October 14, 2013

What to Eat in Russia

One of the most exciting things about traveling to a new place is not only getting to experience the culture firsthand, but being able to taste the unique foods of the region as well. Travel to Russia to experience a wide range of delicious cuisine that is guaranteed to delight any palate.

From the traditional Russian dishes like borsch and blini, to familiar fast food spots serving Big Macs and fountain soda, you're sure to find something to satisfy your stomach in this colorful paradise.

If you're looking to slurp one of the most famous Russian soups, find a restaurant that serves borsch or solyanka. Made with meat bouillon of beetroots, potatoes, cabbage, and an array of vegetables, borsch is a must have when visiting Russia. Solyanka is a different kind of soup, specially made with meat, pickled cucumbers, olives, pepper and spices, and often times incorporated with lemon or prunes; this is a wonderful Russian favorite that is sure to comfort and coat your belly.

Pelmeni is cooked a number of ways, but when ordered in a restaurant, the chef carefully prepares these doughy works of art filled with minced meat and boiled to perfection. Top them off with an array of sauces, from sour cream or tomato sauce to vinegar or mayonnaise. Pelmeni is devoured by the tons in Russia, and can be found not only in restaurants, but at most grocery stores, too. Bringing a frozen bag of pelmeni that you can boil for yourself at home is a common way to enjoy a quick, delicious meal.

Similar to pelmeni, vareniki consists of thin pieces of dough wrapped around cottage cheese or berries. After boiling, they're served with butter or sour cream.

Fried pancakes, better known as blini are an ancient Russian specialty. To celebrate the Maslenitsa holiday, blini was/is prepared in almost every home as a way to welcome spring and say farewell to winter. Creating these incredibly thin wheat flour pancakes is not an easy task. Often filled with honey, butter, sour cream, caviar, salmon, trout, or other minced meat, blini is also enjoyed with cottage cheese, mushrooms, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, and other assortments of home-made jams. Savory or sweet, blini is a must have in Russia.

When your sweet tooth kicks in, be sure to scope out the nearest shop serving syrniki. These delicious scones are a favorite to visitors from all over the world. Made from cottage cheese and then mixed with eggs, sugar and flour, smother them in honey or sour cream and you'll surely be coming back for seconds (and thirds!).

For the comforts of home, you'll be happy to find the golden arches of McDonald's nearby as well as the familiar signs of Burger King, Subway, Carl's Jr and Starbucks.

All of these foods and many, many more are available around every corner and are a must-try for newcomers. Your taste buds will thank you!