A good number of favourite Russian dishes are not even Russian.
Borscht is Ukrainian and potatoes are an American plant. Real Russian food contained no potatoes, no tomatoes, few beets, and little meat. Instead, there were a lot of grains, fish, and dairy, as well as honey, cucumbers, turnips, cabbage, apples, and the produce of Russia’s vast forests—mushrooms and berries. Because of the climate, little of this was eaten fresh; it was salted, pickled, or dried for the long winter. Most of Russia ate this way until the twentieth century.
If you want to learn more about traditional Russian cuisine, you have to read an amazing article in The New Yorker “The Borscht Belt. Rediscovering Russia’s lost culinary heritage” by Julia Ioffe. Enjoy. It is a great introduction.
But if this is not enough and you want to dig deeper and learn how to cook, here is a great collection:
- MASTERING THE ART OF SOVIET COOKING by Anya von Bremzen (covered here)
- MEMORIES FROM A RUSSIAN KITCHEN- From Shtetl to Golden Land by Rosalie Sogolow
- RECIPES FROM MY RUSSIAN GRANDMOTHER’S KITCHEN by Elena Makhonko
- THE FOOD & COOKING OF RUSSIA by Elena Makhonko
- A TASTE OF RUSSIA- A COOKBOOK OF RUSSIAN HOSPITALITY by Darra Goldshtein
The blog by Darra Goldshtein, an author of “A taste of Russia”
- RECIPES FOR RISSIA by Alison K. Smith
- SAVOURS AND FLAVOURS OF RUSSIAN CUISINE: A JOURNEY THROUGH THE RUSSIAN GASTRONOMY by Maria Depenweiller
- TATIANA’S TABLE by Paullina Simons (author of The Bronze Horseman and Tatiana and Alexander, Sapphire Skies)
- THE RUSSIAN HERITAGE BOOK by Lynn Visson
- THE FAMILY FRYING PAN by international bestseller author Bryce Courtenay
- The Belarusian Cookbook (Hippocrene’s Cookbook Library) by Alexander Bely
- FOOD IN RUSSIAN HISTORY AND CULTURE by Musya Glants, Joyce Stetson Toomre
The blog by Tanya Zouev, Sydney food photographer.