Russian cuisine
Overview
 
Russian cuisine
Russian cuisine
Russian cuisine is diverse, as Russia is the largest country in the world. Russian cuisine derives its varied character from the vast and multi-cultural expanse of Russia. Its foundations were laid by the peasant food of the rural population in an often harsh climate, with a combination of...

  is diverse, as Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 is the largest country in the world. Russian cuisine derives its varied character from the vast and multi-cultural expanse of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. Its foundations were laid by the peasant food of the rural population in an often harsh climate, with a combination of plentiful fish
Fish (food)
Fish is a food consumed by many species, including humans. The word "fish" refers to both the animal and to the food prepared from it. Fish has been an important source of protein for humans throughout recorded history.-Terminology:...

, poultry
Poultry
Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for the purpose of producing eggs, meat, and/or feathers. These most typically are members of the superorder Galloanserae , especially the order Galliformes and the family Anatidae , commonly known as "waterfowl"...

, game
Game (food)
Game is any animal hunted for food or not normally domesticated. Game animals are also hunted for sport.The type and range of animals hunted for food varies in different parts of the world. This will be influenced by climate, animal diversity, local taste and locally accepted view about what can or...

, mushroom
Mushroom
A mushroom is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. The standard for the name "mushroom" is the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus; hence the word "mushroom" is most often applied to those fungi that...

s, berries
Berry
The botanical definition of a berry is a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary. Grapes are an example. The berry is the most common type of fleshy fruit in which the entire ovary wall ripens into an edible pericarp. They may have one or more carpels with a thin covering and fleshy interiors....

, and honey
Honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

. Crops of rye
Rye
Rye is a grass grown extensively as a grain and as a forage crop. It is a member of the wheat tribe and is closely related to barley and wheat. Rye grain is used for flour, rye bread, rye beer, some whiskeys, some vodkas, and animal fodder...

, wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

, barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

, and millet
Millet
The millets are a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops or grains, widely grown around the world for food and fodder. They do not form a taxonomic group, but rather a functional or agronomic one. Their essential similarities are that they are small-seeded grasses grown in difficult...

 provided the ingredients for a plethora of bread
Bread
Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients. Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed , fried , or baked on an unoiled frying pan . It may be leavened or unleavened...

s, pancake
Pancake
A pancake is a thin, flat, round cake prepared from a batter, and cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan. Most pancakes are quick breads; some use a yeast-raised or fermented batter. Most pancakes are cooked one side on a griddle and flipped partway through to cook the other side...

s, cereal
Cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

s, kvass
Kvass
Kvass, kvas, quass or gira, gėra is a fermented beverage made from black...

, beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

, and vodka
Vodka
Vodka , is a distilled beverage. It is composed primarily of water and ethanol with traces of impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made by the distillation of fermented substances such as grains, potatoes, or sometimes fruits....

. Soups and stews full of flavor are centered on seasonal or storable produce, fish, and meats.
Encyclopedia
Russian cuisine
Russian cuisine
Russian cuisine is diverse, as Russia is the largest country in the world. Russian cuisine derives its varied character from the vast and multi-cultural expanse of Russia. Its foundations were laid by the peasant food of the rural population in an often harsh climate, with a combination of...

  is diverse, as Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 is the largest country in the world. Russian cuisine derives its varied character from the vast and multi-cultural expanse of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

. Its foundations were laid by the peasant food of the rural population in an often harsh climate, with a combination of plentiful fish
Fish (food)
Fish is a food consumed by many species, including humans. The word "fish" refers to both the animal and to the food prepared from it. Fish has been an important source of protein for humans throughout recorded history.-Terminology:...

, poultry
Poultry
Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for the purpose of producing eggs, meat, and/or feathers. These most typically are members of the superorder Galloanserae , especially the order Galliformes and the family Anatidae , commonly known as "waterfowl"...

, game
Game (food)
Game is any animal hunted for food or not normally domesticated. Game animals are also hunted for sport.The type and range of animals hunted for food varies in different parts of the world. This will be influenced by climate, animal diversity, local taste and locally accepted view about what can or...

, mushroom
Mushroom
A mushroom is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. The standard for the name "mushroom" is the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus; hence the word "mushroom" is most often applied to those fungi that...

s, berries
Berry
The botanical definition of a berry is a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary. Grapes are an example. The berry is the most common type of fleshy fruit in which the entire ovary wall ripens into an edible pericarp. They may have one or more carpels with a thin covering and fleshy interiors....

, and honey
Honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

. Crops of rye
Rye
Rye is a grass grown extensively as a grain and as a forage crop. It is a member of the wheat tribe and is closely related to barley and wheat. Rye grain is used for flour, rye bread, rye beer, some whiskeys, some vodkas, and animal fodder...

, wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

, barley
Barley
Barley is a major cereal grain, a member of the grass family. It serves as a major animal fodder, as a base malt for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods...

, and millet
Millet
The millets are a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops or grains, widely grown around the world for food and fodder. They do not form a taxonomic group, but rather a functional or agronomic one. Their essential similarities are that they are small-seeded grasses grown in difficult...

 provided the ingredients for a plethora of bread
Bread
Bread is a staple food prepared by cooking a dough of flour and water and often additional ingredients. Doughs are usually baked, but in some cuisines breads are steamed , fried , or baked on an unoiled frying pan . It may be leavened or unleavened...

s, pancake
Pancake
A pancake is a thin, flat, round cake prepared from a batter, and cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan. Most pancakes are quick breads; some use a yeast-raised or fermented batter. Most pancakes are cooked one side on a griddle and flipped partway through to cook the other side...

s, cereal
Cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

s, kvass
Kvass
Kvass, kvas, quass or gira, gėra is a fermented beverage made from black...

, beer
Beer
Beer is the world's most widely consumed andprobably oldest alcoholic beverage; it is the third most popular drink overall, after water and tea. It is produced by the brewing and fermentation of sugars, mainly derived from malted cereal grains, most commonly malted barley and malted wheat...

, and vodka
Vodka
Vodka , is a distilled beverage. It is composed primarily of water and ethanol with traces of impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made by the distillation of fermented substances such as grains, potatoes, or sometimes fruits....

. Soups and stews full of flavor are centered on seasonal or storable produce, fish, and meats. This wholly native food remained the staple for the vast majority of Russians well into the 20th century.

