Olivier Salad: A Russian Holiday Tradition

Салат «Оливье» (Olivier Salad) is a salad for which the recipe can vary widely, but which is typically made from chopped vegetables and meat in a mayonnaise base. Invented in Moscow, the salad is now popular throughout the countries of the former Soviet Union and beyond. In places like Turkey, Iran, and Greece, it is […]

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Herring Under A Fur Coat: A Hearty New Year’s Tradition

Potatoes, herring, beets, and mayonnaise come together to create the beloved селёдка под шубой (Herring under a Fur Coat), served at nearly every special occasion in the post-Soviet space. It was first seen in the early days of the Soviet Union. However, what is most unusual about the salad is its bright purple color, which […]

Pickling Russian Style

The process of соление (pickling) is well-known in Russia, and any traveler visiting Russia, Ukraine, or Belarus will undoubtedly come across several traditional pickled dishes that seem strange and exotic. With a relatively short growing season, preserving food has always been of special importance in Russia, where you can easily find pickled cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, […]

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 (khachapuri) 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 […]

Korean Carrot Salad: A Simple Salad, Full of Flavor and History

Морковь по-корейски (also called корейская морковь/морковка) was a Soviet-era invention of the Корё-сарам (Koryo-Saram), ethnic Koreans living in the territory of the former Soviet Union. The salad was inspired by traditional Korean cuisine, and was shaped by the shortages and circumstances of life in the Soviet Union. It originated in Central Asia but became immensely […]

Kulebyaka: The Refined Pirog

Кулебяка (kulebyaka) is one of Russian cooking’s refined delicacies. It’s also somewhat of a mystery to many, who know of it only from the works of great Russian authors such as Chekhov and Gogol. Chekhov, in “The Siren,” makes the dish sound sensual: «Кулебяка должна быть аппетитная, бесстыдная, во всей своей наготе, чтоб соблазн был.» […]

Kluski Śląskie: Bouncy Polish Potato Dumplings

Kluski śląskie (KLOO-skee SHLOWN-skee) are soft, circular-shaped, flattened dumplings made from mashed potatoes and potato flour that typically have an indent in the center. This indent is their distinctive physical characteristic, and acts like a sauce-holder. They are traditionally served with goose, pork roast, gravy, or stew, or with caramelized onions and/or bacon cracklings. They […]

Mchadi: The Other Georgia’s Corn Bread

Dr. Michael Denner: It would be difficult to imagine Georgia without maize, what Americans call corn, though of course corn came from South America, and could only have been introduced to Georgia after Columbus brought it back from the New World… so in the sixteenth century at the earliest. My friend and cookbook collaborator Tina […]

Nadugi: Never Too Much (Georgian) Cheese

Dr. Michael Denner: You can tell a lot about a cuisine and culture by the way they eat their milk… That’s the point I tried to make in our latest Georgian Cooking Club meeting, waving about a gallon of milk, sheathed in its translucent plastic carapace. My students were confused at first… Milk. I think […]

Kasha (Sochivo, Kutya): Russian Porridge

Early on those cold autumn and winter mornings, there is nothing quite like a steaming bowl of каша (kasha) to prepare for a long day ahead. In Russia, каша is porridge typically made by cooking гречка (buckwheat), овсянка (oatmeal), or рис (rice) with молоко (milk) or вода (water). Porridge is not the first thing that […]

Satsivi: Georgian Poultry in Nut Sauce

Dr. Michael Denner: For a lot of Georgians, satsivi is… the essence of Georgian home cooking. It is intensely nostalgic, served as the main dish for celebrating the new year, at home, with friends and family gathered around the banquet table, the supra. SRAS: Dr. Michael Denner is a professor at Stetson’s Program in Russian, East […]