Here The Khrushchev era is well known as a time where corn was heavily favored as a staple food. Khrushchev himself pushed for corn to be the favored resource in agriculture. On his trip to the US, Khrushchev experienced the extreme difference in culture as well as agriculture. He decided to adopt corn for the Soviet Union and had a plan to save many people from starvation.
For a few years corn thrived on Soviet soil when there was a short period of hot summers. After this small success, Khrushchev pushed for even more radical agricultural goals. However, the Soviet over-extension into colder territories that couldn’t support the growth of corn coupled with a lack in agricultural technology and an absence of a proper climate, corn started to fail the Soviet economy. The Soviet Union failed to put forth the quantities they predicted, and so the popularity of it as a staple food as well as Khrushchev’s own popularity plummeted.
Even with it’s short lived success, corn has influenced Russian cuisine and culture in a very big way. With Khrushchev’s introduction of corn to the Soviet Union, many new recipes came about making good use of this food. It is interesting to observe the propaganda and influence on culture throughout history.
This picture of Khrushchev holding up corn is very symbolic. Khrushchev had extreme difficulty introducing an alien crop to the tightly knit Russian community, especially one that came from the evil capitalist west. Therefore, in this picture we see Khrushchev standing with corn in his hand, as if a defendant acting on the behalf of the corn in a courtroom. As we know from the brief historical recap, many were skeptical of this alien crop, whether it would be able to grow or if it was as useful in Russian cuisine. Everyone viewed this move by Khrushchev as radical. However, in order to save the Russian people from famine, he knew he had to work in radical ways, even if it was to accept help from the west.
Here we see a propaganda poster saying to make way for corn. As a statement of acceptance from the Russians as well as livestock. In the radical campaign to popularize corn, land that was originally used for other agricultural purposes, such as to grow wheat and barley, was given to corn instead. In this way corn not only metaphorically replaced a lot of traditional agricultural products, but also physically. It was mostly used to feed the livestock, so in the propaganda poster we see so many animals that would in theory be eating the corn.