Russia's great expansions of territory, influence, and interest during the 16th–18th centuries brought more refined foods and culinary techniques, as well as one of the most refined food countries in the world. It was during this period that smoked meats and fish, pastry cooking, salads and green vegetables, chocolate
Chocolate
Chocolate is a raw or processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America. Its earliest documented use is around 1100 BC...

, ice cream
Ice cream
Ice cream is a frozen dessert usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavours. Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners...

, wine
Wine
Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

s, and liquor were imported from abroad. At least for the urban aristocracy
Aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

 and provincial gentry
Gentry
Gentry denotes "well-born and well-bred people" of high social class, especially in the past....

, this opened the doors for the creative integration of these new foodstuffs with traditional Russian dishes. The result is extremely varied in technique, seasoning, and combination.

From the time of Catherine the Great, every family of influence imported both the products and personnel — mainly French and Austrian — to bring the finest, rarest, and most creative foods to their table. This is nowhere more evident than in the exciting, elegant, highly nuanced, and decadent repertoire of the Franco-Russian chef. Many of the foods that are considered in the West to be traditionally Russian actually come from the Franco-Russian cuisine of the 18th and 19th centuries, and include such widespread dishes as Veal Orloff
Veal Orloff
Veal Prince Orloff, Veal Prince Orlov, Veal Orloff, or Veal Orlov is a 19th century dish of Franco-Russian cuisine. Created by an Urbain Dubois in the employ of Prince Orloff, former Russian ambassador to France. This dish consists of a braised loin of veal, thinly sliced, filled with a thin...

, Beef Stroganoff
Beef Stroganoff
Beef Stroganoff or Beef Stroganov is a Russian dish of sautéed pieces of beef served in a sauce with smetana or sour cream...

, and Chicken Kiev
Chicken Kiev
Chicken Kiev is a popular dish of boneless chicken breast pounded and rolled around cold garlic butter with herbs, then breaded and either fried or baked.-Etymology:...

.

Soups

Soup
Soup
Soup is a generally warm food that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables with stock, juice, water, or another liquid. Hot soups are additionally characterized by boiling solid ingredients in liquids in a pot until the flavors are extracted, forming a broth.Traditionally,...

s have always played an important role in the Russian meal. The traditional staple of soups such as shchi
Shchi
Shchi is a Russian soup with cabbage as the primary ingredient. Its primary distinction is its sour taste, which usually originates from cabbage. When sauerkraut is used instead, the soup is called sour shchi, and soups based on sorrel, spinach, nettle, and similar plants are called green shchi...

 (щи), ukha
Ukha
Ukha is a clear Russian soup, made from various types of fish such as sturgeon, salmon, or cod. It usually contains root vegetables, parsley root, leek, potato, bay leaf, dill, tarragon, and green parsley, and is spiced with black pepper, saffron, nutmeg, and fennel seed...

 (уха́), rassolnik
Rassolnik
Rassolnik is a traditional Russian soup made from pickled cucumbers, pearl barley and pork or beef kidneys. A vegetarian variant of rassolnik also exists...

 (рассо́льник), solyanka
Solyanka
Solyanka is a thick, spicy and sour soup in Russian and Ukrainian cuisine.There are three basic types of solyanka, with the main ingredient being either meat, fish, or mushrooms. All of them contain pickled cucumbers with brine, and often cabbage, salted mushrooms, smetana , and dill...

 (соля́нка), botvinnik (ботви́нник), okroshka
Okroshka
Okróshka is a cold soup of Russian origin that is also found in Ukraine. The name probably originates from "kroshit'" , which means to crumble into small pieces....

 (окро́шка), and tyurya (тю́ря) was enlarged in the 18th to 20th centuries by both European and Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

n staples like clear soups, puree
Purée
Purée and mash are general terms for cooked food, usually vegetables or legumes, that have been ground, pressed, blended, and/or sieved to the consistency of a soft creamy paste or thick liquid. Purées of specific foods are often known by specific names, e.g., mashed potatoes or apple sauce...

d soups, stew
Stew
A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been cooked in liquid and served in the resultant gravy. Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables , meat, especially tougher meats suitable for slow-cooking, such as beef. Poultry, sausages, and seafood are also used...

s, and many others.

Russian soups can be divided into at least seven large groups:
  • Chilled soups based on kvass
    Kvass
    Kvass, kvas, quass or gira, gėra is a fermented beverage made from black...

    , such as tyurya, okroshka
    Okroshka
    Okróshka is a cold soup of Russian origin that is also found in Ukraine. The name probably originates from "kroshit'" , which means to crumble into small pieces....

    , and botvinya.
  • Light soups and stews based on water and vegetables.
  • Noodle soup
    Noodle soup
    Noodle soup refers to a variety of soups with noodles and other ingredients served in a light broth. Noodle soup is an East and Southeast Asian staple. Less well known, a form of fresh noodle is used in soup in certain parts of Europe , and in northern China; usually, it is served for breakfast...

    s with meat, mushrooms, and milk.
  • Soups based on cabbage
    Cabbage
    Cabbage is a popular cultivar of the species Brassica oleracea Linne of the Family Brassicaceae and is a leafy green vegetable...

    , most prominently shchi
    Shchi
    Shchi is a Russian soup with cabbage as the primary ingredient. Its primary distinction is its sour taste, which usually originates from cabbage. When sauerkraut is used instead, the soup is called sour shchi, and soups based on sorrel, spinach, nettle, and similar plants are called green shchi...

    .
  • Thick soups based on meat broth, with a salty-sour base like rassolnik and solyanka
    Solyanka
    Solyanka is a thick, spicy and sour soup in Russian and Ukrainian cuisine.There are three basic types of solyanka, with the main ingredient being either meat, fish, or mushrooms. All of them contain pickled cucumbers with brine, and often cabbage, salted mushrooms, smetana , and dill...

    .
  • Fish soups such as ukha
    Ukha
    Ukha is a clear Russian soup, made from various types of fish such as sturgeon, salmon, or cod. It usually contains root vegetables, parsley root, leek, potato, bay leaf, dill, tarragon, and green parsley, and is spiced with black pepper, saffron, nutmeg, and fennel seed...

    .
  • Grain- and vegetable-based soups.

