Russian cuisine may not be world renowned, but there are a lot of delicacies that are well worth trying. A diet that was born out of a necessity to survive harsh conditions has evolved into modern Russian cuisine. Potatoes are eaten almost daily, along with a variety of soups, fish, meat, salads and dumplings. Traditional Russian meals are hearty and keep you fueled during harsh winters. As such a large country, it’s safe to say that there’s a huge range of culturally diverse meals across the country. Here are a few.
The day is normally started with a bowl of “kasha”, a porridge made from a number of grains, though buckwheat is the most common. This is either sweetened with jam or honey, or butter and salt can be added depending on taste. Open sandwiches known as “butterbrots” are also typical breakfast fare, and are topped with anything from boiled eggs, to cheese and ham. Breakfast is typically consumed with tea or coffee.
The main meal of the day generally consists of three courses, a soup starter, meat and potatoes and a dessert or beverage. There are a great many Russian soups, from beetroot “borscht” to cabbage “shchi”. This can be followed by any number of dishes, from a simple pork cotlet with mashed potatoes, to “pelmeni”, which are the meat dumplings found in a number of Eastern European cuisines. “Kompot”, a sweet, fruit beverage normally follows the main course.
Dinner typically consists of light appetizers such as “blini”- small pancakes – with caviar, sour cream or jam.
Vodka is the classic Russian beverage and is available in a number of varieties. “Kvass” is a lesser known soft drink, made from slightly fermented rye. This bready drink is perfect served cold on a hot day.