly even a career. The situation for a Moscow factory worker in 1965 would be drastically different compared to a collective farm worker in 1945 Ukraine or a miner in Magadan. Also check out the "Book of Tasty and Healthy Food" for an idea of what equipment would be expected to be available to the housewife reading it.
    – SPavel
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 2:43
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    Blenders, microwaves, and coffee makers were well outside what the average family in the West was able to afford in your time period. It's extremely unlikely ordinary USSR citizens had them.
    – Jos
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 4:48
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    @Jos I also think when it comes to technical kitchen appliances, meat grinders and a canning pots might have been more common.
    – Jan
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 9:30
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    @Jos - while coffee makers like Mr. Coffee (drip coffee maker with a clock integrated and auto-start), people certainly made coffee in the 1940's and beyond. My parents used an ungainly multi-part thing, my mother-in-law used a filter-lined funnel, etc.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 13:44

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Disclaimer: the period discussed here is a bit later than the one indicated in the OP: roughly Brezhnev stagnation.

I want to know if the State invested into this and mass produced it, or if it was largely left to artisan crafters. And did they follow any trends of the west or copied anything directly?

Anything necessary for satisfying basic needs was available in the USSR, and produced on industrial scale. The choice was obviously limited, and the quality not very high... and the Soviet idea of basic needs might have been somewhat lower than in the west (perhaps, no microwave or toaster, but often a pressure cooker.)

So cookware is anything like pots, pans, baking trays, measuring cups/spoons, utensils, plates, cutting boards. Where did people buy these things? What materials were available---glass, ceramic, wood, metals, plastics?

All these can be found by googling, e.g., 'cookware USSR':

enter image description here

(image source)

Was there anything esoteric/advanced for the time like pizza cutters, special knives, cheese graters, temperature probes, scales? (These are just guesses as to what may be advanced for the time and place.)

cheese grater
enter image description here

garlic press
enter image description here

Things like pizza cutters would be probably more exotic, since they assume acquaintance with Italian kitchen, which was very limited in a closed state like the USSR (where most citizens rarely could travel abroad and small foreign businesses, like Pizzerias, were non-existent.)

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  • Thank you but quick followup. Were the prices for them reasonable? And if you wanted higher quality did you have to go to a good restricted store like GUM?
    – DrZ214
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 13:27
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    @DrZ214 This was basic stuff - I am not sure what you have in mind by artisan crafters - making clay pots? I think industrial production of cookware existed already before the revolution. Perhaps it was less developed than other stuff - like there were several brands of cars or TVs, but I do not know of different brands of cookware. However, a pot with flowers painted on (industrially produced) it certainly cost more than a simple one. When teflon pans appeared in the 80s, they were at first somewhat hard to get.
    – Roger V.
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 13:49
  • When I did a comparable Google research, I came across a lot of pictures of pots with enamel coating (and often decorated). Is there a reason why you didn't include them with your selection of pictures?
    – ccprog
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 16:00
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    @ccprog no particular reason - I took the first that came up. I was mainly amused by the suggestion that cookware was fabricated by artisans. There exist some traditional artisan stuff, like Khokhloma, but this is used only for decorative purposes (and even that is produced in somewhat industrial setting.)
    – Roger V.
    Commented Dec 19, 2023 at 16:09
  • what you call a cheese grater is just a regular grater. Commonly used worldwide for grating anything from cheese to cabbage to potatoes.
    – jwenting
    Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 19:52

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