No. 13: Aux Gourmets

Aux Gourmets / O’Gurme

13 Nevsky Prospect: Aux Gourmets (gourmet food shop)

Aux gourmets, O’Gurme in Russian, which means ‘for gourmets’, was one of the colonial stores in Petersburg, which meant that beside domestic products, it sold imported foods and wines. The shop was located on the corner of Nevsky and Bol’shaia (Big) Morskaia Street; its entrance was on 11 Morskaia. Until the beginning of the 20th century, the building housed the famous restaurant Diusso (Dussot in French), a.k.a. as Legran, habituated by the 19th century writers Turgenev, Goncharov, and Nekrasov.

Satirikon humorist Sergei Gorny remembers lobsters on ice and fish in aspic in the shop’s show windows. Aux gourmet specialized in fine fish and meat products, fresh fruit and vegetables, which were delicacies in Petersburg except for the summer and early fall, and fine imported wines and hard liquors. Alexander Blok’s biographer Vladimir Orlov writes that Aux gourmets offered fresh fish, oysters, lobster, and English lamb that came from Ostende (Netherlands) and Paris daily, as well as Moscow milk-fed suckling pig – a key image in Bely’s Petersburg, where it is associated not only with gourmet food, but also murder and cannibalism.

For more photographs inside Aux gourmets, click here.


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