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 […]

Herring Under A Fur Coat: A Hearty New Year’s Tradition

Potatoes, herring, beets, and mayonnaise come together to create the beloved Herring under a Fur Coat (селёдка под шубой), served at nearly every special occasion in the post-Soviet space. It was first seen in the early days of the Soviet Union. However, what is most unusual about the salad is its bright purple color, which […]

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, […]

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, […]

Kluski Śląskie: Bouncy Polish Potato Dumplings

“Kluski śląskie” (KLOO-skee SHLOWN-skee) are soft, circular-shaped, flattened dumplings made from mashed potatoes and potato flour that typically have an indent in the center. This indent is their distinctive physical characteristic, and acts like a sauce-holder. They are traditionally served with goose, pork roast, gravy, or stew, or with caramelized onions and/or bacon cracklings. They […]

Kasha (Sochivo, Kutya): Russian Porridge

Early on those cold autumn and winter mornings, there is nothing quite like a steaming bowl of kasha (каша) to prepare for a long day ahead. In Russia, kasha is porridge typically made by cooking “гречка” (buckwheat), “овсянка” (oatmeal), or “рис” (rice) with “молоко” (milk) or “вода“(water). Porridge is not the first thing that comes […]