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Disclaimer: What you are going to find here is maybe inaccurate or wrongly translated or does not represent anything Russian really. But – hey – that’s how we experienced it!

IMG_0010Let’s start with vodka! OK, not so much food, but we do like it now. In fact there is a small bottle in our backpack ever since our 5th day, just in case we make thirsty friends. It is sold by grams, one shot is 50ml (nothing special for Czechs and Slovaks used to 40ml, but must be a shock for all the westerners used to sip on their 20ml glasses) and – of course – there is a wide variety.

IMG_0013It seems the price does not determine the quality or taste. The best so far was our first – very smooth with almost no aftertaste. It was also the cheapest we had. A 50 ml shot can cost anywhere from about 1 EUR. Mind you, ordering a single shot is not too common it seems. If you want to do it Russian style get a carafe and pour your own shots at the table (regardless whether you are with a company or on your own!).

DSC_0271DSC_0322Next –  Bistro. This type of restaurants can be found pretty much everywhere and they are great if your budget cannot cover a fancy dinner every day (or week for that matter) and cold sandwich or a piece of pastry is too mean to give your spoiled stomach. Bistros offer home-made-like warm meal like from your Russian babuschka-grandmother – for a reasonable price. At least a couple kinds of soup (including borscht), filled peppers (almost beats ones from our mums), piece of roasted chicken, minced liver pies, gratinated fish dishes, pork cutlets, sides and quite some selection of salads including the famous DSC_0269Russian one that tastes like Czech/Slovak Christmas! Also sweets and ‘mosht’ juices are on offer. All this is conveniently served in a style you will remember from your school canteen – take your tray, cutlery and – this is new – take your time to read out the Cyrillic names when asking for this and that. And yes – the school canteen grumpy looking lady is there too to hurry you up and frown when you pay with a big note.

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Russians like their dill! In fact I am staring out of every train’s window to spot the endless fields of dill. No luck yet! One could not believe what kinds of meals can contain dill (and actually taste even better!). Chicken broth – with dill, boiled potatoes – with dill, garden salad – with dill, fish – with dill, cheesecake – with dill (OK, got carried away a bit).

VarenkyVarenkyVarenky and pirogy. If you’d like, you could describe varenky like something between Italian ravioli and Chinese dim sum. They are small pieces of filled boiled dumplings. Fillings are usually made of minced meat of any kind or simple potato mash or cabbage. They are served without any side dish and can be seasoned with fried onions and a spoonful of cream. Sometimes you will get them in a soup bowl swimming in oily broth seasoned with parsley – also very yummy!

PirogyDSC_0185Pirogy are (in my opinion) pretty much similar, just a bit bigger and instead of boiled they are baked in the oven. I haven’t seen that yet, but I believe a sweet version of both is somewhere out there – filled with marmelade served with a spoon of ice-cream!

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Next on the list of popular food items would be bliny – pancakes. Served savour as well as sweet. Not so interesting until you find some specialties on the menu such as the ones with ‘bacon and pickled cucumber’ or with ‘red caviar’. By the way – caviar as well as other fish and seafood products are widely available here for a good price too! (Speaking about seafood here is Mark’s favourite seafood joke from his colleague Tony: “I am on a seafood diet. Whatever food I see I can eat!” ta-da-ta-dam!).

DSC_0179Last, but not least: Borscht is another Russian specialty! As it can get pretty cold in here, Russians need to eat well to keep warm and that includes hearty soups! Borscht is made of – mostly – cabbage, red beetroot and meat. Served with a spoon of cream has colour of raspberry juice in your plate.

Which one would be your favourite?

Bon Apetit & Na Zdrovie!

:::

Upozornenie: To co bude nasledovat asi bude nepresne a dokonca i zle prelozene a mozno ani nereprezentuje typicke Rusko. No a co  – takto sme si to zazili my!

Zacnime s vodkou! No dobre, nie je to tak uplne jedlo, ale nam sa zapacila. Dokonca uz od 5-ho dna mame i jednu malu flasticku so sebou v ruksaku pre pripad, ze by sme stretli smadnych spolucestujucich. Vodku tu predavaju na gramy. Ked si objednate panaka, dostanete 50 ml (co je pre nase konciny s 40 ml frtanmi pohoda, ale taki zapadnejsi so standardnymi 20 ml sa isto cuduju) a – samozrejme – je tu obrovsky vyber.

