Russian Cuisine….

Characteristics of Russian cuisine

Russian cuisine is a dish that has been nurtured in the vast blessings of Russia’s nature.

There is not much use of elaborate sauces and spices, and it can be said that the “simple taste” of natural ingredients simply seasoned with salt and herbs is a major feature.

Pick wild plants in the spring and go to a villa called a dacha on the summer weekends.

Enjoy the vegetables harvested in the vegetable garden there and the berries of the blessings of the forest.

Mushroom hunting in the golden forest in autumn.

Prepare salted meat and salted cabbage for a long and cold winter.

The wisdom of living in such a harsh and abundant nature of Russia is the basis of today’s Russian cuisine.

Ingredients often used in Russian cuisine

Russian food doesn’t use very unusual seasonings, but there are some ingredients that make you feel “Russian”.

Here, we will introduce the ingredients that are often used in Russian cuisine.

Beets

It is an ingredient that is not very familiar in Japan, but in Russia it is a vegetable with a bright red color that is used almost every day.

It looks similar to a red helmet, but it is actually a member of spinach.

Beets are so nutritious that they are called “drinking blood transfusions”.

It contains a lot of minerals such as phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, zinc and folic acid, and is said to be effective in relieving fatigue.

Dairy products

Dairy products are very often used in Russian cuisine.

Smetana (Сметана), a sour cream made by lactic acid fermentation of cream, is especially frequently used.

For Russians, it’s more than just a seasoning, so Smetana appears everywhere on the Russian table, whether it’s spread on bread, put in soup, or made into a dessert.

It is a seasoning that is hardly available in Japan, but it is said that the taste of drained yogurt combined with fresh cream is relatively close.

Herbs

Russian cuisine, which is characterized by the simple seasoning of salt and pepper, uses herbs for flavoring.

Dill is especially loved by Russians.

In Russia, it is called Umbelliferae, an Umbelliferae herb native to the Mediterranean coast that is characterized by its fine and delicate leaves and a refreshing scent.

In Japan, it is often served with smoked salmon, but it is Russian style to add it to soups and salads.

Wrapped in a slightly nostalgic scent of dill, it adds a Russian touch to the dish at once

Sunflower oil

Sunflower, a North American plant, entered Russia around the 16th century.

At that time, the Russian Orthodox Church had a custom of fasting, and during that period, the intake of fats and oils was prohibited.

However, the unknown food, sunflower, was missing from its ban list, and people began to grow sunflowers and use their seeds and oils widely for food.

For this reason, sunflower oil is still basically used in Russian cuisine even today.

Neighboring Ukraine is the number one producer of sunflower oil, Russia is the number two, and the vast sunflower fields that extend to the horizon are now a symbol of Ukraine.

Russian appetizer / salad

In Russian cuisine, there is a great variety of appetizers called Zakuski (Закуска).

Fill the table with salad, smoked fish and meat, and serve with vodka.

Most of them are cold, but hot meals such as blini are also included.

Olivier

Olivier Salad is a Russian-style potato salad with diced meat, ham, eggs, carrots, potatoes, pickles and mayonnaise.

The name comes from the idea of ​​Olivier Chef of the Moscow hotel “Hermitage” in the 1800s.

This salad is also popular as a Russian New Year dish.

Vinaigrette 

A salad of beets, carrots, potatoes, pickles, salted cabbage, and onions mixed with sunflower oil.

It is a dish with a distinctive bright color and refreshing taste, and is a typical Russian salad along with Olivier salad.

Blini

A Russian-style crepe made by adding yeast to a dough mixed with flour, eggs, milk, yogurt, sugar, salt, etc., fermenting it, and baking it thinly in a frying pan.

Buckwheat flour instead of wheat flour is also popular.

 

There are many ways to enjoy it, such as applying Smetana as it is, eating it with smoked salmon, or serving it as a dessert with Russian-style jam varenye (Варенье) and cottage cheese.

There is also a gorgeous blini with salmon roe and caviar.

By the way, all fish eggs are “salmon roe (икра)” in Russian.

Salmon roe is called “red salmon roe (Krasnaya salmon roe)” and sturgeon roe is called “black salmon roe (Chornaya salmon roe)”

Pelmeni

Russian Feng Shui dumplings made from wheat flour and stuffed with meat and vegetables, and are said to have been influenced by the Buryat tribe of Mongolia.

In Siberia, in winter, a lot of pelmeni are made at once and hung outside for freezing.

Unlike Chinese dumplings, it is characterized by being wrapped in the shape of a hat.

In addition to boiling it as it is, it may be added to soup or served with Smetana and herbs.

Russian main dish

In the Russian cooking course, the appetizer and soup are followed by a main dish.

Many Western foods are familiar to Japanese people.

Beef Stroganoff

It is a dish of beef, onions, and mushrooms fried in butter and simmered in plenty of sour cream.

It is said that the name comes from the idea of ​​the Stroganov family cook, a nobleman of St. Petersburg, for his weakened teeth.

It is common to have butter rice, boiled potatoes, pasta, etc.

It is a famous dish in Japan, but please try the authentic taste.

Garshok

This is the so-called “pot-yaki”, in which bread dough is placed on top of the stew in the pot and baked.

Since Garshok itself is a Russian word meaning “pot”, the contents are various such as beef stew, borscht, simmered mushrooms in cream, and cream stew with crab.

The most popular mushroom pot ware is called Garshok Su Gribami (Горшок с грибами).

Soaking a hot stew in fragrantly baked bread will surely make you feel happy.

Kiev-style chicken cutlets

It is a dish of chicken breast that has been beaten and stretched, sandwiched with butter that is kneaded with plenty of herbs such as dill and chives, and battered and fried.

When cut, the melted butter overflows from the cross section.

The fragrant flavor of freshly fried chicken cutlet and herbs is an outstandingly delicious dish.

Russian regional cuisine

The former Soviet Union was a vast country consisting of 15 countries.

As a result, many people from the former Soviet Union still live in Russia.

The cuisine of each republic, which is completely familiar to Russia, is becoming more and more popular due to its exotic taste.

Laghman

Laghman is known as a representative dish of the Silk Road.

It is a tomato-flavored noodle dish that is also eaten in Central Asia, which is the relay point of the Silk Road.

Tomato paste is added to beef soup and simmered with lamb, vegetables, and peppers, and then eaten over thick hand-rolled noodles.

The soup stock of meat and vegetables works well and the texture of the smooth noodles is exquisite

Shashlik 

Many Russians living in the city have a villa called a dacha in the suburbs and spend weekends in the kitchen garden.

Shashlik, a meat skewer, is indispensable for the barbecue held there.

Soak the meat overnight in a pickle made from garlic, onions, cloves, bay leaf, olive oil, wine, etc. and bake it fragrantly over charcoal.

Originating in Central Asian kebabs, it is now a staple of Russian barbecue.

Khinkali

In fact, Georgian cuisine is said to fit the Japanese taste very well.

Khinkali is like a large dumpling, which is made by wrapping minced meat and herbs in a purse-like shape with flour skin and steaming it.

Georgia is also a very famous wine region, so if you have a chance to go to a Georgian restaurant.

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