3 National Russian Dishes

Today we will talk about national Russian food and introduce you to Ms. Yummy Russian Cuisine!

Here are 3 National Russian Dishes that tourists try on our Moscow food tours. Enjoy!

Russian National Cuisine

1. Bliny, Russian crepes and pancakes

Russian ethnic cuisine

Russian traditional food, bliny. Photo: bankoboev.ru

The history of the pancakes is rooted in prehistoric times. It is even considered that they were the first products made from flour. Some historians say that in Russia pancakes were likely to appear around 1005-1006, or, as chef William Pokhlebkin insists, even before the IX century.The Russian name ‘blin” is derived from the distortion of the word “mlin”, ie “grind, ground”. Thus, a pancake meant “ground flour”.

Traditionally pancakes were only eaten with his hands to… stay out of trouble! In the Ancient Rus if you cut a blin, you could even be stabbed for that! Cooking pancakes in those days was the whole mystery: a recipe was kept a secret and handed down in the family from generation to generation.

Apart from traditional mushroom and jam crepes, the filling can be quite unexpected sometimes: a layer of fried onions or carrots, fillet of sea bass, boiled eggs, blue cheese, sorrel, or pickles with crab meat. Be ready for experiments ;)

2. Russian Soups

traditional food in Russia

Russian national food, borsch. Photo: goodfon.ru

Soup has been one of the main dishes in the Russian cuisine snce the 9th century, together with their main ingredients: cabbage in schi soup and beet in borsch soup. By the way, the culture of cultivation of cabbage came to Rus from the Ancient Greece, and the borsch either came from the Ancient Rome, or was a purely Russian invention, as its name comes from the Old Russian “brsch” (beet).

It is fair to say that the schi are present in Ukrainian, Belarusian, Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian, Finnish, Moldovan national cuisines.

Schi was cooked in poor huts, and in wealthy homes and estates of the nobility and royal palaces. Only the contents of the soup was different. “Rich” cooked schi with meat or chicken broth was for rich people, while the poor had to be happy with “empty” or “gray” schi, with much less variety in the their soup. For the imperial table there was invented a special recipe “royal schi”, with the addition of many overseas delicacies. In spring people cooked “green” schi of sorrel, nettle, quinoa, and culled cabbage seedlings.

As for the borsch, all you need to know for now is that it’s traditionally accompanied with a shot of vodka. ;)

3. Russian Pelmeni

What to eat in Russia - traditional food

Russian dumplings, called pelmeni. Photo: cook-n-eat.net

Dumplings are the most mysterious dish in the world, with an ancient history and recipes. Every nation fights for the right to call dumplings their national dish. Dumplings have various names: jiao-zi in China, Wonton and Shui Yao, ravioli and tortellini in Italy, maultashen in Germany, kreplach in Israel, manti in Caucasus, khinkali in Georgia, Uzbek chuchvara and Russian pelmeni.

Historians suggest that the Russian dumplings were borrowed by the northern Russian population in the middle of the II millennium BC from the ancestors of the Permian Komis. Russian word “pelmeni” is a borrowing from the Komi language and means “bread ear”, “pel” is an ear and “nan” is bread.

As a traditional dish, pelmeni in  Siberia included the meat of elk, bear, goose or forest birds. In addition to meat, the Siberian dumpling was often filled with berries – blueberries, cranberries, cloudberries. Pelmeni were cooked in salted beef or chicken broth, and brought to the table with sour cream.

Some ideas for best restaurants in Moscow and best restaurants in Saint Petersburg with Russian traditional treats.

Where are you from and what is the main national dish in your country?

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