Kvass! The Other Fermented Russian Drink

Квас (Kvass) is sometimes referred to as “bread drink” or even “bread cider” in English. We recommend just sticking with the word “квас,” though. Brewed from black or rye bread, the drink may come with a range of consistencies similar to those found in beer and a distinctly “bready” taste. The first recorded mention of […]

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 […]

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, […]

Maslenitsa, Blin! The Food and Celebration

Они хранили в жизни мирной Привычки милой старины; У них на масленице жирной Водились русские блины. А.С. Пушкин In peaceful life they protected Sweet olden-time traditions; With them on fatty Maslenitsa Was always the Russian blin. A.S. Pushkin Russians revere both блины and Масленица as being “truly Russian” although, ironically, neither is without multiple counterparts […]

Halva: Ancient and Nutritious

Халва, the rich, crumbly dessert well-loved across many cultures, is so densely filling it almost manages to feel like a meal – and not an entirely unhealthy one at that. There are more than one hundred types of халва, which is generally ground and sweetened nuts and/or seeds. Its role as a staple dessert extends […]

Syrniki: Not Your Average Cheese Cake

Сырники (Syrniki) are cottage cheese griddle cakes, sometimes called “cheese fritters” in English. They are generally fried in vegetable oil to create crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside medallions of warm, creamy goodness. Drizzled with sour cream, condensed milk, and/or jam, and served for breakfast or dessert, сырники are particularly beloved in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania. Сырники […]

International Women’s Day Eve in Kyiv

Perhaps no one in the world takes the celebration of the 8th of March, International Women’s Day, as seriously as those in Kyiv. It makes sense that the day is especially heralded in Ukraine and Russia, as it was a popular Soviet holiday honoring women workers. In 1917, women textile workers in St. Petersburg went […]

Heavenly Hundred Mourners In Kyiv

Hundreds of people came to Kyiv’s Independence Square, or, in Ukrainian, Maidan Nazeleznosti for the third anniversary of the day snipers killed 100 protesters during the EuroMaidan Revolution, on February 18, 2017. The deceased are commonly known as the “Heavenly Hundred.” The date of thier death is now marked every year by mourners returning to […]