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.

Olivier Salad became a signature dish of this restaurant and it's exact recipe — particularly that of the Olivier's dressing - a type of mayonnaise, made with French wine vinegar, mustard, and Provençal olive oil— was a jealously guarded secret and still remains unknown.

Today Olivier salad is a traditional Slavic salad dish made with diced potatoes, vegetables, eggs, and sometimes ham and is dressed with mayonnaise. And it has become one of the main courses to be served during Winter Holidays Celebration.