Vyzera to tak, ze uplne neplati, ze cim vyssia cena, tym lahodnejsia chut. Nasa prva a najlepsia, aku sme zatial mali, bola zaroven aj tou najlacnejsiou. Poldecak moze stat v bare ci krcme od jedneho Eura. Ale pozor, objednat si len panaka nie je tak uplne bezne ako sa zda. Domaci si objednavaju rovno karafku (roznych velkosti ale standard vyzera byt okolo stvrtlitra) a nalievaju si sami pri stole (bez ohladu na to, ci su v spolocnosti priatelov, alebo sami!).

Dalej – Bistro. Tento typ restauracii sme nachadzali takmer vsade a su idealnym miestom na obed ci veceru ak vas rozpocet zrovna nepocita s ‘fancy’ vecerou kazdy den (alebo tyzden) a nechcete nazlostit svoj hladny zaludok len studenym sendvicom ci zemlou. Bistra ponukaju domacu teplu stravu – ako od ruskej babicky / babusky – za rozumnu cenu. Aspon par druhov polievok (vratane borscu), plnene papriky (skoro ako tie od maminky), pecene a inak pripravovane kura, Pecenove karbonatky, zapecene rybacie file, bravcove kotletky, prilohy a slusny vyber salatov vratane ‘ruskeho’, ktory chuti ako ceskoslovenske Vianoce! Na vyber su i zakusky a kolace alebo na zapitie most ci akasi kompotova stava. Vsetko toto je servirovane sposobom, aky vam bude znamy zo skolskej jedalne – vezmi si tacku, pribory a servitku – po novom – vylusti sifru v azbuke s menom pokrmu. A ano – i nazlostene tety zo skolskej jedalne nesmu chybat – popozenu vas, ked zdrzujete alebo zasomru si cosi pod nos, ked platite velkou bankovkou.

Rusi miluju kopor! Kazdu cestu vlakom sa snazim z okna spozorovat tie ohromne lany kopru, ale zatial bez uspechu. Je az neuveritelne, kolko druhou jedal moze byt pripravenych s koprom (a prekvapivo ich tym i vylepsi!). Kuraci vyvar – s koprom, varene zemiaky – s koprom, zahradny salat – s koprom, ryba – s koprom, buchty – s koprom (no dobre, tu som sa uz nechala uniest).

Varenky a pirogy. Varenky sa daju popisat ako nieco medzi talianskymi raviolmi a cinskymi dim sum. V nasich koncinach nic neobvykle – ale v Rusku velmi frekventovane ponukane. Vnutri vacsinou najdete mlete maso roznych druhov alebo roztlacene zemiaky alebo kapustu. Podavaju sa ako hlavne jedlo ozdobene vyzmasenou cibulkou a kopcekom kyslej smotanky. Niekde ich podavaju i v polievkovej miske plavajuc v akomsi mastnom vyvare ozdobene petrzlenovou vnatkou – tiez velmi dobre!

Pirogy su podobne nasim plnenym zemlam, ktore najdete v pekarnach. Zatial sme ich videli iba naslano, ale viem si predstavit, ze sa podavajy i nasladko napriklad i s kopcekom zmrzky.

Dalsii popularny druh jedla su bliny – palacinky. Podavane nasladko i naslano mozno nezneju az tak zaujimavo az kym ich neobjavite i s ‘exotickymi’ naplnami ako napriklad so slaninou a kyslou uhorkou alebo s cervenym kaviarom. Mimochodom kaviar a ine rybacie pochutky su tu v menu i v obchodoch siroko zastupene a nie drahe.

A na zaver borsc – jedna z najznamejsich ruskych pochutok. Za tuhych zimnych vecerov je potreba telo dobre zahriat nielen vodkou ale i sytym pokrmom a to napriklad i hustou polievkou akou je borsc. Borsc je – mimo ine – polievka z kapusty, cervenej repy a masa. Zamiesajte si do nej kopcek smotany a pochutnajte si na dobrotke farby malinoveho dzusu.

A co by ste si dali vy?

Tak dobru chut a ‘na zdrovie’!

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2 thoughts on “Not hungry in Russia

    • Kreso, this time I wasn’t accompanied by someone who gave that push to have another one…and another… :-). By the way, the Lada’s have improved, the Niva looks like a real car! Mark

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