The best of famous Russian food
Each of us has certain things on the mind when talking about Russian food. The most memorable is certainly vodka and pickles. However, there are many other things which are classified as Russian food and many will be surprised after learning of the enormous number of different dishes which Russian cuisine includes.
Let’s start with serving meals. The way or style which is used in restaurants nowadays is called serving in the Russian style. It means that there are several dishes which are served in certain order. Russian ambassador brought this style to France and later to England in the early 19th century. After that the style became known worldwide with small modifications depending on location. The Russian style differs from traditional way of serving, the French style. According to the French style dishes are brought to the table at the same time and they are placed in certain display. In Russian style dishes are brought one after another. Serving in certain order means that there are dishes which differ from each other (salads, main dishes and sweets). Each of these categories contains traditional dishes which are common for Russian kitchen.
Wide variety of possible dishes
What does Russian food consist of? We all know Spanish hummus which is like a ritual for locals. Or frog legs that count as a big delicacy in France. Everyone has heard about these traditional meals and some have even travelled to the destination just to taste them. In Russian kitchen you don’t concentrate on certain product itself but rather on the way how to prepare it. There are several products you will see in almost every dish in Russian cuisine. A lot of dairy products, potatoes, bread and even soups. All of these count as a traditional meal even though you may see them in different form on your plate. The idea behind remains the same: fast to cook, easy to get ingredients, delicious flavor.
Some have criticized Russian kitchen for stealing dishes from other countries and cultures. With no doubt there are dishes, which really remind of traditional meals from other countries. However, you need to remember that Russia is the largest country in the world. There are vineyards in the southern parts of the country. In northern parts the snow remains on the ground almost the whole year around. Even the difference between Russian time zones is 11 hours. That is the reason why Russian kitchen got its influencers here and there. Considering that fact there are still couple of things which remain the same throughout the whole Russia. Meals are large and nutritious and main reason for that is the hard weather conditions. The specialty in Russian food is the simple way of preparing the dish. Almost all of ingredients needed can be found at the local grocery store. And because dishes are tasty and simple to cook, you can have them every day and feel comfortable with that. For example, in some cultures there are very spicy traditional foods which can make damage to your health if enjoyed every day. That is not the case with Russian food.
Most popular examples of Russian food
Let’s start with salads. There are several Russian salads that immediately come to mind. Usually they consist of big amount of vegetables and meat products such as fish, chicken and beef. There are many leaves or vegetables used as a decoration to make them look mellow. And mellow they are. That is the reason why Russian salad starts to get popular in Europe and United States. It is clear that recipes may vary but there are couple of things which are common for most Russian salads. Usually mayonnaise is used as a filling to make the structure thicker and to add an extra flavor. Another common ingredient is cooked potato which is easy to get and to use as a filling. Even if the Russian kitchen counts more than 20 salads the most famous remains Olivye (Оливье). It is the one, which is always on the table when talking about big parties such as wedding or the New Year’s Eve celebration.
Soups can count as the pride of the Russian kitchen. They are popular globally and many cultures have got their influences from Russian cuisine to prepare their own soup. Good example is French crème soup which takes its roots in Russian mushrooms soup. Soups are usually very healthy due to their liquid form. For our body it is easy to digest even big portions of soups. The reason is that ingredients are mainly vegetables and also chopped into small pieces. Some soups contain fish or meat as an ingredient and for that reason they are a good source for protein. Almost all soups are served boiled and warm which makes them even more comfortable for the digestion. Maybe that is the reason they are so popular. What can be better than hot and delicious meal in the middle of dark and cold day in winter? The most well-known soup is Borscht (Борщ), everyone knows it as “the red soup”. Red color appears because of the main ingredient – beetroot. That is the soup which was served at all tables around the country through history, no matter if you were an imperator or just a usual worker.
There are some side dishes when eating the soup. The first one is Smetana. It is delicious dairy product which needs to be mixed in the soup. There are of course some exceptions, but this works with almost all of the soups. The second one is rye bread. The idea is to eat bread together with the soup and that’s it.
After salads and soups, it is time for main dishes. They usually consist of several serving plates. It is called “the second meal”. Here you will find a very long list of variations and only sky’s the limit for your imagination. As an example, there can be cooked potatoes and some meat which is prepared in oven. Here you will find a lot of sauces and decorations, but the most usual is dill.
The last but not least is tea time. Russians love to drink tea with something sweet. That is the reason why there are several manufacturers and even more products on the market. Usually every sweet is rolled in paper and it contains some flavor. It may be some flower or extract. Not forgetting the ones with peanuts or fruits inside. Caramels are very popular but there are a lot of chocolate options available as well. The most famous chocolate sweet is Alyonka (Алёнка) which remains the same from the first day of the production in 1965. In addition to sweets there are a lot of cookies. The list of cookies is very long, and it will take a while to taste them all but it’s sure worth it. Another famous Russian specialty is Bliny (Блины). They remind of pancakes, but list of ingredients is little different, and consistency is not as sweet. That is the reason why the filling can be everything from sweet jams to salty caviar.
Drinks are also available in several options and of course one of them is vodka. However, nowadays less people drink it, as there are much better options of both alcohol and non-alcohol drinks. Kvass (Квас), for instance, is considered to be a healthy substitution for beer. Manufacturing of kvass has its own roots and traditions. It is made of rye bread and can contain flavors of different fruits or vegetables. It is classified as non-alcoholic drink. Nowadays you don’t have to prepare it by yourself using complicated methods; you can buy it in almost every store in Russia or order it online when you are abroad.
Best Russian food in the United States
Well, there are over one million people with Russian roots in the United States. All of them, at some point, want to taste traditional food which they used to have back in Russia. Or maybe there are others who heard stories from their grandparents or just friends and want to try something new by themselves. There are several stores which specialize on Russian food in the United States, but only at RussianTable you will find the best variety of quality products of most known manufacturers for a reasonable price. The delivery is arranged as well, so you don’t have to worry about losing time on finding the store close to your place and going there. It is easy to make a list online and make an order. So why not to try it? When you find certain ingredients, you can prepare some Russian food and invite your friends over to feel delicious taste of something new. If you are not into cooking anything by yourself, you can always order something small which is ready to use. It can be candies or chocolate cookies. Maybe you will find your new favorite or discover some new flavor which will widen your food horizons. Making a Russian food list and ordering new groceries online gives many opportunities to find your new favorite dishes! So don’t miss the opportunity, start to explore today.