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Russian Cuisine

Traditional Russian cuisine is rich and hearty peasant fare. Restaurant menus will feature many cold-tolerant root vegetables, stewed meat and rich dairy products. The dark green herb dill (ukrop) is sprinkled in abundance on many dishes. Perhaps this can be attributed to the belief that this masculine herb promotes sexual potency and fertility! Here are the classics:

Bliny

Bliny (pancakes) are an indispensable part of Russia's culinary tradition. Eaten in huge quantities throughout the year, any Russian restaurant has at least a few varieties both savory and sweet on the menu. Bliny are typically served as an entr?e with ham (vechina), caviar (ikra), cheese (syr), or as a dessert with vareniye (chunky, sweet fruit preserve), or honey (myod) and tvorog (sweet cottage cheese).

Soups

Russians are big on soups, especially borshch. Actually, borshch is said to come from the Ukraine. Borshch is chocked full of beetroot, and shchi is full of cabbage. Both can be very tasty, or the most awful dishwater you've ever come across. Solyanka is a thick and salty soup. In it you'll find anonymous meat bits, chopped up olives, pickles and a slice of lemon. Ukha is a clear fish soup. For Russians, a soup is incomplete without a dollop of sour cream./td>

Salads

Everything in Russia comes with mayonnaise, the national dressing. Olivier salad, the New Year's salad, comes with potatoes, pickled cucumbers, carrot and canned ham. How about selyodka pod shuboy? This "herring-under-a-fur-coat" salad, which consists of herring, potato, beetroot and mayonnaise, wins the strangest name award. Venegret is boiled beetroot salad with onions, pickled cucumbers, carrots and for once, an oil dressing. Krabovy is a Soviet era favorite made from crab sticks, hard boiled eggs, rice and sweet corn.

Pelmeni Varenki

Pelmeny is a Russian dinner staple. The students' favorites are little dumplings stuffed with meat. They make a great winter snack and are the number one choice of your average Russian bachelor. Varenki are dumplings for vegetarians, usually filled with potato, cheese, cabbage, tvorog (that cottage cheese again), jam, or fruit.

Zakuski - Cold Table

Originally borrowed from Scandinavia during the reign of Peter I, it has been incorporated into the national cuisine as the classic first course meal. It includes little open sandwiches hor d' oeuvres, pickles and smoked salmon - the jewel of the zakuski table is caviar, of course. Swallow the caviar down with iced vodka

Kholodetz

Congealed fat around a few scraps of fleshy meat, cooled and served in square slices. Enough to tempt anyone, right? It may look like dog food yet is enjoyed by Russians the country over, and they make a great show of cooking it up for special holidays like the New Year.

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Didn't you get hungry reading all this? Please be patient - we will recommend several restaurants where you will enjoy tasty Russian cuisine and well balanced combinations of the best quality food, good service and reasonable prices.

Depending upon your preferences you will have complete flexibility as to meal choices and times. You will choose to eat in any good bistro, caf? or restaurant along the route. For travel groups larger than 8 people we recommend ordering pre-arranged lunches in advance (a time-saver). All meals are served at the time of guest's arrival.