Author: Jordan Bryant

Okroshka: A Cool Soup for Hot Summers

Окрошка is a cold soup that most often consists of finely-chopped raw vegetables with cooked meats and potatoes in a base of квас (kvass; a beer-like, carbonated, bread-based drink) or кефир (kefir; a buttermilk-like fermented milk drink). Okroshka has considerable versatility in its ingredients and is enjoyed in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and other former Soviet […]

Kharcho: Georgia’s Spicy Beef Stew

For those of us who have had the singular pleasure of being seated behind a hefty bowl of харчо (kharcho), it is hard to describe exactly how delicious this Georgian delicacy really is. It is also, interestingly enough, hard to describe what it actually is, as there is rather heated disagreement about several of the […]

Vinegret: The Salad is in the Chopping

While most Westerners know vinaigrette as an oily dressing, often of the raspberry or balsamic variety, in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet bloc, the word has a very different meaning. In these countries, винегрет (vinegret) is itself a salad, composed traditionally of boiled, diced beets, potatoes, and carrots mixed with diced pickles, […]

Khatchapuri: The Big Georgian Cheese!

Хачапури (khatchapuri) is one of the most beloved of the Georgian foods adopted into the Russian tradition. That is a major achievement, as Georgian cuisine is itself one of the most beloved of all those among the former Soviet peoples. It is enjoyed in Russia, throughout the former Soviet space, and around the world. The […]

The SRAS Guide to Fermented Milk

Russia and Eurasia offer what can seem to be a bewildering selection of dairy products in their transnational food cultures. An area of special note, and often one of the strangest to Westerners, is the seemingly never-ending assortment of fermented milk drinks in the Russian gastronomic repertoire. To cut down on the brow-furrowing and sometimes […]

Birthday Parties in Vladivostok

Besides the New Year, Victory Day and perhaps the 8th of March, the next biggest holidays on most Russians’ rosters are actually their birthdays! The sheer level of drama that they entail, and the full-scale productions that they become are most certainly worthy of them being labeled cultural events. While I have been a guest […]