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Top 5 Dishes of Astrakhan Cuisine: What to Eat on the Caspian Seacoast
November 8, 2018 14:49


The city of Astrakhan has long been a melting pot of numerous nationalities, and so Astrakhan cuisine intertwines cooking traditions and dishes of the Russians, Armenians, Jews, Germans, Kalmyks, Kazakhs, Astrakhan Tatars, and others. Such combinations give special zest to the regional cuisine of Astrakhan.
If you are a gourmet traveller, the first association with Astrakhan will be red salmon and watermelons. Astrakhan cuisine has always been famous for its fish dishes. Once sturgeon was found in abundance in the Caspian Sea, whereas great sturgeon and black caviar served as staple foods for the locals. Nowadays, when salmon is less, pikeperch and pike dishes are considered typical Astrakhan goodies.

Battered Pikeperch

Slices of soft-fried pikeperch make a traditional holiday snack for the locals. No holiday table can do without this snack in Astrakhan. To cook it, pikeperch fillet is sliced and slightly tenderized on one side. Fish slices are salted and left aside for about fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, prepare batter from eggs, flour and a little milk. Afterwards, battered slices are soft-fried in vegetable oil until golden brown. The snack is traditionally served when cooled down.

Astrakhan Triple Fish Soup

It is only in Astrakhan where you can find the special local triple fish soup. It is cooked with perch, bream, perch pike and any fish of the sturgeon family. Each type of fish is boiled in turn, one after another.

While boiling fish, do not miss removing the foam and periodically filtering the broth. Once the fish is half-cooked, add chopped potatoes and onions into the broth. Just five minutes before the soup is ready, pieces of salmon or sturgeon fillet are added to it. Condiments are added almost before serving the soup. The triple fish soup is strikingly rich in taste and very nourishing. If you want to cook it "with smoke", then add a little piece of coal from the fire into the boiling pot. Back in the nineteenth century, no potatoes were added to the fish soup; however, this innovation does not make it any less hearty and savoury.

Baursaki – Traditional Asian Doughnuts

More than 173 nationalities live in Astrakhan, so the local cuisine has been influenced by each of them. An example of this is Baursaki, a traditional dish of the nomadic cattlemen of Central Asia, as well as Bashkirs, Tatars, Uzbeks, Kalmyks and Uigurs. These doughnuts, made of fresh or yeast dough, are traditionally fried in a cauldron. There are also recipes for baursaki with cottage cheese. If taken with tea, the doughnuts are served with a honey based solution.
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Pickerel Hoe

Hoe is a typical national dish of the Kazakhs. Previously, it was made from sturgeon, but nowadays pike is more and more often used as the main ingredient. The tenderest appetizer will be the hoe made of pickerels. For its preparation, the fillets are separated from the bones and finely chopped. Grated raw carrots and chopped onions are added and salted to taste. Per kilo of fillet, five tablespoons of vinegar are carefully mixed in. After half an hour in the fridge, the pickerel hoe is ready to be served.

Gubadia Cake

Gubadia, a traditional round cake with a multi-layered filling, is one of the main treats for big celebrations. It comes from the Bashkir Cuisine. The filling consists of dried cottage cheese, boiled rice, ground beef with browned onions and chopped hardboiled eggs, as well as steamed raisins, dried apricots or pitted prunes.
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Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Astrakhan Gourmet Tours Regional Cuisines Astrakhan Cuisine Russian Cuisine 

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