Few days before Winter Holidays starts we want to introduce you to one of the most … unique Slavic dishes on a Holiday's Table: "Dressed Herring". In Russian it is originally called “Herring Under The Fur Coat”! For most non-slavic people it does taste as weird as it sounds.This dish has many layers and looks like a cake. They say that it's recipe came from jewish cuisine.
Slavic people love this dish so much that once it even won a place in the Guinness Book of Records of Russia. It was made in a Russian city Kaliningrad, where they even celebrate such a special holiday like “Day of a Herring”! It weighted 500 kilos and it's length was about 40ft! It contained 50 kilos of herrings, 158 kilos of potatoes, 98 kilos of beets, 94 kilos of carrots, 10 kilos of onions, 720 chicken eggs and 50 kilos of mayonnaise!
We want to introduce you today to the one of "must-haves" on the Winter Holidays Slavic table and it is a delicious Salad Olivier, or Stolichniy Salad, or as it is called in the West, simply the Russian Salad.
Stolichniy – means "From the Capital". And indeed this Salad was “born” in a famous restaurant in Moscow - the Hermitage Restaurant in 1860s. It's “father” was the chef of this restaurant Lucien Olivier from Belgium.
Many notable events of those days took place in this restaurant: For example, the composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky held there his wedding celebrations as well as the novelist Ivan Turgenev held there a special dinner, perhaps to celebrate the news that Oxford was awarding him an Honorary Doctorate. Fyodor Dostoyevsky also had a celebration dinner in this restaurant.
Fried Potatoes are probably most familiar Russian staple foods in America. Since Americans love fried potatoes no less then Russians do. But again, they cook it differently and that is why the taste of it is different too. While Americans like their fries dry and crispy, Russians like theirs soft with a little crispy crust on.
Such potatoes can be the main dish common Russian family eat most of all. They can cook it with mushrooms, with onion, with eggs, with sausages – you name it. They can fry it on oil, or on … pig fat, called salo. Although Russian people can eat fried potatoes almost everyday, they are never tired of it and this dish can easily appear on a festive holiday table as well!
Today we want to talk one quite a unique Russian dish that has a kind of an American analog - Stooden (студень), known in America as Aspic. It is a gelled … meat broth! Russians leave cooked meat sit in a refrigerator until the broth hardens into a gel and then they take it out and eat. Jell-O is very popular in America and here you have … Meat Jell-O!
This dish is a Must-Have on a Holiday Russian Table! They like to eat it with a spicy paste made of grated horseradish, vinegar, sugar and salt with an optional addition of beetroot.
Although it is the middle of the Autumn on our calendar now but it seems like summer weather refuses to live California and that is why we think it is still appropriate for us to talk about another very famous Slavic beverage – Kvas, which is very popular in Russia especially during hot summer days. This is a drink that is made from fermented bread. In times of Peter the Great it was the most popular non-alcohol drink. And since those times Kvas holds it's popularity and keeps Russian Traditions.
Americans also have a similar traditional beverage called “Root Beer”, you even will not be able to tell the difference between these two at your first glance. Root beer is made of the root or bark of the Sassafras tree. It was produced by Native Americans even before the arrival of Europeans. And it is still very popular today! So, we can see that both Russian and American people treasure their traditions!