If you didn’t already know, it’s Russian Weeks here at NetCost Market! That means you can get your hands on great, authentic Russian food products for unbelievable prices. To get you in the mood for all things Russia, we wanted to give you some interesting and fun facts that you may not know about this exciting, vibrant, and HUGE country’s food culture. What’s more, we’ll also be offering homemade Russian classics prepared by our in-house chefs and offering free tastings on Saturdays at select locations to get you in the swing of things!
Under the Tsars that ruled Russia for centuries, Russian food was divided into “folk” and “aristocratic” dishes. But, this didn’t mean that folk dishes were simply porridge and water and aristocrats ate like kings every day — many traditional folk meals are some of the Russian classics we know and love today such as borscht, okroshka soup, and golubtsy.
Russia has a huge border that connects the nation to a total of 14 different countries. This means it’s had the luxury of trading food with all of them and has benefited by incorporating the ones that Russians enjoyed the most into classic Russian cuisine. Pelmeni, a type of Russian dumpling based on Chinese dumplings, and Uzbek pilaf are both favorites that many Russians have adopted at home.
It is traditional in Russia to welcome important people with bread and salt as a sign of good hospitality. Although this tradition is not practiced as much nowadays, it is still woven into the fabric of the culture in many parts of the country which is lucky because Russians make amazing bread! Karavai, kalach, and borodinskiy are all Russian favorites that demonstrate the country’s prowess at baking.
Russians take the festive season seriously, and it’s often based around food! At Christmas, Russians often eat kutya which is a sort of barley porridge with raisins and poppy seeds that is then sweetened with honey. Maslenitsa, a festival that marks the end of winter, is usually celebrated with pancakes. Easter is celebrated with a cake called kulich that is covered in candied fruit. For New Year, Russians enjoy the infamous Olivier salad that contains potatoes, carrots, dill pickles, peas, eggs, and sometimes chicken.
Of course, we couldn’t talk about Russian cuisine without mentioning caviar! Russia is the king of caviar which is usually enjoyed at almost any social event or special occasion. Right now, you can get your hands on some of the best quality caviar at NetCost Market including Trident Seafoods Exclusive Red Caviar and Gourmanoff Black Caviar.
Russian food is so varied that it’s hard to pin down exactly what it’s like in a simple phrase. One thing is for sure — it’s absolutely delicious and there’s something for everyone. If you’d like to try some classic Russian dishes, head down to your local NetCost Market during our Russian Weeks Weekly Specials. Our in-house chefs have prepared a whole host of Russian classics including solyanka, pirozhki, pelmeni, beef stroganoff, kutya, stuffed blini, borscht, and much, much more!