What’s on trend right now in Russia? Some former Soviet states are making themselves known through their food:
Ukraine is up first with what is probably the closest to ‘Russian’ food: borscht, dumplings, pancakes and lots of smetana and dill. This feels the most homey and grandmotherly – as you will. And cheap as it is, borscht is quite delicious if done right.
Georgian cuisine is hugely popular right now, a blend of middle east and European flavors. Also heavy on mushrooms and breads, but with a broader usage of spices and vegetables and a fondness for kebabs and nuts. My favorite were the kinkhalis which are a cross of a pelmeni and a Chinese soup dumpling.
Khachapuri is considered the Georgian version of a pizza, heavy on cheese and topped of with an egg (or other things). Cheese is big in Georgian cuisine, served as appetizer, with a main course or as a cheese platter with walnuts and honey as dessert.
Another great dish is cheburek, a fried pastry filled with ground meat and dill (of course), commonly found in Georgia but said to have originated as a Crimean Tartar dish. Oh the complexity of food.
If you want even more of the Middle East and Central Asia, there is Uzbekistan cuisine with its usage of lamb, mutton and rice and noodle dishes. A lot of the dishes had heavy East Asian influences, close to the food of Western China and Persia. See a picture on last week’s post.
August 17th – 24th, 2018