Cold soups

Okroshka
Okroshka
Okróshka is a cold soup of Russian origin that is also found in Ukraine. The name probably originates from "kroshit'" , which means to crumble into small pieces....

 is a cold soup based on kvass
Kvass
Kvass, kvas, quass or gira, gėra is a fermented beverage made from black...

 or, less often, sour milk. The main ingredients of both types are vegetables that can be mixed with cold boiled meat or fish in a 1:1 proportion . Thus vegetable, meat, and fish varieties of okroshka are made.

There are typically two types of vegetables in okroshka. The first must have a neutral taste, such as boiled potato
Potato
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial Solanum tuberosum of the Solanaceae family . The word potato may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species...

es, turnip
Turnip
The turnip or white turnip is a root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, bulbous taproot. Small, tender varieties are grown for human consumption, while larger varieties are grown as feed for livestock...

s, rutabaga
Rutabaga
The rutabaga, swede , turnip or yellow turnip is a root vegetable that originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip; see Triangle of U...

s, carrot
Carrot
The carrot is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, red, white, and yellow varieties exist. It has a crisp texture when fresh...

s, or fresh cucumber
Cucumber
The cucumber is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, which includes squash, and in the same genus as the muskmelon. The plant is a creeping vine which bears cylindrical edible fruit when ripe. There are three main varieties of cucumber: "slicing", "pickling", and...

s. The second must be spicy, consisting of mainly green onion as well as other herbs—greens of dill, parsley
Parsley
Parsley is a species of Petroselinum in the family Apiaceae, native to the central Mediterranean region , naturalized elsewhere in Europe, and widely cultivated as an herb, a spice and a vegetable.- Description :Garden parsley is a bright green hairless biennial herbaceous plant in temperate...

, chervil
Chervil
Chervil is a delicate annual herb related to parsley. Sometimes called garden chervil, it is used to season mild-flavoured dishes and is a constituent of the French herb mixture fines herbes.-Biology:...

, celery
Celery
Apium graveolens is a plant species in the family Apiaceae commonly known as celery or celeriac , depending on whether the petioles or roots are eaten: celery refers to the former and celeriac to the latter. Apium graveolens grows to 1 m tall...

, or tarragon
Tarragon
Tarragon or dragon's-wort is a perennial herb in the family Asteraceae related to wormwood. Corresponding to its species name, a common term for the plant is "dragon herb". It is native to a wide area of the Northern Hemisphere from easternmost Europe across central and eastern Asia to India,...

. Different meat and poultry can be used in the same soup. The most common ingredient is beef alone or with poultry. If it is made with fish, the best choice would be tench
Tench
The tench or doctor fish is a freshwater and brackish water fish of the cyprinid family found throughout Eurasia from Western Europe including the British Isles east into Asia as far as the Ob and Yenisei Rivers. It is also found in Lake Baikal...

, European perch
European perch
The European perch, Perca fluviatilis, is a predatory species of perch found in Europe and Asia. In some areas it is known as the redfin perch or English perch, and it is often known simply as perch. The species is a popular quarry for anglers and has been widely introduced beyond its native area,...

, pike-perch, cod
Cod
Cod is the common name for genus Gadus, belonging to the family Gadidae, and is also used in the common name for various other fishes. Cod is a popular food with a mild flavor, low fat content and a dense, flaky white flesh. Cod livers are processed to make cod liver oil, an important source of...

, or other neutral-tasting fish.

The kvass
Kvass
Kvass, kvas, quass or gira, gėra is a fermented beverage made from black...

 most commonly used in cooking is white okroshka kvass, which is much more sour than drinking kvass. Spices used include mustard
Mustard (condiment)
Mustard is a condiment made from the seeds of a mustard plant...

, black pepper and pickled cucumber
Pickled cucumber
A pickled cucumber is a cucumber that has been pickled in a brine, vinegar, or other solution and left to ferment for a period of time, by either immersing the cucumbers in an acidic solution or through souring by lacto-fermentation.-Gherkin:A gherkin is not only...

 (specifically, the liquid from the pickles), solely or in combination. For the final touch, boiled eggs and smetana (a heavy sour cream
Sour cream
Sour cream is a dairy product rich in fats obtained by fermenting a regular cream by certain kinds of lactic acid bacteria. The bacterial culture, which is introduced either deliberately or naturally, sours and thickens the cream. Its name stems from the production of lactic acid by bacterial...

, similar to crème fraîche
Crème fraîche
Crème fraîche is a soured cream containing about 28% butterfat and with a pH of around 4.5. It is soured with bacterial culture, but is less sour than sour cream. It has a comparatively high viscosity and a higher fat content....

) are added.

For sour milk based okroshka, well shaken up natural sour milk(often with the addition of seed oil) is used with the addition of pure water and ground garlic. Sometimes manufactured kefir
Kefir
Kefir is a fermented milk drink that originated with shepherds of the North Caucasus region, who discovered that fresh milk carried in leather pouches would occasionally ferment into an effervescent beverage...

 is used instead of natural sour milk for time saving reasons, though some say it detracts from the original taste of okroshka.

Tyurya is very similar to okroshka, the main difference being that instead of vegetables, bread is soaked in kvass. It is rather historical meal, that was consumed during rough times (WWII, WWI, Revolution) and by poor peasants. Also, due to its simplicity, it was very common as a meal during religious fasting.

Botvinya is another type of cold soup. The name of the soup comes from the Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 word botva, which means "leafy tops of root vegetable
Root vegetable
Root vegetables are plant roots used as vegetables. Here "root" means any underground part of a plant.Root vegetables are generally storage organs, enlarged to store energy in the form of carbohydrates. They differ in the concentration and the balance between sugars, starches, and other types of...

s", and the ingredients are in line with the name: leafy tops of young beet, sorrel
Sorrel
Common sorrel or garden sorrel , often simply called sorrel, is a perennial herb that is cultivated as a garden herb or leaf vegetable...

, green onions
Scallion
Scallions , are the edible plants of various Allium species, all of which are "onion-like", having hollow green leaves and lacking a fully developed root bulb.-Etymology:The words...

, dill
Dill
Dill is a perennial herb. It is the sole species of the genus Anethum, though classified by some botanists in a related genus as Peucedanum graveolens C.B.Clarke.-Growth:...

