Food, At Last!

Ah, food, at last. I can’t believe I got over twenty posts in my blog… and this is the first time I am going to mention food, Russian food. See, Russian cuisine is a very important part of Russia and its history. Since I live abroad, a number of people always ask me and my family, “So what is it that you eat in Russia?” and “What’s the most typical Russian food?” to which I just get lost and stutter. I mean, there are so many different foods in Russia, but none that I can fully explain. If I say soup, they ask me for the ingredients of the soup. If I say salad, they don’t understand the difference between the salad they know and… well, Russian salad. If I say a weird dish name, I have to explain it… there’s never an easy way out, therefore, Russian food is still something that continues to mystify Westerners.

Among the stars of the Russian dining table we may encounter fragrant borscht with sour-cream, thin blini or pancakes with red caviar, tempting pelmeni, an abundance of herring of all sorts… and, well, the list could go on and on.

One of my favorite tastes of my homeland… red caviar spread on white bread with butter.

Influenced by natural and geographical conditions, it is perhaps one of the most colorful cuisines in the world! The abundance of rivers, lakes and forests contributed to the appearance of dishes made from fish, mushrooms, and berries. With origins as uncertain as they are interesting, Russian food recipes have been around for many, many centuries. From the fields come a variety of grains—rye, oat, wheat, barley, buckwheat—providing the beginnings for bread, cereal, pancakes, porridge or kasha… and of course, vodka.

From the early times dough was used to make pelmenivarenikipirozhki, blini, and brown rye bread, without which one cannot possibly imagine the Russian cuisine.

Pirozhki: baked buns stuffed with a variety of fillings, vegetables, meat, and even sweet-based fillings from fruit, jam, or cottage cheese.

Pelmeni: fillings, usually meat, wrapped in thin unleavened dough.

Soups are another essential part of Russian cuisine, perhaps the most important. There is a variety of different soups, among which we find, shchiborschtsolyankarassolnik, and a fish soup named uha.

Delicious borscht soup made with fresh red beets, beef shank, onions, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, and garnished with sour cream.

A traditional meal in Russia is composed of three dishes. The first is the soup. It is thought that if you didn’t eat soup for lunch, you simply haven’t eaten! It scares me how much of crazy soup lovers we are… Second comes the main plate, which is meat or fish with garnish. And to finish off, some sort of beverage, compotemors (a drink made out of berries), kissel. That is the most traditional Russian dessert you can find.

A delicious jar of compote, with floating pieces of stewed fruits

Compote, or stewed fruit, is a traditional Russian dessert beverage that combines an assortment of fruits with rich and thick syrup, served either hot or cold, depending on the season… The base of the compote is, of course, the fruit – usually strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apricots, prunes, and plums. These non-alcoholic drinks based on berries were always very popular in Russia. Among other drinks we’ve got kvassbeer, Medovukha (a Slavic honey-based alcoholic beverage), vishnevka (a cherry liqueur)… and well, that’s all I can think of for now.

Oh, and tea. I can’t forget about Russian tea, since it is highly important. Maybe even more important than soup, nah, just kidding, nothing is more important than soup. But tea is at a close second place *winks* Traditionally, Russian tea is accompanied by bublikibaranki, and prianiki.

Tea with prianiki, which are gingerbread cookies with spices and honey.

And this is bubliki… 

Well, sadly, this post has come to its end, because I’m hungry now. Laters everyone.

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18 thoughts on “Food, At Last!

  1. I love Russian food, too! I came from Japan. Since its geographic location, we saw many Russians (visiting on business) in my hometown. There are some good Russian restaurants. I miss them now

  2. I’ve never tried prianiki cookies. In fact, I think I’ve never seen them… :/ I should be a bit more awake when I go to the market ^_^
    Btw I absolutely adore пончики!

  3. Not sure if steak tartare is Russian but it used to b a staple diet, of mine, flambéed with vodka, that was definitely Russian, for a few seconds to sear the edges..quite good! I made my first borscht a few months ago, with green olives,adding a lovely taste. The best borscht I had was in Poland I have to say, made specially for me by a receptionist in a hotel I was staying at – well, that’s what she said anyway, and I learnt that the stomach is indeed more important than the heart in matters of love and desire!…and that is Russia’s/Eastern Europe’s secret: nowhere else do women play the role of the hostess with such charm and style. Hospitality is wonderful in various countries, but it is in Eastern Europe/Russia that the woman is the real hostess- as friend, neighbour, acquaintance, cousin, sister, aunt, wife, mother, whatever, nowhere else in the world do women know how to be a hostess like the Russian/East European women, controlling the kitchen and the dinner or lunch table in such clever ways.

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