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Top 10 Russian National Dishes that Puzzle Foreigners
July 28, 2018 08:34

The Russian cuisine, just like Russian language, mentality and lifestyle is not quite easy to understand and rationalize. Here in Russia, we are fond of borscht and okroshka, buckwheat porridge and aspic. Not to say about vodka, that is a separate topic! But when you come to Russia from abroad, you might wonder, how we can possibly eat these things! How, for god’s sake?

1. Russian Jellied Meat - Kholodets
One can hardly think of a stranger Russian dish than Aspic, aka jellied meat or fish (pronounced as “haladets” in Russian), according to foreigners exploring the Russian cuisine. It is very difficult to grasp for foreigners, “why would you add meat to the jelly?” What if I tell you that pork hooves are boiled to get this jelly, will you even stay at the dinner table? How do you feel about horseradish that is added to kholodets?

2. Russian Sauerkraut – Kvashenaya Kapusta

Unlike in the west, where cabbage is not really respected, it is rather popular in Russia.
When it comes to sauerkraut, foreigners just get their hands up, as most of them have no idea about its goodness!
After all, what could be better for a snack?



3. Okroshka 
Just like most of the Russians, you are probably accustomed to sausage, eggs, potatoes, cucumbers and onions. Though you may be wary of kvas, this traditional Russian drink, in most cases foreigners like it, once they try. But as soon as all of this comes together in one dish - cold soup Okroshka - you might find yourself at a loss… Lots of foreign travelers in Russia just cannot believe that this is not a joke but something really edible. You might think: “Why on Earth would they pour coca-cola into salad?” However, once you taste refreshing and vibrant okroshka on a hot summer day during your Russian tour, you will definitely love it.


4. Russian Buckwheat - Grechka

If you are not coming from China, Korea, Japan, or the former USSR countries, this traditional Russian buckwheat porridge might seem rather strange for you.

But if you think of all the wholesome and healthy properties of buckwheat, which is rich in proteins, iron and other useful nutrients and if you taste it on a local Russian family tour you will definitely start appreciating its taste as well.
5. Vinaigrette
In contrast to the famous Olivier salad, which, by the way, many foreigners are very fond of, vinaigrette might seem strange to you. Perhaps, due to its unusual appearance. However, dare to taste it and if you like vegetables and green peas you are most probably going to favour vinaigrette.

6. Lard
Isn’t it weird that some Russians like to eat lard, those nasty pork fat pieces, which Americans just throw away? But if you come from some northern country, you might be accustomed to eating lard too. In case you prefer to be a vegetarian, read about Vegetarianism in Russia and Vegetarian Eating Out in Moscow.
7. Meat By-Products
For lots of foreigners on a Russian tour, it may look absolutely incredible that Russians can eat cattle’s liver, hearts, lungs, and tongue! Well, if you know something about Russian History, you will probably understand why we don’t want to waste anything edible.

8. Russian Salted Fish – Selyodka 
Like other northern peoples, the Russians have always eaten dried and salted fish. The thing is salted fish is raw and uncooked, just like caviar. So if you come from America and not from Japan, think for yourself before you try this traditional Russian dish!

  9. Russian Pancakes with Filling
Pancakes as such are popular and loved in many countries around the world.

However, it may be totally new for you to taste Russian pancakes stuffed with meat or fish mince, caviar, sweet cottage cheese with jam or honey, and the like.

Find Recipes of Russian Pancakes

10. Russian Tea Drinking
There is nothing special about tea. But when you explore Russia, you will find out that Russians love drinking tea after every meal, and even between meals. Most often, tea goes with cookies, sweets, or even pies and pancakes at times! 

Read More about Russian Cuisine 



Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Russian Cuisine Recipes of Russian Dishes    

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