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Russian National Cuisine

Russia is a multiethnic country, therefore, here you can taste different and exotic dishes of various ethnic groups living in Russia. However, you can find traditional Russian cuisine wherever you go and in any corner of the country.  Here are 10 dishes of Russian national cuisine.

Shchi

Shchi

Shchi is a traditional Russian soup with sauerkraut which dates back to the 11th century. Its ingredients usually include meat, sauerkraut, cabbage pickle, and seasonings. Shchi could also be cooked with mushrooms.  Majority of Russians make this soup following their own recipes and preferences. Shchi is eaten with rye bread and sour cream.

Pelmeni

Pelmeni

Pelmeni have been the most popular dish in Russia since the 14th century. The name “pelmeni” originates from the word in the Finno-Ugric languages which means “bread ear”. Classic pelmeni consist of minced pork, beef, lamb, or chicken which is wrapped into unfermented dough made from flour, eggs, and water.  Traditionally, pelmeni are cooked in boiling salted water, and are served with sour cream or mayonnaise.

Porridge

Porridge

Porridges, as well as soups are an integral part of Russian cuisine.  Every Russian person, especially in their childhood, had porridge, as it is an excellent source of energy, and it is also extremely healthy.  Nowadays there is a large number of variety of porridge – semolina, pea, buckwheat, oatmeal. Porridge is cooked with milk or water, and it is served hot with butter.  That’s how the expression “porridge cannot be spoiled with butter” appeared. It means that it can do you no harm, even when served in large quantities.

Russian pies

Russian pies

Russian people have the attitude towards pies similar to Italians’ attitude to pizza. Russian pies are mainly made of savory dough with various fillings – meat, fish, vegetables, or fruit. There is also a wide variety of this dish, for example, cheesecake, coulibiac, small pies, kurniks.

Pancakes

Pancakes

Pancakes is the oldest dish of Russian cuisine. The recipe of the simplest version of pancakes includes three ingredients: milk, eggs, and salt.  However, the cooking process requires skills that not every housewife possesses. When the liquid dough is poured into a hot frying pan, the task of the cook is to bake a flat pancake and not let it burn. Pancakes are usually served with sour cream, butter, honey or jelly. Other fillings – meat, vegetables, sweet, fruit, etc. could be wrapped in pancakes.

Olivier

Olivier

Just as Americans find it difficult to imagine the Thanksgiving Day without turkey, so Russians cannot imagine their New Year’s table without Olivier. The salad got its name after its creator who worked in Moscow in the 19th century. He was the French chef Lucien Olivier.  The salad became extremely popular because it is easy to cook. Classical “Olivier” includes boiled potatoes and carrots, sausage, hard boiled eggs, pickled cucumbers, green peas, and dill.  All ingredients are cut into small cubes and dressed with mayonnaise.

Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette

This salad appeared in Russian cuisine in the 19th century. It is made of boiled beets, potatoes, beans, carrots, pickles, and onions. The salad is dressed with sunflower oil.

Pickles

Pickles

Traditionally, in every Russian family, after gathering the fall harvest, housewives did pickles for the coming winter. They pickled cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage, and mushrooms.  Russians always serve pickles when they have guests or celebrate some events.

Preserves

Preserves

Preserves are a form of traditional home-made dessert in Russia. Preserves are often made from fruit and berries grown in one’s own garden plot, or picked in the forest. Every housewife might have her own recipe for making preserves, and recipes may vary depending on the housewife’s skills and preferences.

Jellied meat

Jellied meat

Jellied meat or aspic is probably the most unusual dish for any foreigner. It is a jelly from meat which is traditionally cooked from the remains of a pig – a pig’s head, ears, hooves, and tail. It is boiled for several hours, then the meat is cut. The broth and pieces of meat are put into bowls and are put to chill in the fridge. Aspic is served with hot seasonings, such as horseradish and mustard.

These are most popular dished of traditional Russian cuisine. We recommend to taste them!

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