Foods of Russia

n the medieval period most Russian beverages turned national: mead, khmel, kvass, cider. Beer appeared in 1284. In 1440-1470s Russia discovered vodka made up of rye grain. Until the 17th century milk and meat weren't popular. Meat boiled in shchi (cabbage soup) or for kasha wasn't even roasted until the 16th century.

Old Moscow cuisine (17th century):

Starting with Peter the good , Russian nobility borrowed a number of West European culinary customs and traditions. Rich nobles who visited countries in Western Europe brought foreign chefs with them to expand their repertoire. it had been at this point that minced meat was introduced into Russian cuisine: chops, casseroles, pates and rolls became quite popular, along side non-Russian (Swedish, German, French) soups, which appeared within the 17th century: solyanka, (beef soup) and rassolnik (potato and pickle soup) containing brines, lemons and olives appeared at an equivalent time and were hppily integrated into the cuisine. it had been during this era that such well-known delicacies as black caviar and salted, jellied fish appeared.

In the 16th century Kazan and Astrakhan Khanates along side Bashkiria and Siberia were annexed to Russia. New food products like raisins (grapes), dried apricots, figs, melons, watermelons, lemons and tea made their introduction , much to the delight of the populace. During the short season , even poor farmers could enjoy a spread of fresh fruits, along side drying them for the long winter months. Foreign chefs cooked their national dishes, which harmoniously fitted in Russian cuisine. There was also the time of German sandwiches, butter, French and Dutch cheeses.

Petersburg cuisine (end of the 18th century-1860s)

The French expanded the assortment of starters by adding variety of old Russian meat, fish, mushroom and sour vegetable dishes the variability of which may be a surprise for foreigners. Because weather could last as long as nine months in some regions, preserved foods were an outsized a part of Russian cuisine, and households would store the maximum amount food as possible to last through the long winters. This included smoking, salting, soaking, and fermenting. Cabbage might be used all winter to form shchi, or be used as a filling for dumplings. Soaked apples were often served to guests or in some side dishes. Pickled cucumbers were a main ingredient in many dishes, including several traditional soups. Salted and dried meat and fish were eaten after religious and pre-holiday fasts. Overall, it had been a reasonably spartan diet, with most economic groups using what was available.

Traditional Russian foods are heavily influenced by filled dumplings, hearty stews, soups, potatoes and cabbage:

+Borscht one among Russia's best-known foods, a chunky, cold stew made with beets and topped with soured cream

+Beef Stroganoff - strips of beef sauteed during a sauce of butter, wine , soured cream (called 'smetana' in Russia), mustard and onions; eaten either straight or poured over rice or noodles

and-Sour Cabbage - cooked in wine vinegar, applesauce, butter and onions.diced apples, sugar, bay leaves

+Solyanka Soup - a hearty soup made up of thick chunks of beef and/or pork, cooked for hours over a coffee flame with garlic, tomatoes, peppers and carrots

+Golubtsy.- Shredded or minced beef wrapped in cabbage and steamed/boiled until cooked; found everywhere Eastern Europe

+Olivie. - a sort of salad made with pickles, eggs, bologna and carrots mixed with mayo

+Blini - thin, crepe-like pancakces topped with savory or sweet toppings like minced beef, caviar, or apples

+Potato Okroshka.- cold soup made up of buttermilk, potatoes and onions, garnished with dill; Vichyssoise (often attributed to the French, it had been actually created at the Ritz Carlton in NYC in 1917 but in fact disputed by French chefs, who insist they created it)

+Knish - mashed potatoes, hamburger , onions and cheese filled inside thick dough pastry and deep fried/baked

+Khinkali - dumplings of hamburger and cilantro

+Khachapuri - thick, crusty bread shaped sort of a boat and crammed with a spread of melted cheese

+Zharkoye - a stew made with potatoes, carrots, parsley, and celery, spiced with garlic, cloves, and dill; served hot with soured cream

+Pelmeni - dumplings made up of thin, unleavened dough, crammed with minced meat, mushrooms and onions

+Shashlik - classic shesh kebab

+Tula Gingerbread - almost like our gingerbread, but may contain jam or nuts

+Pirozhki - pastries crammed with meat, potatoes, cabbage or cheese, almost like Polish pierogi

+Morozhenoe (rich ice cream); well hey... now you're talkin'

Chak (Russia's attempt at funnel cakes... would we make that up?)

You'll notice a definite absence of fresh vegetable salads, seafood, pasta and rice.They are just not a part of their basic diet. And in fact Russia is never known for his or her desserts. Even chicken Kiev is usually credited to many NYC restaurants who claim they created it, to not any native Russian chef or restaurant. (gee... you cannot believe anything these days).

So next time you get a hankering for a few borscht or a kinkali, you only may need to whip it up yourself. there's not a preponderance of Russian restaurants anywhere within the U.S. nor the will for them. Few people thnk of blinis or knish when planning Sunday dinner. But who knows? you would possibly just discover an entire new world of cuisine once you stick your toe within the Russian diet (oh dear, that did not begin right). Go for it.

Author Dale Phillip, who lives in San Diego , actually dined at the Russian Tea Room years ago on a visit to ny City. it had been memorable, but not in any way shape or form her quite cuisine (sorry, folks). Her tastes are lighter and focus on fresher cuisine and much of veggies, but, hey, you've got to undertake things. She invites you to look at her many articles within the Food and Drink category, and her blog: []

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