, cucumber
Cucumber
The cucumber is a widely cultivated plant in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae, which includes squash, and in the same genus as the muskmelon. The plant is a creeping vine which bears cylindrical edible fruit when ripe. There are three main varieties of cucumber: "slicing", "pickling", and...

s, and two types of kvass, then some mustard, garlic, and horseradish
Horseradish
Horseradish is a perennial plant of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and cabbages. The plant is probably native to south eastern Europe and the Arab World , but is popular around the world today...

 as spices. The vegetables are rubbed through a sieve and kvass is poured over.

Hot soups

Shchi
Shchi
Shchi is a Russian soup with cabbage as the primary ingredient. Its primary distinction is its sour taste, which usually originates from cabbage. When sauerkraut is used instead, the soup is called sour shchi, and soups based on sorrel, spinach, nettle, and similar plants are called green shchi...

(cabbage soup) had been the predominant first course in Russian cuisine for over a thousand years. Although tastes have changed, it steadily made its way through several epochs. Shchi knew no social class boundaries, and even if the rich had richer ingredients and the poor made it solely of cabbage and onions, all these "poor" and "rich" variations were cooked in the same tradition. The unique taste of this cabbage soup was from the fact that after cooking it was left to draw (stew) in a Russian stove. The "Spirit of shchi" was inseparable from a Russian izba
Izba
An izba is a traditional Russian countryside dwelling. A type of log house, it forms the living quarters of a conventional Russian farmstead. It is generally built close to the road and inside a yard, which also encloses a kitchen garden, hayshed, and barn within a simple woven stick fence...

 (log hut). Many Russian proverbs
Russian proverbs
Russian language proverbs are words of wisdom created in Slavic languages by Slavic peoples. The proverbs originated from oral history and ancient written texts dating as far back as the 12th century...

 are connected to this soup, such as Shchi da kasha
Kasha
Kasha is a cereal commonly eaten in Eastern Europe. In English, kasha generally refers to buckwheat groats, but in Slavic countries, kasha refers to porridge in general and can be made from any cereal, especially buckwheat, wheat, barley, oats, millet, and rye...

 pishcha nasha
. It can be eaten regularly, and at any time of the year.

The richer variant of shchi includes several ingredients, but the first and last components are a must:
  1. Cabbage.
  2. Meat (very rarely fish or mushrooms).
  3. Carrots, basil or parsley roots.
  4. Spicy herbs (onions, celery, dill, garlic, pepper, bay leaf).
  5. Sour components (smetana, apples, sauerkraut, pickle water).


When this soup is served, smetana is added. It is eaten with rye bread.
During much of the year when the Orthodox Christian Church prescribes abstinence from meat and dairy, a vegan version of shchi is made.
"Kislye" (sour) schi are made from pickled cabbage (sauerkraut
Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut , directly translated from German: "sour cabbage", is finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria, including Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. It has a long shelf-life and a distinctive sour flavor, both of which result from the lactic acid...

), "serye" (grey) schi from the green outer leaves of the cabbage head. "Zelyonye" (green) schi are made from sorrel leaves, not cabbage, and used to be a popular summer soup.

Ukha
Ukha
Ukha is a clear Russian soup, made from various types of fish such as sturgeon, salmon, or cod. It usually contains root vegetables, parsley root, leek, potato, bay leaf, dill, tarragon, and green parsley, and is spiced with black pepper, saffron, nutmeg, and fennel seed...

is a warm watery fish dish, however calling it a fish soup would not be absolutely correct. "Ukha" as a name for fish broth was established only in the late 17th to early 18th centuries. In earlier times this name was first given to thick meat broths, and then later chicken. Beginning from the 15th century, fish was more and more often used to prepare ukha, thus creating a dish that had a distinctive taste among soups.

A minimum of vegetables is added in preparation, and in classical cooking ukha was simply a rich fish broth served to accompany fish pies (rasstegai, kuliebiaka, etc.). These days it is more often a fish soup, cooked with potatoes and other vegetables. A wide variety of freshwater fish is traditionally used.

Rassolnik
Rassolnik
Rassolnik is a traditional Russian soup made from pickled cucumbers, pearl barley and pork or beef kidneys. A vegetarian variant of rassolnik also exists...

is a hot soup in a salty-sour cucumber base. This dish formed in Russian cuisine quite late—only in the 19th century. About this time the name rassolnik was attached to it, originating from the Russian word "rassol" which means brine (pickle water). Pickle water was known to be used as base for soups from the 15th century at the latest. Its concentration and ratio with other liquids and soup components gave birth to different soups: solyanka, pohmelka, and of course rassolnik. The latest are moderately sour-salty soups on pickled cucumber base. Some are vegetarian, but more often with products like veal or beef kidneys or all poultry giblets (stomach, liver, heart, neck, feet). For best taste there has to be a balance between the sour part and neutral absorbers (cereals, potatoes, root vegetables).
Typical rassolnik is based on kidneys, brine (and pickles), vegetables and barley.

Kal'ya was a very common dish first served in the 16th–17th centuries. Subsequently it almost completely disappeared from Russian cuisine. Often it was incorrectly called "fish rassolnik". The cooking technique is mostly the same as of ukha, but to the broth were added pickled cucumbers, pickle water, lemons and lemon juice, either separately or all together. The main characteristic of kal'ya is that only fat, rich fish was used; sometimes caviar
Caviar
Caviar, sometimes called black caviar, is a luxury delicacy, consisting of processed, salted, non-fertilized sturgeon roe. The roe can be "fresh" or pasteurized, the latter having much less culinary and economic value....

 was added along with the fish. More spices are added, and the soup turns out more piquant and thicker than ukha. Formerly kal'ya was considered a festivity dish.

Solyanka is a thick, piquant soup that combines components from schi (cabbage, smetana) and rassolnik (pickle water and cucumbers), spices such as olive
Olive
The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

s, caper
Caper
Capparis spinosa, the caper bush, is a perennial winter-deciduous species that bears rounded, fleshy leaves and large white to pinkish-white flowers. A caper is also the pickled bud of this plant...

s, tomatoes, lemons, lemon juice, kvass, salted and pickled mushrooms are make up a considerably strong sour-salty base of the soup. Solyanka is much thicker than other soups, about 1/3 less liquid ratio. Three types are distinguished: meat, fish, and simple solyanka. The first two are cooked on strong meat or fish broths, and the last on mushroom or vegetable broth. All the broths are mixed with cucumber pickle water.

