Medovukha: The King of Slavic Honey Drinks

Medovukha (медовуха) is a Slavic honey-based alcoholic beverage. It is one of the most recent and perhaps the best known iteration of a long evolutionary tree of Russian honey-based beverages that can be traced all the way back to the Old Slavs. In Russia today, some argue that a return to these honey drinks, which […]

Maslenitsa, Blin! The Food and Celebration

Они хранили в жизни мирной  /  In peaceful life they protected Привычки милой старины;  /  Sweet olden-time traditions; У них на масленице жирной  /  With them on fatty Maslenitsa Водились русские блины.  /  Was always the Russian blin. А.С. Пушкин  /  A.S. Pushkin Russians revere both blini (блины) and Maslenitsa (Масленица) as being “truly Russian” […]

Borsch: The Slavic Signature Soup

Borsch (Борщ) is one of the most popular soups in Central and Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is sweet and sour, healthy and can be eaten at any time of year. It has a complicated and very long history, with the soup changing over time within various geographic regions. Today, the broadly recognized “standard” borsch […]

Okroshka: A Refreshing Summer Soup

Okroshka (Окрошка) is a cold soup that probably originated in the Volga region of Russia. Because of its light, refreshing taste, it is popularly served in summer. The soup usually consists of diced vegetables, eggs, and meats in a base of either kvass or kefir and is often garnished with sour cream. Best known in […]

Kulich: Mystical Russian Easter Bread

Kulich (Кулич) is a lightly sweet, yeast-risen bread baked with considerable amounts of egg and butter. It may also contain raisins, almonds, candied or dried fruit, lemon zest, and various spices including cardamom and even saffron depending on the recipe and personal preferences. Central to Easter celebrations in Orthodox Christian traditions, kulich is enjoyed in most […]

Kvass! The Other Fermented Russian Drink

Kvass (Квас) is sometimes referred to as “bread drink” or even “bread cider” in English. We recommend just sticking with the word “kvass,” 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

Olivier Salad (Салат «Оливье») 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 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, […]

Syrniki: Not Your Average Cheese Cake

Syrniki (Сырники) 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, syrniki are particularly beloved in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania. Syrniki are […]