Russian food
Русская еда


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Russian food - Русская еда

In Russian it’s usual to have meals three times a day. There is breakfast, dinner and supper.

Neither breakfast nor its preperation usually takes much time. In Russia it’s not common to eat much for breakfast. A usual breakfast could include an omelette, sandwiches, corn flakes or something like that. But of course there are some traditional Russian dishes. For example sirniki. Sirniki is made from dough containing lots of cottage cheese and fried on a pan. They are usually served with sour cream and sugar. Blini and blinchiki are other common morning meals. Blini are practically the same as English pancakes. In Russia they are served with butter and sugar. Blinchiki are very thin blini. Of course they are made from other dough. The thinner the blinchiki are, the tastier they are. Besides there are blinchiki with stuffing. There is a plenty of different stuffing. For example blinchiki with cottage cheese, meat, jam. If you are in Russia on Maslenica (Shrovetide, Shrove Tuesday) you can try different kinds of blinchiki because on that holiday blinchiki are considered to be the main and necessary dish. Try blinchiki with caviar - the posh variant of the course. Russians really love caviar and serve it on many holidays.

But let’s go back to breakfast. Kasha (porridge) is another traditional dish for breakfast in Russia. You will find it on the table more often than sirniki or blinchiki because it’s much simpler to prepare. Not only porridge is popular but also cereal made from other different grains. Usually breakfast is accompanied with a cup of tea.

Dinner consists of several courses. From the times of Soviet cafeterias it’s common to call them first course, second course and third course. First course is a soup. Second course includes meat and garnish. A drink in Russia is called third course. It’s usually tea, coffee, juice or compote. Sometimes third course includes a dessert. The official time for dinner at work is usually from noon till 1 o’clock PM. At home, for example on the weekend, dinner is usually later – at three or four o’clock PM.

All family gathers together for supper and this is probably the longest and the nicest meal of the day. Supper usually starts near seven o’clock PM and can last for some hours. They discuss the latest events at the table and members of family share their emotions with each other. Guests are usually invited for supper. At supper you have a wonderful opportunity to discover Russian cuisine.

So what do Russians eat? At first shi of course. Shi is a soup made from meat, cabbage, carrot, potatoes, tomatoes and onion. Add some sour-cream to it and you’ll get a delicious taste. That’s something that helps Russians to warm during the cold winter. Maybe many people haven’t heard about shi before, but everybody knows borshch. In fact borshch is shi with beet. That’s the main difference between these soups. Borshch is more often related to courses of the Ukrainian cuisine.

There is also traditional salad in Russia. Ask any Russian what salad it is and he or she will answer you in a moment. This is olivye! Russians prepare it on every holiday. It has become a great tradition here. This salad is sometimes called Russian salad abroad. And the name “olivye” has a French origin. It’s strange but in Russia this salad is considered to be a course brought to Russia by a French man Olivye. Of course it’s hard to say if it’s true or not. Besides olivye doesn’t have any relation to the French cuisine. It is prepared from boiled chicken, potato, carrot, conserved peas, pickled cucumbers, onion and mayonnaise. It's a little strange mixture of ingredients but try it anyway, and you’ll understand that it’s really very tasty.

Another dish of Russian cuisine containing a lot of ingredients, which at first sight don’t seem to suit each other, is okroshka. The word “okroshka” comes from the verb “kroshit” that in English means “to crumble”, “to cut”. So the name of the course speaks for itself because during its preparing many kinds of products are crumbled & cut.

The base of the course is kvass. Kvass is a traditional drink in Russia itself. Depending on what part of the country you visit you have an opportunity to try either dark or light kvass. And the fact that you like dark kvass still doesn’t mean that you’ll like the light one, because it tastes much different. All that you need to do is to add there boiled meat, eggs, potherb, cucumbers, radish, some milk and the soup is ready. Finally you get delicious cold soup which is the favorite dish of many Russian especially in the summer time. But okroshka has a very special taste so foreigners may not like it for the first time.

Beside soups, Russians have some other tasty things. Golubci and pelmeni are among them. They are popular in many countries abroad but you should try them in Russia because here they are the best.

Bread plays a very important role in the meal. Russians eat bread with practically all dishes. In Russia they cook light and dark bread. The colour of bread depends on the kind of flour is used for its preperation. In the past bread was baked in special ovens in the country. That bread has a wonderful taste and of course it can’t be compared with that bread which shops supply. Unfortunately this tradition is disappearing nowadays, although some elderly people continue baking bread and don’t buy it in the shops.

Among drinks Russians often like tea and vodka. Perhaps Russian climate which is famous by its cold weather influenced this choice of drinks. But when it’s warm Russians drink kvass and compote with pleasure.

What? Already hungry? So come to Russia as soon as you can! Yes, and don’t forget to say “Pryatnogo appetita!” at the table. It’s considered to be polite here to wish everyone 'good appetite'.

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Recommended Books For Learning Russian

A Comprehensive Russian Grammar - A great reference on Russian grammar.

The New Penguin Russian Course: A Complete Course for Beginners - Probably the best course in a book.

The Big Silver Book of Russian Verbs - A great reference book of conjugated Russian verbs.

Russian Learners' Dictionary: 10,000 Russian Words in Frequency Order - A simple but powerful concept. Expand your vocabulary by learning the most used words first.