Russian cuisine

A distinctive feature of the Russian peasant cuisine dishes is that frying practically does not exist in Russian cooking. Food has traditionally been cooked in the oven, so baking, boiling and stewing is widely used even now. Also conservation of vegetables and fruits through pickling, salting and soaking is highly popular in Russian cuisine.

Traditional Russian dishes are high in energy value and contain a lot of fat. This is due to the harsh climate: it was always necessary to eat properly. "While a thick dries, thin dies" states the famous Russian proverb. Meals in Russian cuisine are simple, rational and practical.

A rare gourmand at the mention of Russian cuisine will remember aromatic steaming Borscht with sour cream, golden pancakes with red caviar, delicious cakes, pies, marinated mushrooms and of course crispy pickles ...

Mm-m, each dish of Russian cuisine is a special masterpiece of culinary art. However, it was not always. Russian cuisine has evolved in a very long and peculiar way, soaking up the best traditions of the other nations.

Despite of all the changes brought by foreign cooks, the basis of Russian cuisine was untouched for centuries. It has managed to preserve the most characteristic national traits - an abundance of food on the table, a variety of snack table, love to bread, pancakes, cakes, cereals, a variety of liquid cold and hot starters, a variety of fish and mushroom table, a wide use of pickles, vegetables and mushrooms, a variety of dishes during celebrations and a variety of sweet table full of jams, biscuits, cakes, cakes and so on.

Traditional lunch in Russia consists of three courses.

The first is a soup made of meat and vegetables and cereals (Borscht, Solyanka or Cabbage soup).

The second course consists of  fish or meat dishes, often prepared from minced meat (chops, beef is also a filling for Pelmeni (type of Italian ravioli), pies, stuffed cabbage). The second course is normally served with a side dish (rice, buckwheat, potatoes, pasta, stewed cabbage).

The third course consists of a drink: Kompot (a type of juice of conservated or boiled fruits), Mors (a type of juice), Kissel (a cooked juice in a liquid jelly form) or juice and a dessert.

As a snack, most popular are pancakes with caviar, herring "under a fur coat", pickles, sour cabbage, pickled vegetables, a salad of tomatoes and cucumbers with sour cream.

Also, the pies with cabbage, minced meat or potatoes are often enjoyed.

Bread is always at the head table during the meal.

In the old days, each meal had a certain hour. Especially strictly observed are lunch and dinner. The whole family gathered around the table, where all had their place. At the head of the table sat the owner of the house, he is the first to sit down at the table, followed by all the other members of the household. In front of each family member a spoon and a piece of bread was placed. Liquid hot meals are usually served in a large bowl meant for the whole family. The owner of the house overlooked that everyone was eating, not overtaking the other.

Solid, boiled, baked and fried foods (meat, fish, etc.) were served sliced ​​in pieces on a large plate. Everybody took a chunk with hands (until the forks appeared).

Large chunks of bread replaced plates. Guests put on them, as on a plate, solid food, pieces of meat, fish and others. Afterwards these "bread places” were usually eaten.

The Russians usually completed the day with tea drinking. At the tea time the family and friends were exchanging news and talking about the events of the day.

Tea was brewed in a special kettle, letting it to settle. Then it was poured in each cup and top up with boiling water from the Samovar. Tea was served with something sweet: various jams, chocolates, cakes, muffins or cookies.

Samovar - Self-heating device for tea. Samovar consists of a vase (there is a brazier with a pipe for coal), handles, burners teapot spout with a nose with the key. In the past, a samovar took an important place in every house, being placed in the living room or dining room. During the tea time it was set on a table or on a special side table, the tea was poured by a hostess or eldest daughter. Gradually samovars began to resemble more the decorative vases, became easier and more stricter, and finally became electric.

Rules of conduct at the table were quite strict: it was not allowed to knock or scrape the bowl with a spoon (probably that is why the spoons were made of wood), throwing the remains of food on the floor, talking loudly and laughing. Before you sit down at the table, everyone had to cross. All this once again confirms the respect and even reverence, which the Russian people have experienced in relation to the daily bread.

The Russians have always been distinguished by the exceptional hospitality. Even in the old times the table in the house was covered with a white cloth, on which were placed the bread and salt. This meant that the guest is always welcomed in the house.


Russian Food

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