Every country has an array of dishes that make foreigners’ eyes go wide. If you’ve read one of the previous articles on our website, you already know the most famous odd Russians foods. But what else does this country has to offer? Here are several peculiar traditional dishes of nations that live on it’s territory.
1. Far-Eastern fern
In Khabarovsk Krai this is considered to be a delicacy of the local cuisine. In may, people have a unique opportunity to find fresh fern on the markets in this region. During the other times of year there are dried ferns in the grocery stores. The most common way of cooking it is rather simple but requires some preparation. You should pour boiled water in the deep dish with fern and leave it for three hours. Then replace the water and cook it for 20-30 minutes. After, the fern should stay in the water for another 24 hours, an you should make sure that the water is replaced 3 or 4 times during this time. When it’s all been done, one is to simply braise it in soy sauce with onions for anther half an hour, adding garlic couple of minutes before turning off the oven. And you’re all done!
This dish comes from Udmurtia and resembles a small pie without dough on top. Every guest of this region is always offered to try them. It looks like a tartlet, but generally has a vegetable or meat filling. The most common that you will find are made with cabbage, mushrooms, meat or potato. They are a delicious warm snack that is served at many local cafes or can be bought in copious bakeries around towns. But there is also one peculiar kind of perepechi that the most daring of you could try – perepechi with baked cow blood. It sounds rather gruesome but many locals and visitors really like the taste, so maybe you should give it a go.
3. Kulebyaka s vyazigoi
This is another wonder of Russian baking culture. Kulebyaka is a pie with various fillings, usually a complicated mix that can contain fish, rice, buckwheat, hard-boiled eggs, mushrooms, and onions. They are very common in Russian culinary repertoire. However, the most unusual variant of it, and according to some the most delicious, is very hard to come across. This is a kulebyaka filled with vyaziga – sturgeon spinal cord. It used to be one of the most beloved traditional foods of the country but now it’s become troublesome to acquire such a quirky ingredient. Some of the restaurants still serve them and you should definitely order it if it’s on the menu!
4. Tea with salt and butter
Yes, tea with salt and butter. This is a thing. It sounds kinda gross not only to europeans but also to many Russians. The Kalmucks and the Buryats are of the other opinion. This drink was a traditional one for them since the time their tribes led the nomad way of life. This way of brewing the tea actually has a lot of benefits. It helps replenish the lost calories quicker, warms you up instantly, soothes sore throat. One could say it works as well as a chicken broth! To be frank, this beverage also tastes somewhat like a soup because of all the fat and salt.
Shkhomchkhantkhups… The name itself piques your interest and it’s correct pronunciation is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. This peculiar thing is a traditional dish of The Republic of Adygea. Basically, this is a soup with chestnuts. Despite it’s perplexing name, it’s recipe is quite simple. One just has to boil beans and chestnuts and later add stewed onion, pepper, salt, and greens. The cool thing about this soup is that it has a tremendous amount of vitamins and very few calories.
6. Pine cones confiture
This is a perfect dish for the ones that have a sweet tooth. It’s a local desert of Caucasus and a jar of it always makes a perfect and unique souvenir. On the first taste it may seem strange because of the slight flavour of pine resin, but after a couple of spoons it is hard to stop yourself from devouring it all in one go. If you get to try it, don’t be afraid of hurting your teeth on one of the cones. They actually soften up during the process of making the confiture and are very safe to bite.
Apart form the dishes described above there are many other fascinating foods that are common in Russia. Some of them would be pickled watermelon, entrails of a deer, kvas that tastes like beer and root beer combined, honey dessert chak-chak.