Contrary to what you might be thinking, Russian cuisine is not just bland meat and mushy potatoes. Russian cuisine is much more savory that most realize. If you happen to be a vegetarian you are really in luck as there are endless vegetarian Russian dishes to choose from. One would thing that only Russian dishes is what is being served here, but there are ethnic restaurants all over. Russian cuisine, however, is notorious for its love of mayo ant Smetana, which is crème fraîche and sour cream hybrid. When all is said and done though you might return stateside finding that you add mayo to everything as well after trying some of these Russian dishes.
Salat Olivier—If you order this thinking Salat is Russian for healthy, good luck! Salat usually refers to something along the lines of a pasta salad or potato salad only loaded down with mayo; typically more than American style varieties. Don’t let that keep you from experiencing unique Russian cuisine. After all, the diet is on vacation too. So enjoy this dish that is filled with potatoes, pickles, boiled eggs, chicken (or ham), onions and carrots; of course the binding ingredient, copious amounts of mayo. Das ve danya diet!
Salat Vinaigrette — And now we come right back and contradict our previous statement as this salad is quite healthy. Made with cooked small diced vegetables such as beets, carrots, pickles, and potatoes, peas and onions; it is only tossed with sunflower oil and vinegar. Jenny Craig would be so proud.
Borscht – Bears, Beets Battlestar Galactica. Guess which of those is in this dish. Yep, you guessed it, beets. Unofficially the Russian national dish, this soup is made with beets, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes and a host of other vegetables and served with smetana and doesn’t taste as bad as it sounds.
Kholodets – Chunks of meat floating inside globs of gelatin anyone? Yeah, we didn’t think so but one of you out there might be weird to like it. Enjoy!
Caviar (Ikra) — What, the gelatinous cubes with floating chunks of meat wasn’t appetizing enough? Salty fish eggs you say? We got you covered. Yes, caviar, or unborn fish babies if you want to think of it that way, bottoms up! Russian caviar is usually served with toast points, and traditional toppings like chopped hard-boiled eggs, minced red onions, and sour cream. It’s all about the layout with this dish; the fancier the better.
Shashlik — Ok now we are getting to some good stuff. BEEF! This is the Russian version of the kabob.If you’re invited to a shashlik party, by all means go. The Russian answer to the shish-kabob is grilled over a fire pit just like our bbq here in America; only, it’s in a hole in the ground instead.
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