Author: Michael Smeltzer

Tarkhun: An Incredible, Natural Soda from Georgia

Tarkhun (тархун) is a carbonated soft drink made from tarragon leaves. The drink is known for its typically distinctive green color and is especially popular in Russia and the Caucasus. Tarkhun was first concocted, like most western sodas, by a pharmacist. Mitrofan Lagidze, a Georgian, first mixed carbonated water with his original tarragon syrup in […]

Lagman: Central Asian Noodles & Broth

Lagman (лагман) is a dish that is very common in Central Asia, China, and much of Russia. While the basic recipe has perhaps hundreds of local variations, this simple and filling dish always consists of noodles floating in broth or soaked in a savory sauce with vegetables and often features meat, spices, and various savory […]

Pickling Russian Style

The process of pickling (соление) 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, […]