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.

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, […]

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