What to eat and drink in Russia?
Russian cuisine is vast. For each meal you can choose a different dish all year around! Russian cuisine is a collection of different cooking traditions of the Russian people as well as European, Caucasian, Central Asian, Siberian, and East Asian influences. But we have some favourites that we would like to recommend you to try if you have reached the biggest country in the World. Enjoy!
Avoid fast-food restaurants! You won’t find anything traditional or healthy there! Start with Russian “stolovaya”, which is a basic cafeteria, where you can choose the best and most common Russian dishes.
Let`s start with soups. Soups have always played an important role in the Russian meal. There are many traditional hot and cold soups. From the hot soups we recommend you to try shchi – cabbage soup, solyanka – soup based on broth. Also fish soup ukha and beetroot soup borshch. But don’t forget okroshka – a cold soup based on kvass or kefir/mayo.
In Russian cuisine you will find many different and tasty salads that are an integral part of a meal. Our favourites are Olivier salad (also known as Russian salad) – mayonnaise-based potato salad with pickles, hard-boiled eggs, boiled carrots, meat, and peas. Shuba or simply “dressed herring”, is chopped salted herring in layers with beet, eggs, potatoes and carrots. Also vinegret – salads, dressed with sunflower oil, consisting of boiled beets, potatoes, carrots, pickles, onions and peas.
3. MEAT AND FISH DISHES
Meat and fish along with different vegetables, rice or pasta can be considered as the main dish. But there are hundreds of ways of cooking these! First of all, you shouldn’t skip sala – large boiled or smoked piece of fat and meat, served cold, usually with black pepper and onion. Kotlety are minced meat balls, usually made from pork, beef or fish. And pelmeni (our favourite dish of all time) – minced meat filling, wrapped in thin dough.
Fish was important in pre-revolutionary cuisine, especially on Russian Orthodox fast days when meat was forbidden. Oh, and you will find so huge variety of fish dishes here!
4. STUFFED BUNS OR PIROZHKI
Russians have the best of them! Pirozhki are made of yeast dough or short pastry and filled with one of many different fillings like boiled egg, mashed potatoes, stewed cabbage or meat with onions. Pirozhki are either baked or shallow-fried. Yumm!
Pancakes or in Russian “Blini” traditionally are made with yeasted batter. They were usually prepared at the end of the winter to honor the rebirth of the new sun during Maslenitsa, now this tradition was adopted by the Orthodox Church and is carried on to the present day. Blini can be topped with butter, sour cream, fruit preserves or caviar.
And what about drinks?
Oh, Russia and drinks! No, there is not only vodka, dear friend! Check out what you have to try!
Ancient and still widely popular bread-based drink. The basic method of preparing kvass includes water, flour and liquid malt. Well – either you love it or hate it!
This is a sweetened juice of berries, like mors. Can be served either hot or cold, also with berries inside. One healthy drink it is!
3. RUSSIAN LEMONADES
No wonder why coke isn’t that popular here. Russians have their own lemonades and those are much better! Buy lemonade “Baikal” or just try out the lemonade machines that can be found on the streets (now less popular though). You will get sparkling water with different syrups. And coke won’t be in your top drinks anymore!
Tea is by far the most common drink in almost all parts of Russia. Today Russia remains one of the largest tea consumers in the World, and people here really drink tea more than five times a day. Russian just cannot start a day without a cup of tea! And they have so many sorts of it – we recommended you to try Chaga tea, rich in a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. It’s considered to be a superfood. And it has a good taste as well!
Ok, let’s not skip that vodka! Vodka can be either grain or potato based and is frequently flavored with a great variety of ingredients ranging from hot-pepper and horseradish to fruits and berries. But the most ancient is Medovukha, a sweet, low-alcohol drink, made with fermented-honey with the addition of various spices. And what about the beer? It has been manufactured in Russia since the 9th century. No wonder you will find draft beer on every corner!
Don’t leave Russia without its taste in your mouth! The food here is amazing – tasty, healthy and so different that everyone can find its own favourite!