Russia: Food & Drink
Due to the size of Russia, the cuisine is varied and depends on the region one travels to. Within its borders are many different cultural backgrounds which have influenced the food and drink of the country. As much of the year is cold in Russia, it limits the length of the growing season for fruits and vegetables. As a result, these foods are often pickled to preserve them for use during the winter. Cabbage, potatoes and cold tolerant greens are often used in many meals. Soups, both hot and cold are considered a staple of the Russian diet and there are several types of soup found around the country. Trying traditional dishes is a must, however, when travelling to places like Moscow, St. Petersburg and other larger cities, international cuisine is readily available.
Popular dishes include:
Blini: This dish is the Russian equivalent to pancakes. They are similar to crepes due to their thin size and they often come served with caviar, melted butter, sour cream, fish, jam, cheese and more.
Shashlyk: These are Russian shish kebabs that are made up of alternating meat and onions, peppers, mushroom or tomatoes on a skewer. Originally shashlyk were served with lamb’s meat, however pork and beef are also used.
Borshct: As mentioned, soups are very popular in Russia and borshct is a hot beetroot soup that is served with sour cream.
Piroshki: These small individually sized baked pies are usually eaten with your hands. They are filled with a variety of ingredients including ground meat, cabbage or fruit.
Pelmeni: These are dumplings that are filled with ground meat (pork, lamb or beef) with spices that are boiled in broth. They are a Siberian speciality.
The beverage most commonly associated with Russia is vodka. It is produced around the country and is often flavoured with herbs and spices. Local beer such as Baltika and Nevskoye are cheap but tasty and Russia makes its own versions of Stella Artois and Pilsner. An ancient Russian drink is Medovukha which is made from fermented honey and spices. It has a low alcohol content and can be quite sweet. Despite being known for vodka, the most common drink in Russia is actually tea. Tea originally came from China in the 17th century but its popularity spread and it remains popular to this day.
Things to know:
Tipping between 10-15% in hotels in large cities is standard while 10-15% is also standard in restaurants.
Russia Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to Russia.
Learn about the history and culture of Russia, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Russia's nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Russia for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Russia tours today!
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