Explore the mouth-watering cuisine Moscow has to offer. When temperatures drop to -30°C (-22°F) during Moscow’s winter, it’s no surprise that Russian food is typically hearty, featuring potatoes, bread, pastry and sour cream. Russian cuisine also features red and black caviars, delicate smoked fishes, and thin papery crêpes. Several Russian dishes have some French influence, although the Russian versions stand on their own merit and creation. Restaurants are rather pricey in Moscow; however, classic Russian dishes are just as good from streets vendors and fast-food eateries as they are from high-end restaurants.
At the top of the list of favourite Russian foods list is Shashlik
You simply can’t pass up these roasted meats on as skewer. This dish is a form of shish kebab, cut into hearty, chunky portions of lamb, beef, chicken or salmon, that is well-seasoned and marinated up to 3 days. The meat just melts in your mouth! Typically, it is served with an unleavened bread and Russian pickles. Moscow offers a range of market stalls serving shashlik sticks right off the grill.
Borsch / Borscht
When one thinks of Russian foods, one of the first ones that come to mind is Borscht. This beetroot and red cabbage soup is a delicious comfort food, especially on cold nights. It can be served with or without meat, potato, dill or cilantro and a good helping of smetana, Russian sour cream. Although it is usually eaten as a
starter, accompanied with ryeor garlic bread topped with melted cheese, this dish is hearty enough to serve as a meal.
One of the all-time favorites is Blini, the Russian version of the French crêpe. They are typically made with buckwheat for savory fillings or white flour for sweet toppings. You’ll see accompaniments of smoked salmon, creamy mushrooms, sour cream, jams and condensed milk– to name a few–but the high-end, revered combination is a spoonful of red salmon or black sturgeon caviar. Another tasty Russian pancake is the cottage cheese version called syrniki, a denser form of ricotta-pancakes, which are eaten for breakfast or dessert. They’re best served with homemade jams made from Russia’s large array of berries, although condensed milk, honey and sour cream are also served as condiments.
Russian salad is one such dish that has spread internationally, and chances are you’ve tried a version in your home country. However, the Russian version is crispier with a light smattering of mayonnaise. This could be due to the use of fresh cucumber or crunchy Russian pickles, although the base consists of diced potato, peas, carrots, raw onions or fresh green onions, hard-boiled eggs and mayonnaise/sour cream mixture. In Moscow, this salad is known as Olivier salad, named after the chef Lucien Olivier who created the ‘secret’ recipe around the mid-1800s.
The original Pirozhki is a cabbage and potato ‘turnover’. However, there are now numerous variations of this Russian favorite using meats, salmon, mushrooms, egg, cheeses and sweet fillings. The aromatic herbs, especially dill,make this a Russian favorite a great appetizer, as well as a meal on the go from a street vendor or bakery. Pirozhki can be either pan-fried or oven-baked.
Russian foods are being enjoyed the world over—but there is nothing like eating stroganoff from its Russian source. Russian Stroganoff is everything you would expect–tastier, smoother and creamier than any you’ve ever had before. The credit goes in part to Russian sour cream, but Russia is also home to some of the best and widest variety of mushrooms. Coupled with interesting combinations of hunting/game meats, you’ll definitely want to try this dish from an original recipe. Served atop of a bed of egg noodles, you will think you have gone to heaven!
It is said that there are as many Syrniki #recipes as there are Russian! This soft cheese “pancake” is made from tvorog cheese, which is similar to farmer’s cheese or ricotta cheese. After all the main ingredients are combined, they are cooked in hot oil for 3-5 minutes, removed and served immediate with honey, sour cream or any other topping you may fancy. What a great way to start your day!
The intricate-looking cake medovik involves alternating ultra-thin layers of honey sponge cake with sweetened (sour) cream. The thin layers are built-up to form the cake, anywhere from5 and 15 layers, topped off with a sprinkling of crushed sponge cake or nuts and left overnight to soften and absorb the cream. Fluffy and light to eat, but insanely rich in flavour and sweetness.