Sides & Sauces

Side dishes and salads in Eurasia are diverse and distinctive. Slavic salads are known for heaviness, often containing boiled tubers and dressed with mayonnaise or sunflower oil. Caucasian side dishes can also be quite filling, with heavy use of beans, cheese, and nuts. Central Asian sides tend to be light, focusing on bread and perhaps basic salads of cucumber and tomato or the spicy soy or carrot salads of the Koryo Saram. During celebratory feasts, side dishes often come to the fore, with the emphasis not on a central dish, but on supplying feasters with a wide array of dishes.

Samsa: A Tasty Pastry of the Silk Road

The samsa (самса) is a meat- or vegetable-filled savory pastry. They are both flaky (слоеная) and crispy (хрустящая). They are enjoyed across the former USSR, where they are most associated with Central Asian cuisine. The samsa originated in the Middle East and spread across the Silk Road (Шелковый путь), reaching Central Asia, India, and Africa. […]

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