A foodie's guide to Russia
Russian cuisine, just like its culture, is diverse and represents the heritage of different communities from within the country and abroad. In this post, we’ll look at the most popular dishes that have become part and parcel of national cuisine countrywide. You’ll most likely find them in any Russian restaurant or be served if you get invited over by locals. Let’s get started!
A core element of any lunch here is soup of which there is a great variety to all tastes. The iconic red one is called borsch and is served in almost every restaurant. Made from beetroot, cabbage and beef, borsch is usually sampled with a spoon of sour cream.
Bortsch. Image source
A variation without beetroot is called shchi or schtchee. While these two soups are popular throughout the year, okroshka is considered a summer dish. It includes boiled eggs, cucumbers, potatoes, sausage, greenery and is usually served with kvas, a low alcohol drink based on rye bread (you should try it!).
Okroshka. Image source
With long winters that in general last for seven-eight months, it gets very hard to provide balanced nutrition. That’s why porridge has always been on Russian tables, as an invaluable source of protein and fiber as well as vitamins. Some of the most popular ones are buckwheat, oatmeal, cream of wheat, and more.
Porridge can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner, either separately or as a side dish. It is always best sampled with butter.
Buckwheat. Image source
Pirog (it’s something close to a pie) has the same meaning here as pizza does in Italy. They can be of various shapes and stuffing from meat and fish to fruits and berries to cottage cheese. The best ones are home-made, baked in the oven (or stove in ancient Russia).
Pirog. Image source