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Russian Cuisine and Eating Culture

Russia is a huge country, it spreads from Europe to Asia, its boarders are washed by many seas, multiple nations dwell on the territory of Russia, and it has several climate zones from tropics to polar circle, the time difference between the eastern and the western boarders of Russia counts nine hours. The history of this country is rich and full of events, multiple invasions happened on Russian territory through the centuries, many different nations have made a contribution to the development of the so-called “Russian spirit”. Like all other Slavic nations Russians are extremely proud people, they admit that their lives are not easy and they have to live in bad conditions, this is why they consider themselves one of the toughest nations of the world and expect other nations to respect this (Russia – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette, 2013).

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Some examples of Russian cuisine may seem tough too, especially for western nations. Russian people are very hard working and they need a lot of energy to maintain their lifestyle. This is why Russian traditional foods are very rich and have a lot of calories. Russian cuisine has undergone a long revolution and multiple influences of other nations (Russian Cuisine, 2014). Russian cuisine was mentioned first in the 9th-10th centuries, its diversity grew through the centuries (Syrnikov, 2013). In the 9th century the most popular ingredients of Russian dishes were vegetables like cucumbers, turnip, cabbage and peas. Potatoes first appeared in the 18th century (Brief History of Russian Cuisine, 2013). Nowadays potatoes are included into most of Russian meals – Russians eat them roasted, fried, boiled, baked and even barbequed.

Traditionally Russians are very hospitable, when they are receiving guests at their homes, they will try to surprise with the most interesting dishes. For last several decades Russian celebration tables started to be served with many various mixed salads.

The most traditional ones are so-called Olivie salad made of boiled potatoes, eggs, peas, ham or chicken and mayonnaise; and vinegret made of boiled vegetables such as potatoes, kidney beans, carrots, onions, beetroot and sunflower oil. Russians like to put parsley and dill in everything; they say it tastes better this way. You can find chopped up dill and parsley on top of pizzas, in soups, mixed salads, in sauces, Russians can sprinkle fried eggs with them too. Russian desserts are various too – it could be crepe-like pancakes served with jam or honey or even condensed milk, it could be all kinds of cookies, pies with different fillings and pastries. There is a famous Russian pastry called tulskiy pryanik, it is originated in the ancient Russian city of Tula (Pereltsvaig, 2013). Traditional Russian beverages are kvas – a non-alcoholic type of beer made of bread, kefir – sour liquid yoghurt with no sugar, mors and kompot made of fruits and berries.

Another peculiarity of Russian eating culture is that it has a season of religious fasting when only vegetarian foods are eaten. The abstinence period lasts for forty days. It starts on Maslennitsa, the ancient celebration of the beginning of spring, traditionally celebrated with crepes – the symbols of spring sun. The fasting time ends on Easter. Russian cuisine is various and suitable for the families with different income. Russian women are inventive and can make a tasty and interesting meal with minimum ingredients. Even a big family with low income will be able to have a diverse diet with all the necessary for health elements.

Reference List

Brief History of Russian Cuisine. (2013). Russian-Plus.

Pereltsvaig, A. (2013). Russian Cuisine: a Melting Pot of Native Sensibilities and Foreign Influences. Web.

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Russia – Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette. (2013). Kwintessential. Web.

Russian Cuisine. (2014). Advantour.

Syrnikov, M. (2013). Exploring the History of Russian Cuisine. Web.

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