One day in St. Petersburg*, Daniel and I went to a restaurant called “Teplo”. The restaurant was located in the basement of the building across the street from our hotel. It was probably some “fancy” restaurant, we could only get there by reserving a table by phone.
To be honest, I don’t remember the details of the interior, but it was somehow crowded, a lot of tables, a lot of people, a lot of waiters scurrying back and forth.
I was completely unaccustomed to restaurants, and I felt extremely uncomfortable. I wanted to have dinner and leave as soon as possible.
Many years ago in Russia, I got sick. My American friend recommended to rest and make my family to cook some chicken soup for me. It sounded really funny at that time. I didn’t see any connection between flu and chicken soup. After relocating to the US, I’ve learned that this is a very popular way to treat your cold. …cold or flu? To be honest I’ve never knew the difference between them. I had to look up online.
… the main difference is that the flu is caused by different types of viruses than the common cold. Flu symptoms are usually much worse than cold symptoms, and they appear suddenly. The most common flu symptoms are fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, head and body aches. Colds are usually associated with a sore throat and runny nose. And cold symptoms usually appear gradually…
About a week ago I caught a cold. Now I know it was a cold (not flu). My husband was away on a business trip. So I wasn’t expecting any chicken soup. And I had to remember some Russian home remedies for colds.
Wikipedia says: “Common sorrel or garden sorrel (Rumex acetosa), often simply called sorrel, is a perennial herb in the family Polygonaceae. Other names for sorrel include spinach dock and narrow-leaved dock. It is a common plant in grassland habitats and is cultivated as a garden herb or salad vegetable (pot herb)”.
Sorrel looks something similar to spinach, but the taste is very different. It is extremely sour. Sorrel contains many nutrients. There are a number of vitamins: A, C, K, B1, B2, PP, E. Sorrel is saturated with trace elements. These are iron, potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium, nickel, sodium, fluorine and zinc.
Why is Spring associated with blini (Russian-style pancakes) for Russians?
Just because in Spring they eat a lot of blini.
Russian pancakes, also known as blini or blinchiki, are really special
for people raised in Russia. Blini are a really important part of Russian
culture as they are a pearl of Russian cuisine.
Blini are much wider
and thinner than American-style pancakes, but not as thin and wide
as crepes. It allows you to stuff them with everything you like; such as
ground-beef, ham, cheese, and salmon. You also can eat them with caviar, sour
cream, jam, chocolate cream, honey, condense milk, berries, or other sweets.
I think that in every country and every family
there is a traditional New Year’s menu.
In Russia, Olivier salad is not losing its leading
position. People even formed an association: if Olivier is on the table, then
we celebrate the New Year. There are many recipes for this salad. In every
family it is delicious and unique.
The original version of the salad was invented in the 1860s by French cook Lucien Olivier, the chef of the Hermitage, one of Moscow’s restaurants. Olivier’s salad quickly became popular with Hermitage regulars, and became the restaurant’s signature dish. It is known that the salad contained grouse, veal tongue, caviar, lettuce, crayfish tails, capers, and smoked duck, although it is possible that the recipe was varied seasonally. The original Olivier dressing was a type of mayonnaise, made with French wine vinegar, mustard, and Provençal olive oil; its exact recipe, however, remains unknown.
“Herring under a fur coat” is a popular Russian salad of salted herring and vegetables. About the mid 70-es of the last century the salad became a traditional dish for the New Year and holiday tables.
Salads with ingredients typical of “Herring under a fur Coat”, were distributed in the first half of the 19th century in Scandinavian and German kitchens, and were called “herring salad”. The author of Russian variant of the salad is a merchant Anastas Bogomilov, who owned several pubs in Moscow. Drunken fights happened very often at those pubs. Then he decided to come up with a dish, that would be nourishing and unite different segments of the population. His chef, Aristarkh Prokoptsev, put together salted herring, which symbolized the proletariat, potatoes which symbolized the peasantry, beets symbolized red color of the Bolshevik flag. The name of a new salad was “Shuba”, an acronym for “Shovinismu I Upadku – Boikot I Anafema”, what means “Death and Damnation to Shavinism and Degradation. “Shuba” was served for the first time on the Eve of 1919 New Year. Continue reading ““Herring under a fur coat””