Good Russian food [3]

More from English Russia, h/t Chuckles:

I’ve heard stories about the canned food over there and one thing I do know is that the smoked fish is often not smoked at all – it’s partly cooked and then an oil is applied.   My mater over there showed me one of the bottles of oil and it was foul.

Similarly, the bottled water they sell is sometimes taken straight from the river and put through filtration.   There are many scams but to be fair, most are found out and addressed by the authorities – there is, at local level, a rule of law in these matters at least.

The stolovaya was somewhere, in 1995, that you didn’t want to go to.   By 2000, there were some quite clean, scrummy stolovayas and they were becoming the food places of choice for a quick meal.

Soup [borsch?], sok or kompote in the glass, meat and veg, salad, blinii or pancakes with something sweet in it, e.g. sultanas – no wonder there were so few fat Russians pre-2000 before western muck came in.

There’s always a market within reach.  You just go and choose your very fish you want and there you go.   In hte hands of a good chef [e.g. my gf's mother and gm], the final result is mouthwatering.

Yes, they might look evil but with the vodka, those and dried fish are de rigeur or maybe kolbasa.  It’s the freshness of the cuisine I miss the most.

The stuffed pepper in all it’s variations – yum, yum, yum.   Rarely on its own like this but with so many other things on the table [stol].   “Big table” is a mark of honour – to have so many dishes on the table for people to choose from, especially when as poor as churchmice, is really something.

An Uzbek dish, plov [or pilau or pilaf] is apparently quite expensive to prepare, so it is done on special occasions, e.g. a special visitor.   It has a mix of meat and other things in with the rice and I know it’s getting tiresome to say it but yummy.

4 Responses to “Good Russian food [3]”

  1. Steve Hayes October 14, 2012 at 18:21 Permalink

    My experience of Russian food (in August 1995) was that it was frequently sprinkled with grass, or something that looked like grass.

    Also, that you never visited anyone and got offered a cup of tee. It was always a full sit-down meal. If you didn’t want to get fat, you restricted visits to 3 a day.

  2. James Higham October 14, 2012 at 18:50 Permalink

    Both true. That greenery is “zyeli” and I always had spoonfuls of it in the soup, on the meat etc. All good and healthy. Zyeli and something white like sour cream were always at hand.

    That’s right about not just offering tea. Always must put other things out. I like the tradition but one must keep a certain amount in the fridge for such occasions. I used to do thick soups for visitors but even that is not enough – you need a ftoraya blyuda or second course of something.

    And as long as they keep eating, you must keep bringing out.

  3. wiggiatlarge October 15, 2012 at 09:02 Permalink

    Sadly I have never visited Russia, but your food article James are showing dishes that are similar across eastern Europe with variations and in many cases are also very similar to food I was familiar with being bought up in a very Jewish neighborhood and is why I have always liked savory food gerkins marinated fish etc etc much looks the same ?

  4. James Higham October 15, 2012 at 11:26 Permalink

    Yes, eastern European style with near-east thrown in.

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