Lapsha (noodle soup
Noodle soup
Noodle soup refers to a variety of soups with noodles and other ingredients served in a light broth. Noodle soup is an East and Southeast Asian staple. Less well known, a form of fresh noodle is used in soup in certain parts of Europe , and in northern China; usually, it is served for breakfast...

) was adopted by Russians from Tatars, and after some transformation became widespread in Russia. It comes in three variations: chicken, mushroom, and milk. Cooking all three is simple, including preparation of noodles, cooking of corresponding broth, and boiling of noodles in broth. Noodles are based on the same wheat flour or buckwheat
Buckwheat
Buckwheat refers to a variety of plants in the dicot family Polygonaceae: the Eurasian genus Fagopyrum, the North American genus Eriogonum, and the Northern Hemisphere genus Fallopia. Either of the latter two may be referred to as "wild buckwheat"...

/wheat flour mix. Mixed flour noodles go better with mushroom or milk broth.

Borscht
Borscht
Borscht is a soup of Ukrainian origin that is popular in many Eastern and Central European countries. In most of these countries, it is made with beetroot as the main ingredient, giving it a deep reddish-purple color...

[pronounced without the t at the end in Russian] is made of broth, beets, and tomato juice with various vegetables. Vegetables include onions, cabbage, tomato, carrots, and celery. Borscht always includes meat, usually beef in Russia, pork in the Ukraine. The mistake is frequently made of serving borscht cold, though nothing can be further from tradition. Borscht must be served very hot, with a dollop of sour cream, chopped chives or parsley, and crushed garlic. The mistake is due to the existence of another red, beet-based soup, also eaten with sour cream, but usually vegetarian--svekol'nik, from the work svekla, meaning 'beet'. One occasionally chops sausages or deli meats into a plate of svekol'nik, but this is not necessary. Unlike borscht, a cold-weather dish, svekol'nik is a light summer soup, and is indeed always served cold, preferably accompanied by kvass. Borscht is traditionally served with black bread and ice-cold vodka. The bottle must be kept in the freezer, not the refrigerator, and placed back there between shots. The vodka accompanying a plate of borscht (ideally thick enough to stand a spoon in) must never be taken on the rocks or in any other way diluted. A shot of ice-cold vodka is followed by a spoon of very hot borscht and a mouthful of black rye bread, with or without butter.

Meat

In traditional Russian cuisine three basic variations of meat dishes can be highlighted:
  • a large boiled piece of meat cooked in a soup or porridge, and then used as second course or served cold (particularly in jellied stock—see Kholodets' below)
  • offal dishes (liver, tripe, etc.), baked in pots together with cereals;
  • whole fowl dishes or parts of fowl (legs or breasts), or a large piece of meat (rump) baked on a baking tray in an oven, so-called "zharkoye" (from the word "zhar"(жар) meaning "heat")


The 16th century "Domostroi" aimed at affluent households also mentions sausage-making, spit-roasted meats, stews and many other meat dishes.

As a garnish to meat dishes in the past the most common were porridges and cereals, in which the meat was boiled, later on boiled or rather steamed and baked root vegetables (turnips, carrots) as well as mushrooms; additionally the meat, without taking account its type, was garnished with pickled products—pickled cabbage, sour and "soaked" (marinated) apples (mochoniye yabloki), soaked cranberries, "vzvar"s. Pan juices, alone or mixed with sour cream or melted butter is used as gravy to pour on garnishing vegetables and porridges. Meat sauces i.e. gravies based on flour, butter, eggs and milk, are not common for traditional Russian cuisine.

Kholodets
Aspic
Aspic is a dish in which ingredients are set into a gelatin made from a meat stock or consommé. Non-savory dishes, often made with commercial gelatin mixes without stock or consommé, are usually called gelatin salads....

 (or Studen')
: Jellied chopped pieces of pork or veal meat with some spices added (pepper, parsley, garlic, bay leaf
Bay leaf
Bay leaf refers to the aromatic leaf of the bay laurel . Fresh or dried bay leaves are used in cooking for their distinctive flavor and fragrance. The leaves are often used to flavor soups, stews, braises and pâtés in Mediterranean cuisine...

) and minor amounts of vegetables (carrots, onions). The meat is boiled in large pieces for long periods of time, then chopped, boiled a few times again and finally chilled for 3–4 hours (hence the name) forming a jelly mass, though gelatine is not used because calves' feet, pigs' heads and other such offal is gelatinous enough on its own. It is served with horseradish
Horseradish
Horseradish is a perennial plant of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and cabbages. The plant is probably native to south eastern Europe and the Arab World , but is popular around the world today...

, mustard, or ground garlic with smetana.

Pelmeni
Pelmeni
Pelmeni are dumplings consisting of a filling wrapped in thin, unleavened dough that originated in Siberia and is a dish of Russian cuisine. Pelmeni are common in Russia and have similar names in other languages: , pyal’meni; pilmän; , pel’meni; ; .- Ingredients :The dough is made from flour and...

(пельмени in Russian, singular pelmen, пельмень; пяльмені in Belarusian) are a traditional Eastern European (mainly Russian) dish usually made with minced meat filling, wrapped in thin dough (made out of flour and eggs, sometimes with milk or water added). For filling, pork, lamb, beef, or any other kind of meat can be used; mixing several kinds is popular. The traditional Ural recipe requires the filling be made with 45% of beef, 35% of lamb, and 20% of pork. Traditionally, various spices, such as pepper, onions, and garlic, are mixed into the filling.

Russians seem to have learned to make pelmeni from Finnic and Tatar peoples of the Taiga
Taiga
Taiga , also known as the boreal forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests.Taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome. In North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States and is known as the Northwoods...

, the Urals and Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

. The word means "ear-shaped bread" in Finnic languages such as Udmurt and Komi. In Siberia they were made in large quantities and stored safely frozen outside for several winter months. In mainland Russia, the term "Siberian Pel'meni" refers to pel'meni made with a mix of meats (whether the 45/35/20 mix mentioned above, or another ratio), rather than a single meat. By the late 19th century, they became a staple throughout urban European Russia
European Russia
European Russia refers to the western areas of Russia that lie within Europe, comprising roughly 3,960,000 square kilometres , larger in area than India, and spanning across 40% of Europe. Its eastern border is defined by the Ural Mountains and in the south it is defined by the border with...

