Russia’s food is not known worldwide, but the country produces plenty of heavenly dishes that are simply unforgettable.
Depending on where you live, Russian food might be pretty hard to come by. Many of the dishes haven’t achieved the international popularity that foods from other cultures have on the world stage. So while traveling throughout Russia, one of the greatest surprises is often the amazing food!
There are a handful of delicacies that you should definitely try before you leave Russia. Fair warning: Nearly all of them contain sour cream. They are all packed with flavor and will leave you feeling full and satisfied.
Check out these 5 foods that you’ll fall in love while in Russia.
Sweet & Sour Soup: Solyanka
The Russians are known for their delicious soups. Although they serve up some tasty chilled soups, their hot soups are to die for. One of the most popular is called solyanka, which is essentially a sweet and sour soup.
The ingredients that go into a standard solyanka include pork, chicken, and beef, both fresh and cured. Pickled cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, olives, and capers. Fresh herbs such as parsley and dill are then added. This dish is perfect for warding off the extreme cold that you may experience in Russia during the winter.
Super Creamy: Beef Stroganoff
You don’t have to be Russian to have heard of beef stroganoff. This classic dish is now popular all over the world, but of course, you will still find the most authentic version in Russia. Basically, beef stroganoff consists of beef strips that are tossed in a sauce made with butter, mustard, onions, white wine, and sour cream. You can eat it by itself, but most people like to have it served with starchy noodles.
Sour cream is a staple ingredient in many Russian dishes. In the local language, it is known as smetana.
Sweet Honeycake: Medovik
As far as sweets go, Russia definitely has its fair share of desserts. One of the most popular is a type of honey cake called medovik. Of course, the other star ingredient in this sweet dish is sour cream which has been sweetened.
Historically, medovik was beloved by the Imperial family. It consists of think layers of honey sponge cake which are alternated with layers of sour cream. The cake is normally stacked quite high, usually containing between five and 15 layers. Nuts are often sprinkled on top to absorb some of the cream.
Adopted Classic: Borscht
If there was one Russian dish that was more famous than the rest combined, it would be borscht. This soup is thought of as quintessentially Russian, but interestingly, it originated in another Eastern European nation: Ukraine.
The base for the soup comes from beets, which gives it the vibrant purple-red color. Meat and vegetables go into the soup which makes it super filling and hearty. Some recipes use everything from carrots to cabbage to potatoes in their ingredients. The best thing about borscht is that it can be served either hot or cold.
Versatile Pancakes: Blini
The Russian answer to the French crepe is known as blini or blin. These pancakes are incredibly versatile because they can be both savory and sweet. When sweet, they are rolled with fillings such as chocolate syrup and jam. When savory, they tend to contain cheese, caviar, onions, and of course, sour cream.
According to Trip Savvy, there is a religious festival in Russia where blini are eaten to celebrate. Known as Maslenitsa, the festival takes place before the beginning of the religious season known as Great Lent.
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