Any trip to a foreign country cannot be complete without delving deep into its culture and traditions. And what better way to do that than to indulge in the local cuisine? Food is one of the few remaining things loved by all humans alike, except for anorexics and people desperately trying to stick to a diet. But, while you are travelling to another country, surely your diet can take a hike? The Russian cuisine incorporates the many techniques and taste buds of its large population bringing about a pleasurable selection of flavors. Let’s see, what to eat in Russia.
Soups have always been a vital part of the menu here with Borscht and Shchi being the most popular ones. While the Borscht is a typical beetroot soup with meat or other vegetables and can be served hot and cold, Shchi is a cabbage based soup sometimes cooked with flour, bay leaf, meat or fish, as per the taste of the individual. Other noodlwe soups, fish soups and thick broths are also served and the dish is considered as staple food. If you like cold soups, try Okroshka and Botvinya which are also Russian delights. And in case, you are having only soup, add a loaf of Coulibiac which is made of salmon or sturgeon.
Once you’re past the vast choice of soups, the Russians then delight their visitors with a large selection of main course. Traditionally, the Russians make three kinds of meat dishes. The first includes a huge piece of boiled meat cooked in soup, the second kind includes the offal dishes where liver or tripe is baked in pots with cereals. Lastly, meat baked on a baking tray. Spit-roasted meats, stews and sausages are also available. The dishes you must try are Kholodets which is meat jelly and Pelmeni which are delicious dumplings of meat wrapped in thin pasta dough and served with or without a soup. The Dressed Herring is a visual delight as well with diced and salted pieces of herring tastefully garnished with layers of grated vegetables like potatoes, beet roots, and onions and then the dish is topped with mayonnaise.
Any Russian trip is incomplete without trying the Shish Kebabs here. One can find these meaty treats almost in any café of the country. It is the English equivalent to barbecue food, marinated and grilled in skewers and served with vegetables and traditional sauces. Traditional Russian Cuisine included a lot of fish dishes since the Russian Orthodox considered meat as forbidden on fast days. Popular fish dishes include the Ukha Soup, made of root vegetables or just served as a plain fish soup. Fish pies and fish stuffed buns are also very famous and suitable for a light snack.
Russian cuisine dominates not only the savory but also the sweet dishes. In fact, the infamous gingerbread is originally from this country. The most famous gingerbread of the country is found in Tula where they also have a museum dedicated to it. The Ptichie Moloko or the Birds’ Milk cake is one of the best Russian sweets available. It is one of the first cakes patented to the nation and was officially developed by Vladimir Guralnik, who is also famous for being the chief dessert chef at the Prague, Moscow. The Birds’ Milk Cake is made of marshmallows and chocolate and is a dessert to literally die for. Guralnik’s Prague Cake is the next must have dessert on the list as this cake is nothing short of a legend in Russian Cuisine. It is made of four types of cream, brandy and sometimes even rum.
The Russians are widely known for their mellow wines, beer and vodka as well. The most ancient alcoholic drink is the Medovukha made of fermented honey and spices. Non-alcoholic dishes like Kvass, a drink made of bread and Sbiten, made of fruit juices, spices, honey and water are also widely popular.
All in all, it is safe to say that any trip to this beautiful country would be incomplete and completely worthless if it doesn’t add a few inches to your waist and still leaving you craving for more. Say goodbye to those skinny jeans and invest in several loose pants for a trip to Russia instead. Now you know what to eat in Russia – enjoy traditional eastern-european food!