. They are prepared immediately before eating by boiling in water until they float, and then 2–5 minutes more. The resulting dish is served with butter and/or sour cream (mustard, horseradish, and vinegar are popular as well). Some recipes suggest frying pelmeni after boiling until they turn golden brown.

Pelmeni belong to the family of dumpling
Dumpling
Dumplings are cooked balls of dough. They are based on flour, potatoes or bread, and may include meat, fish, vegetables, or sweets. They may be cooked by boiling, steaming, simmering, frying, or baking. They may have a filling, or there may be other ingredients mixed into the dough. Dumplings may...

s. Akin to vareniki
Vareniki
thumb|right|Varenyks with [[curd]]Varenyky are a kind of stuffed dumpling associated with Ukrainian cuisine. Variants are also found in Moldovan, Mennonite, Belarusian, Russian, Lithuanian, and Polish cooking. They are believed to originate from Chinese and Siberian influences, although sometimes...

: Ukrainian variety of dumplings with filling made of mashed potatoes, farmer's cheese, or cherries, to mention the most popular three. They are not dissimilar to Chinese potstickers, Tibetan mo-mo and Italian ravioli
Ravioli
Ravioli are a traditional type of Italian filled pasta. They are composed of a filling sealed between two layers of thin egg pasta dough and are served either in broth or with a pasta sauce. The word ravioli is reminiscent of the Italian verb riavvolgere , though the two words are not...

, as well as the Manti of the Kazakh and Kyrgyz cultures. The main difference between pelmeni and other kinds of dumplings is in their shape and size — the typical pelmen' is roughly spherical and is about 2 to 3 cm in diameter, whereas most other types of dumplings are usually elongated and much larger.

The process of making pelmeni is somewhat labor-intensive, but a device known as "pelmennitsa" greatly speeds up the task. It consists of a typically round aluminum plate with a matrix of holes surrounded by ridges. A sheet of dough is placed over the matrix, filling is scooped into each "cell", and the dough sags under the weight of the filling, forming the body of the dumpling. Another sheet of dough is placed on top, and a wooden roller is rolled over the top, pressing the dough layers together, cutting the dumplings apart by the ridges, and forcing the dumplings to fall through the holes. Using a pelmennitsa, the chef can quickly manufacture batches of dumplings at a time (illustration shows a traditional pelmennitsa configuration with a hexagonal pattern of 37 holes, although other forms and shapes exist).

Various minced meat dishes were adopted from other cuisines and became popular only in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; for traditional Russian cuisine they are not typical.

Kotlety (cotelettes, meatballs), a Western European dish popular in modern Russian households, are small pan-fried meat balls, not dissimilar from Salisbury steak
Salisbury steak
Salisbury steak is a dish made from a blend of minced beef and other ingredients, which is shaped to resemble a steak, and usually is served with gravy / brown sauce. Hamburger steak is a similar product, but differs in ingredients....

 and other such dishes. Made primarily from pork and beef (sometimes also from chicken or fish), they are easily made and require little time. Milk, onions, ground beef, and pork are put in a bowl and mixed thoroughly until it becomes relatively consistent. Once this effect is achieved, balls are formed and then put into a hot frying pan to cook. When meat was in short supply, a portion of it could be substituted with bread to protect the size and flavour of the kotlety.

Shashlyk is a form of Shish kebab (marinated meat grilled on a skewer) popular in former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 countries, notably in Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, Russia, Armenia
Armenia
Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

, and Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

. It often features alternating slices of meat and onions. Even though the word "shashlyk" was apparently borrowed from the Crimean Tatars
Crimean Tatars
Crimean Tatars or Crimeans are a Turkic ethnic group that originally resided in Crimea. They speak the Crimean Tatar language...

 by the Cossacks as early as the 16th century, kebabs did not reach Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 until the late 19th century, according to Vladimir Gilyarovsky
Vladimir Gilyarovsky
Vladimir Alekseyevich Gilyarovsky , was a Russian writer and newspaper journalist, best known for his reminiscences of life in pre-Revolutionary Moscow , which he first published in a book form in 1926.-Biography:...

's "Moscow and Moscovites". From then on, their popularity spread rapidly; by the 1910s they were a staple in St Petersburg restaurants and by the 1920s they were already a pervasive street food all over urban Russia. Shashlik is also used in Russia as a food to be cooked in outdoor environment, similarly to barbecue
Barbecue
Barbecue or barbeque , used chiefly in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia is a method and apparatus for cooking meat, poultry and occasionally fish with the heat and hot smoke of a fire, smoking wood, or hot coals of...

 in English-speaking countries.

Fish

Fish was important in pre-revolutionary cuisine, especially on Russian Orthodox fast days when meat was forbidden, similar to the Catholic custom of eating fish instead of meat on Fridays. Strictly freshwater fish such as carp and sudak (Sander lucioperca, Zander) were commonly eaten in inland areas, as well as anadromous sturgeon and in northern areas salmon, pike and trout. A greater variety of fish—including saltwater species—were preserved by salting, pickling or smoking and consumed as "zakuski
Zakuski
A zakuski is a kind of traditional Russian hors d'oeuvre served before meals. Usually presented buffet style, it often consists of cured meats and fishes, various pickled vegetables such as beets, cucumbers, and garlic, mixed salads, caviar, and breads.These appetizers are often present at parties...

" (hors d'oeuvres).

Pies and pan cakes

Pirozhki
Pirozhki
Pirozhki , sometimes transliterated as piroshki , is a generic word for individual-sized baked or fried buns stuffed with a variety of fillings. The stress in pirozhki is properly placed on the last syllable: . Pirozhok is the diminutive form of the Russian cognate pirog , which refers to a...

(singular: pirozhok; diminutive
Diminutive
In language structure, a diminutive, or diminutive form , is a formation of a word used to convey a slight degree of the root meaning, smallness of the object or quality named, encapsulation, intimacy, or endearment...

 of "pirog" [pie]) are small stuffed bun
Bun
A bun is a small, usually sweet, bread. Commonly they are hand-sized or smaller, domed in shape, with a flat bottom. A bun can also be a savory bread roll similar to a bap or barmcake....

s (pies) made of either yeast dough or short pastry
Shortcrust pastry
Shortcrust pastry is a type of pastry often used for the base of a tart or pie. It does not puff up during baking because it usually contains no leavening agent. It is possible to make shortcrust pastry with self-raising flour, however...

