The 2018 FIFA World Cup is underway in Russia, and many are there or are travelling there to witness the games. The World Cup is an international football tournament hosted every four years. It started on June 14 and the final match will take place on July 15, 2018. This is the first World Cup to be held in Eastern Europe. It’s a very exciting time! For those who are visiting Russia for the first time, you may be wondering what the cuisine is like. Here are some dishes that you might want to try when you’re there:
Borscht: A beet-based tart soup made by combining meat or bone stock with sauteed veggies, including cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. Depending on the recipe, it may include meat or fish or be just vegetarian. It is often served with sour cream, hard-boiled eggs or potatoes.
Beef Stroganoff: A dish made with cuts of meat sliced thinly against the grain and sauteed together with onions and mushrooms. It is finished with a sauce made from sour cream and chopped fresh dill, served over a bed of egg noodles or rice. Originally it was conceived of as a way to use up leftover meat, one that would get people through the harsh winters. It has now become an iconic comfort food in Russia that is hearty yet simple to make.
Pelmeni: A type of dumpling consisting of a particular filling wrapped in thin, uneven dough. It is usually accompanied with sour cream. The fillings can vary but can include minced meat (pork, beef or lamb), fish or mushrooms. They can be very spicy depending on the amount of herbs, onions and black pepper used in the seasoning. Pelmeni can be steamed, fried, sauteed or boiled. The ingredients and preparation are similar to many dishes around the world including the Polish pierogi, American potsticker, Japanese gyoza and Chinese wonton.
Olivier salad or “Olivie”: This is a traditional salad dish in Russian and other post-Soviet countries, Iran, Israel, Mongolia and also throughout Latin America. Commonly known as a “Russian salad”, it is usually made with diced boiled potatoes, carrots, brined dill pickles, green peas, eggs, celeriac, onions, diced boiled chicken, tart apples, salt, pepper, mustard and dressed with mayonnaise. In Russia, the salad has become one of the main dishes for New Year’s Eve celebrations. One of the advantages of making a big batch of “Olivie” is the leftovers the next day.