Remember my post about the Ukrainian market? I wrote there that I love food and my position hasn't changed. In America, we're getting ready to enter the most delicious time of year. We'll celebrate Christmas in less than two weeks. For my family, this means big gatherings and feasts. I can't really say I love Russian food. During my visits I tried some local cuisine, but didn't like most of it. I'm a very picky eater, not liking fish, seafood or a lot of meat. Recently on a popular U.S. website there was an article entitled "17 Bizarre Foods Every Russian Grew Up With." Maybe you'll find it amusing. I picked the most interesting dishes from the list and I've tasted a lot of the items. For me, the most disgusting delicacies are all the food molds stuffed with meats, herring and other treats. Like this photo, where the dish is called "herring under fur coat." :)
1. Olivye salad. I tasted this last New Year's eve. I don't like mayonnaise, so I can't eat it. I never put dressing on anything, or even ketchup, mustard or other condiments. I eat most things plain.
2. Salo. I think this is now more closely associated with Ukraine. I tasted it in Kyiv - ah, chewy fat! Not to my liking. I eat a lot of chicken and steak and all fat must be trimmed. I know some people enjoy this part of the meat but it gags me.
3. Kvas. You can easily find this in America, but the taste is too strong for me. During my recent trip to Russia, I tasted birch beer for the first time. Delicious and lighter!
4. Kompot. This drink I really like! I've had it in several Russian cafes, including Cafe Mu-Mu where I tasted it for the first time. Similar to American fruit punch, but more tasty with the real fruit thrown in.
5. Varenyky. Is this common in modern day Russia? I remember it being the national dish in Ukraine, available everywhere with a wide variety of stuffing like meat, potatoes and sweet fruits.
6. Kishka. Never tasted it and there's too much meat involved!! I doubt I would like it. Maybe I'll be brave next time and take a bite.
7. Blini w/Caviar. I can't eat it though I tried during a New Year's eve celebration last year with a Russian family. Too salty, and I don't like the strong fishy taste.
8. Kholodets. This is the most interesting dish! I remember at the holidays seeing all kinds of creative molds made out of swans, birds, animals, etc. Very strange and funny. :) During Valentine's Day, maybe they produce heart shaped molds? I also ate a version of this at Cafe Mu-Mu and didn't like it. The jelly texture is odd and the minced meat wasn't very good quality.
9. Herring, mayo and pickle sandwich. When we were completely drunk at the seedy St. Petersburg vodka bar, the guys tried to get me to eat this as a snack. I refused and ate cheese and crackers instead. This thick brown bread would have been much better to soak up the poison!! Perhaps this is why I needed help walking home at the end of the night! :) Pickles - I hate this food more than any other!
10. No words for this photo! :))
11. In Russia, I'm completely addicted to the sweets and candies. This is my favorite. Each time I visit, my host always has a bunch in the refrigerator and I eat these bars daily. Delicious!
What's your favorite national dish?
Also, I wonder whether it's interesting to readers if I write about how an average American family celebrates Thanksgiving and Christmas? I can take photos and write about my family celebrations if it's an interesting topic? What do you think? Vote below please.