. They are filled with one of many different fillings and are either baked (the ancient Slavic method) or shallow-fried (known as "priazhenie", this method was borrowed from the Tatars in the 16th century). One feature of pirozhki that sets them apart from, for example, English pies is that the fillings used are almost invariably fully cooked. The use of chopped hard-boiled eggs in fillings is another interesting feature. Six typical fillings for traditional pirozhki are:
  1. Chopped boiled meat mixed with sautéed onions
  2. Rice and boiled eggs with dill
  3. Fish sautéed with onions and mixed with hard-boiled chopped eggs and rice
  4. Mashed potatoes mixed with dill and green onion
  5. Sautéed cabbage
    Cabbage
    Cabbage is a popular cultivar of the species Brassica oleracea Linne of the Family Brassicaceae and is a leafy green vegetable...

  6. Sautéed mushrooms with onions and sometimes carrots

Blini are thin pancakes made with yeasted batter which are often served in connection with a religious rite or festival. The word "blin" (singular of blini) comes from Old Slavic "mlin", which means "to mill". Blins had a somewhat ritual significance for early Slavic peoples in pre-Christian times since they were a symbol of the sun, due to their round form. They were traditionally prepared at the end of the winter to honor the rebirth of the new sun during Maslenitsa
Maslenitsa
Maslenitsa . Maslenitsa corresponds to the Western Christian Carnival, except that Orthodox Lent begins on a Monday instead of a Wednesday. The Orthodox date of Easter can differ greatly from the Western Christian date. In 2008, for example, Maslenitsa was celebrated from March 2 to March...

 (Масленица, Butter Week; also known as Pancake Week). This tradition was adopted by the Orthodox Church and is carried on to the present day, as the last week of dairy and egg products before Lent. Bliny are still often served at wakes, to commemorate the recently deceased. Blini can be made from wheat, buckwheat, or other grains, although wheat blini are most popular in Russia. They may be topped with butter, smetana (sour cream
Sour cream
Sour cream is a dairy product rich in fats obtained by fermenting a regular cream by certain kinds of lactic acid bacteria. The bacterial culture, which is introduced either deliberately or naturally, sours and thickens the cream. Its name stems from the production of lactic acid by bacterial...

), fruit preserves or caviar.

Syrniki
Syrniki
In Russian, Belarusian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Ukrainian cuisines, syrniki are fried quark pancakes, garnished with sour cream, jam, honey, or apple sauce. The cheese mixture may contain raisins for extra flavor...

are fried curd fritter
Fritter
A fritter is any kind of food coated in batter and deep fried. Although very similar to a doughnut it differs in the fact that it requires some base ingredient beyond the dough it is cooked with.-Anglo-American fritters:...

s, garnished with sour cream, jam, honey, and/or apple sauce.

Vatrushka
Vatrushka
Vatrushka is an Eastern European pastry with a ring of dough and cottage cheese in the middle, often with raisins or bits of fruit, from about five inches to two and a half feet in diameter, analogous with the Western European pastry known in the English world as the Danish.The name vatrushka...

is a kind of cake with a ring of dough and tvorog (cottage cheese
Cottage cheese
Cottage cheese is a cheese curd product with a mild flavor. It is drained, but not pressed, so some whey remains and the individual curds remain loose. The curd is usually washed to remove acidity, giving sweet curd cheese. It is not aged or colored. Different styles of cottage cheese are made from...

) in the middle, often with raisins or bits of fruit, from about five inches to two and a half feet in diameter.

Vegetables

Cabbage, potatoes, and cold tolerant greens are common in Russian and other Eastern European cuisines. Pickling cabbage, cucumbers, rutabagas and other vegetables in brine is used to preserve vegetables for winter use. Pickled apples and some other fruit also used to be widely popular. These are sources of vitamins during periods when fresh fruit and vegetables are traditionally not available.

Beverages

Many traditional drinks are indigenous to Russia and are not present in other national cuisines. The most notable of these are vodka, sbiten
Sbiten
Sbiten, also sbiten' is a hot winter Russian traditional drink.- History :First mentioned in Slavonic chronicles in 1128, it remained popular with all strata of Russian society until the 19th century when it was replaced by coffee and tea...

', kvass
Kvass
Kvass, kvas, quass or gira, gėra is a fermented beverage made from black...

, medovukha and mors. Many of them are no longer common and have been replaced by drinks originating in Europe. Nonetheless, these beverages were formerly drunk as a complement to meat and poultry dishes, sweet porridge, and dessert. Of particular note is sbiten, an immensely popular medieval drink which has since been replaced by tea
Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

 as the Russian mainstay beverage.

Alcoholic

Of Russia's alcoholic beverages, perhaps the most ancient is Medovukha
Medovukha
Medovukha is an Old Balto-Slavic honey-based alcoholic beverage very similar to mead. These two words are related and go back to the Proto-Indo-European meddhe...

, a sweet, low-alcohol drink, made with fermented-honey with the addition of various spices. A stronger honey-based beverage, stavlenniy myod, also exists in Russia and is broadly equivalent to Scandinavian mead
Mead
Mead , also called honey wine, is an alcoholic beverage that is produced by fermenting a solution of honey and water. It may also be produced by fermenting a solution of water and honey with grain mash, which is strained immediately after fermentation...

; it is typically made with the admixture of berry juices.

Vodka is the most well-known of Russia's alcoholic products and is produced, with some variation, through-out the country. Vodka can be either grain or potato based and is frequently flavored with a great variety of ingredients ranging from hot-pepper and horseradish to fruits and berries.

Beer has been manufactured in Russia since at the very least the 9th century. Its popularity was for many centuries concentrated in the Lands of Novgorod
Novgorod Republic
The Novgorod Republic was a large medieval Russian state which stretched from the Baltic Sea to the Ural Mountains between the 12th and 15th centuries, centred on the city of Novgorod...

. Beer continued to be made throughout Russian history, but real growth came in the 18th century when many breweries were founded in order to supply the newly modernized and expanded imperial army and fleet. A real explosion in the popularity of beer came in the last decades of the Soviet Era and has continued into the present day, with Russia now ranking as the fourth largest producer in the world.

