Traversing Russia’s Food Culture: A Delicious Journey
It’s no secret that Russia has an incredibly diverse and rich food culture, with cuisines ranging from traditional Russian dishes to Turkish-influenced stews to Italian pastas—and everything in between. The flavors and ingredients of Russian cuisine are as varied as the people who inhabit its lands, but no matter what your ethnic background, there’s bound to be something you’ll love about Russia’s food. From pies to preserves, learn more about this unique culinary experience in this collection of Russian recipes.
Where to have Vodka
Vodka is a tricky beverage in many ways, especially as it comes to food pairing. In fact, Vodka is so difficult to pair with food that one of its biggest distillers has created Vodkalicious, a complete meal in itself and perfect for snacktime or evening bites. This Russian treat can be enjoyed hot or cold and contains all of your protein needs plus fruits and veggies to keep you satisfied. While Vodkalicious was certainly not invented in Russia, it’s one item that proves how comprehensive their food culture truly is. If you want a wide selection of readily available foods, head over to East Europe for some authentic cuisine with a robust vodka-based menu—not always an easy feat when traveling abroad!
Moscow is a mecca for both foodies and lovers of history. If you’re looking to take a step back in time while enjoying authentic Russian cuisine, look no further than Novikov Restaurant. This award-winning eatery specializes in traditional Russian dishes but with a modern twist that keeps foodies coming back for more. You can even watch your meals being prepared right in front of you—the best way to see which meats are most appetizing! If you find yourself in Moscow during one of their festivals, make sure to try some fish pate, chicken stroganoff, or spicy beef stroganoff; their Western-influenced flavors will leave even non-Russian customers satisfied.
Russian snacks are simple but delicious
Choose from a variety of kvass, a fermented beverage made from rye, or enjoy pickled vegetables. In restaurants and bars, there is a wide range of fast food, from Russian pizza (thinly sliced dough covered with various fillings) to Chinese stir-fry. There are also vegetarian options such as dumplings filled with mushrooms or potatoes. At the same time, if you want to try authentic Russian cuisine without leaving your seat at a restaurant or café, you can order a range of simple dishes that are available on every menu and served as soon as you order them – many people believe these dishes are among the best in Russia.
Russian cuisine is similar to its European counterparts, but also has influences from Persia and North Africa. In fact, Russian cuisine seems to be more similar to Middle Eastern than European food, with dishes such as a wide range of soups and stews made from meat and vegetables served on platters shared among diners. Fish is plentiful in rivers, lakes and oceans across Russia, so it’s common for fish to be served in many dishes alongside meat. Authentic Russian meals usually consist of three or four different side dishes such as salads, pickles or roasted vegetables that are enjoyed alongside your main course.
What kind of tea do Russians drink?
While you may think of tea as an English beverage, Russians take their tea very seriously. Commonly referred to as Russian Tea or Moscow Tea, common varieties include bergamot, lemon-scented black tea and dandelion greens. These teas are typically mixed with sugar or condensed milk to enhance the flavor. If you happen to find yourself in Russia, try looking for a cup of Russian Tea at a local café!
If tea isn’t your thing, you might try drinking some of their popular soft drinks. While Western culture is often dominated by Coca-Cola and Pepsi, Russian soft drinks include locally brewed sodas. You can try kvass, which comes in both a sweet variety and a salty rye bread variation; or an effervescent fermented beverage called kefir that is often flavored with fruit juice. These three drinks are just a few examples of the comprehensive food culture that exists in Russia.
Where can you get a cold beer?
If you’re heading out for a night on (or several nights in) St. Petersburg, you’ll be happy to know there are no shortage of places where you can get a cold beer. First off, Russians love their beer and Russians love their vodka. In fact, according to an older Soviet Union saying, There are three ways to do things around here – The right way, the wrong way and [the way they] do it in Moscow. If vodka isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy one of these places because they offer more than just that: sweet delights too. So pack your preference for booze at home, as all you have to do here is savor.
If you’re headed to a bar, it’s good to know that in many places, not only will you find cold beer and other drinks, but also food. From bars that specialize in sausage and potato pierogis to those where fish reigns supreme, you can snack while enjoying your drink or spend an evening sampling different offerings while sharing a table with new friends. You may even get some chips thrown in too. And if you come across one of several bars around town that allow dogs as long as they’re on leashes and not causing a scene (though they should never be inside), you can be sure that Fido will be just fine enjoying the drink you’re having outside.
What are some Russian dishes you must try?
While there are plenty of local specialties worth trying, you might want to start with more readily available foods. To get a true taste of Russian cuisine and better understand why it’s so widely loved around the world, try some of these famous dishes and drinks: borscht, chicken Kiev, pelmeni (dumplings), pirozhki (fried or baked stuffed pastries), blini (pancakes made from yeasted batter), borodinsky bread soup and kvas (fermented beverage made from either black or regular rye bread). The next time you’re craving something from back home, remember that Russia has everything you need.
Russian cuisine is known for its combination of taste and convenience. Pirozhki, which are essentially Russian pot pies that can be eaten on-the-go or at home, offer a perfectly portable combination of flavors and ingredients in every bite. Pelmeni (dumplings) also make for excellent snacks; you’ll find them sold by street vendors throughout Eastern Europe, but there’s no place better to experience them than in their birthplace. Pelmeni are made from unleavened dough stuffed with a variety of different fillings ranging from potatoes to fish to meat and even more exotic options such as bear meat. Borscht is another iconic food that was brought over from Ukraine when many Ukrainians moved eastwards during Soviet times.