While Russian cuisine hasn’t experienced the global renaissance seen by Indian and Vietnamese food, the country’s traditional dishes are warm, filling, and packed with flavor. While many of the popular Russian food dishes you’ll run across are hearty, you’ll also find a few lighter options influenced by the French. When business takes you to Russia, these four popular and tasty Russian food dishes can’t be missed.
The beet and cabbage soup called borsht falls into the hearty and heavy category. Although borsht is commonly served up as a meal starter, it’s typically substantial enough to serve as a meal within itself. The soup is scrumptious eaten either hot or cold, and it has a number of variations. Some may add meat, potatoes, dill and other herbs to the broth. You can also add a dollop or two of Russian sour cream to make this dish even richer.
Blini: Moscow, Nationwide
Blini show the French influence on Russian cuisine, as they are the Russian version of the crepe. A bit thicker than a French crepe, blini can be spruced up with sweet or savory fillings and toppings. Blini that serve as dessert are typically made with white flour, while those prepared for meals are usually made of buckwheat.
Blini accompaniments run the gamut from smoked salmon to fresh cream to homemade jams to hand-picked mushrooms. Sour cream is another common blini topping. Those looking for the high-end variation might be interested in blini served with caviar.
Pelmeni are Russian dumplings that are similar to the Polish pierogi. Pelmeni get their unique twist from the mélange of herbs added to the fillings and the thinner nature of the dough. Fillings typically consist of a savory pork, beef, or lamb mixture, although you can also find them stuffed with mushrooms or salmon. When served at a restaurant, you’ll often have the choice of enjoying your pelmeni on a plate or served up in a broth.
Shashlik: Moscow, Nationwide
Enjoy a shashlik, and you’re enjoying the Russian version of a shish kebab. The tasty treat consists of thick and chunky pieces of chicken, beef, lamb, or salmon that are roasted and frequently served with unleavened bread. Sometimes they’ll come with a side of tangy tomato sauce or Russian pickles. These skewed delicacies are as common in restaurants as they are from street vendors in Moscow.
Checking out these popular Russian food dishes are a must if you’re heading to Russia on business, but they’re not the only requirement. Make sure you have a valid passport as well as a Russian business visa before you pack up and head on your way. Have additional questions about travel to Russia or elsewhere? Contact Swift today!
Laurie Lee is co-founder and CEO of Swift Passport and Visa Services. A Chicago native, Laurie loves adventure travel, especially to the Caribbean. She enjoys writing for the Swift Post, as well as for her personal blog, Spare Parts- www.sparebodyparts.com.