Food!!!!(or the most important part of my travels)

February 8, 2012

Anyone that knows me knows…I love food. I love cooking, trying, and tasting all sorts of delish(or not!) things. Thus, a large portion of this blog shall be dedicated to my culinary adventures here in mother Russia.

First, let’s just take a minute to discuss the hospitality of Russians. It involves food…and lots of it. When I say I’m pretty much down to only eating 2 meals a day it’s because I hide during the third or face having food stacked in front of me. My host family is ridiculously nice and have selective hearing when I say “No, Thank you I can’t eat any more”. They proceed to pile more food in front of me or slip little candies onto my plate. My host mum is constantly cooking and if I even look into the kitchen, she is magically there pushing me forward with the promise of tea and more food.

Late night blini...with homemade raspberry preserves and sour cream

Now, about the sour cream fetish Russians have…it is true. On everything, borscht, blini, other soups, bread etc. Thank god I love sour cream.

I had to get over my initial fear of eating things that have been sitting out. There I said it. Cheese, sour cream, yogurt, eggs, pizza…all sits out and waits to be eaten. I thought ( as a crazy American does)these things must be in the fridge at all times!!! Apparently no, since I am still alive.

My host mum and her "Russian" pizza

My host mum is a night owl so if you’re awake past 10pm believe me, you’re eating a late night snack or meal. One night it was homemade pizza with sausage, pickles, garlic, mushrooms, and BBQ sauce. Weird? yes. Delish? yes. The crust was some of the best I’d ever had and well, I’m a sucker for weird and crazy toppings.

As to eating out: It is not especially popular here in Russia as the idea of hospitality takes over and people mostly eat at home or with friends. However, cafes are everywhere for a quick and very cheap snack and cup of tea! My experience thus far has been awesome. It is usually $2-8 for a drink and small snack or dessert. You order at a counter and then take a seat wherever. I have only been to one where ordering from a server was necessary(my helpless wandering about the cafe prompted the question of American, yes?)

A cafe snack-pizza and pepsi about 65r(or $2.50). This one was just beyond Palace Square

I have gone out to eat once so far with my friends as a treat before one of them left. We wandered down Nevskyy Prospekt looking for a likely candidate-moderately priced with Russian themed foods. We happened upon the “Soviet Cafe” and stopped in. It is a low ceilinged slightly smoky restaurant with home-y interior and menus in both English and Russian. Our service was prompt and the meal was amazing. My food was hot and well-seasoned with traditional Russian ingredients. My total came to around 350r or $12 with a split appetizer, 0.5l of water, and a full meal. Quite reasonable for the portion and delish food:)

Appetizer of Vareniki-Ukrainian dumplings with a potato filling and fresh dill on top

My amazing food-fried poatoes, pork, tomatoes, and onions sauteed together with fresh dill

Katie with her Draniki: Potato Pancakes with ham and onion

Megan with her Chicken Kiev and mashed potatoes

2 Responses to “Food!!!!(or the most important part of my travels)”

  1. Erin said

    It’s kinda interesting how my roommates and others panic when I’ve left milk, yogurt or eggs out for an hour or so. And definitely when it’s Velveeta (which isn’t really cheese, so I have no idea why they lump that in with dairy). I try to kindly explain that, no, things do not go bad in an hour unless you try and that they won’t die from eating it.

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