Wine is manufactured in the southern regions in the country, but lags far behind other alcoholic beverages in popularity. The wine industry
Russian wine
Russian wine refers to wine made in the Russian Federation and to some extent wines made in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics though this later referencing is an inaccurate representation of wines from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine...

, which was somewhat notable in imperial times, is slowly expanding, but most Russians that drink wine tend to prefer imported foreign varieties, including those little known in the outside world (Specifically Georgian and Moldovan wines).

Non-alcoholic

Kvass
Kvass
Kvass, kvas, quass or gira, gėra is a fermented beverage made from black...

 is an ancient and still widely popular bread-based drink. The basic method of preparing kvass includes water, flour and malt liquid; these ingredients are then used to make a dough which is subjected to fermentation (which results in the beverage being low-alcoholic, commercial kvas is often around .5 % alcoholic). This fermented liquid, referred to as "zator" is diluted with water and mixed with yeast, sugar and aromatic additives. This final mixture is allowed to brew for several days. Flavor additives may include fruit and berry juices (cherry
Cherry
The cherry is the fruit of many plants of the genus Prunus, and is a fleshy stone fruit. The cherry fruits of commerce are usually obtained from a limited number of species, including especially cultivars of the wild cherry, Prunus avium....

, raspberry
Raspberry
The raspberry or hindberry is the edible fruit of a multitude of plant species in the genus Rubus, most of which are in the subgenus Idaeobatus; the name also applies to these plants themselves...

, lemon, etc.), as well as ginger
Ginger
Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family . Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom, and galangal....

 and mint
Mentha
Mentha is a genus of flowering plants in the family Lamiaceae . The species are not clearly distinct and estimates of the number of species varies from 13 to 18. Hybridization between some of the species occurs naturally...

.

Sbiten, a non-alcoholic (or very little alcohol) drink, is made of honey, water, fruit juices and spices. Sbiten was once the most popular non-alcoholic bevarage in the country, but in the last centuries has, been superseded and largely replaced by tea.

Another popular drink is mors, which is made of sweetened fruit juices diluted with water.

Tea
Tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

 is by far the most common drink in contemporary Russia. First introduced to Russia from China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 in the 17th century, its popularity has since spread throughout the country. Black tea
Black tea
Black tea is a variety of tea that is more oxidized than the oolong, green, and white varieties.All four varieties are made from leaves of the shrub Camellia sinensis. Black tea is generally stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine than the less oxidized teas. Two principal varieties of the...

 has always been the dominant variety of this drink, but after the Russian acquisition of Central Asia, awareness of and interest in green tea
Green tea
Green tea is made solely from the leaves of Camellia sinensis that have undergone minimal oxidation during processing. Green tea originates from China and has become associated with many cultures throughout Asia. It has recently become more widespread in the West, where black tea is traditionally...

 began to increase slowly. Today Russia remains one of the largest tea consumers in the world.

Most tea is imported, and until the Sino-Soviet split
Sino-Soviet split
In political science, the term Sino–Soviet split denotes the worsening of political and ideologic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the Cold War...

, originated mostly in China. Now Russia imports most of its tea from India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 and Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

, with Darjeeling being the most prized variety. Domestic cultivation exists in the southern regions of the country (mostly in Krasnodar Krai
Krasnodar Krai
-External links:* **...

), but local supply is very limited compared to national consumption.

Coffee, although popular, has never caught up to tea in popularity. Peter The Great is credited with introducing coffee
Coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

 to Russia, with the drink becoming steadily more pervasive since that time. Coffee is commonly made either using the turkish
Turkish coffee
Turkish coffee is a method of preparing coffee where finely powdered roast coffee beans are boiled in a pot , with sugar according to taste, before being served into a cup where the dregs settle...

 or common European method.

Salads and other foods

  • Olivje (from French surname Olivier) salad: a mayonnaise-based potato salad
    Potato salad
    Potato salad is a dish made from boiled potatoes, the versions of which vary throughout different regions and countries of the world. Although called a salad, it is generally considered a side dish, as it generally accompanies the main course....

     distinguished by its diced texture and the contrasting flavors of pickles, capers, olives, hard-boiled eggs, and peas. Russian salad
    Russian salad
    Salade Olivier is a salad composed of diced potatoes, vegetables and meats bound in mayonnaise. The salad is usually called Russian salad in Western European and Latin American countries, and Salad Olivieh in Iranian cooking.-History:...

     is a similar salad
    Salad
    Salad is any of a wide variety of dishes, including vegetable salads; salads of pasta, legumes, eggs, or grains; mixed salads incorporating meat, poultry, or seafood; and fruit salads. They may include a mixture of cold and hot, often including raw vegetables or fruits.Green salads include leaf...

    .
  • Vinegret (from French vinaigrette
    Vinaigrette
    The word vinaigrette or vinegarette can refer to:*Vinaigrette, the salad dressing or sauce...

    ): boiled red beet root salad with onions, pickled cucumbers, boiled potatoes, carrots, and herring.*

Sel'd' pod shuboy
Dressed Herring
Dressed herring or herring under fur coat or just fur coat is layered salad composed of diced salted herring covered with layers of grated boiled vegetables , chopped onions and mayonnaise...

 (or Shuba, from Russian шуба (fur coat)): also known as "dressed herring" is chopped salted herring under a "coat" of shredded cooked beet, sometimes with a layer of egg or other vegetables
  • Varen'e (Варенье): a dessert from cooking berries; similar to jam.


See also

  • A Gift to Young Housewives
    A Gift to Young Housewives
    A Gift to Young Housewives is a Russian cookbook written by Elena Ivanovna Molokhovets . It was the most successful book of its kind in 19th- and early 20th-century Russia. Molokhovets revised the book continually between 1861 and 1917, a period of time falling between the emancipation of the...

    , a well-known 19th century Russian cookbook
  • Pierogi
    Pierogi
    Pierogi are dumplings of unleavened dough - first boiled, then they are baked or fried usually in butter with onions - traditionally stuffed with potato filling, sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese, or fruit...

  • Soviet cuisine
    Soviet cuisine
    thumb|right|250px|[[Varenyky|Varenyks]] with [[curd]]Soviet cuisine, the common cuisine of the Soviet Union, was formed by the integration of the various national cuisines of the Soviet Union, in the course of the formation of the Soviet people. It is characterized by a limited number of...



External links

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