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Russian Food by Caryn Painter

Posted by rrafferty on June 27th, 2006

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One of my favorite parts of traveling is trying new foods.  Typically, I will try anything at least once, and I adhered to that policy throughout my stay in Moscow and St. Petersburg.  Borsht, or beet soup, is a classic Russian dish which I was not particularly looking forward to, but I had promised my Mom before I left the States that I would try it.  As it turned out, the stuff was pretty good, and I ate it a couple more times during the remainder of the trip.  Shi, which was basically borsht made with cabbage instead of beets, was tasty as well.  Aside from those two traditional Russian dishes, I also learned to like dill.  They put dill on EVERYTHING, so if you had a problem with it, you were often hard pressed to find a dish without it.  I was also very impressed with Russian baked goods (mostly the bread) and their desserts.  I probably went a little overboard on my consumption of fresh bread on the trip, but it was just so good!  Concerning desserts, I was amazed at the huge variety that seemed to be available everywhere.  There were always fresh pastries, cakes, tiramisu, and ice cream available in mass quantities in dessert cases in the cafes and small restaurants.  Lastly, I really liked the fresh produce stands that seemed to be located about every twenty feet or so along the sidewalks.  It was nice to be able to make a quick stop for some fresh cherries or berries to snack on for the day.  Overall, I definitely think that Russian food ranks pretty high on my list of favorites from my travels.  I gained a few pounds from trying so many new foods, but it was well worth it.

2 Responses to “Russian Food by Caryn Painter”

  1. Gerry Hudson Says:

    Caryn: I also love Russian food. The neat thing is that there are lots of different kinds of borshcht and shchi, too. But my favorite food is “Sibirskie pel’meny”. They are basically Russian raviolis served in a beef broth. You can put sour cream or vinegar on top of them. They are best with vodka! :-)


  2. Douglas Jenks '91 Says:

    I had the pleasure of visiting Russia when it was still the USSR - back in 1985. One of my fondest memories is the ice cream – the lone culinary high point in a land of endless Sturgeon. Desert menus were apparently relatively bleak compared to what you describe in your post, but there was no lack of ice cream - always sold in carts on the street (in the dead of winter no less). Anyway, I have always wondered whether ice cream is still good there, and whether it is still sold on the streets.

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