So, the time has come to tell you a little bit about the cuisines of the people of Russia. This subject is as vast as our country, and it seems just impossible to fit all the interesting things into one short article. But there is no harm in trying.
On the menu of the people of the North (such as the Nanais, the Chukchi, the Evenki and others) reindeer meat and fish play a major role. Besides reindeers there are other sources of meat: bears, squirrels and arctic foxes. But reindeers and fish have been the main source of food and vitamins for the peoples of the North since ancient times. Some of their traditional dishes are famous far beyond the North of Russia and Russia as a whole. One such dish is stroganina.
Tatar cuisine’s recipes are no less interesting than those of the northern peoples. Tatar cuisine has preserved a lot of traditions that date back to ancient times, having absorbed Bashkir, Kazakh and Chinese traditions on top of its own. Dishes of Tatar cuisine are tasty, diverse and rather rich in calories.
Shulpa-soup from chicken, duck or turkey is one of the most famous recipes. Shulpa is stock. It is cooked in the following manner: put a whole gutted chicken (duck or turkey - choose as appropriate) in a cooking pot, simmer until it is ready (depending on the size and age of the chicken), from one to three hours.
Now, a little bit of Buryat cuisine. And its most famous dish: Buryat buuzy (posy).
Buuzy are little sacks of dough filled with lots of meat (most often, with lamb meat with some pork or lamb fat and onions). The edges of the sacks are folded, not crimped. There is a variant of buuzy with a hole in the center (“lazy” buuzy). Buuzy are eaten with the hands as an individual dish, washed them down with a “nomad’s tea” – pressed green tea that is boiled (not brewed, just boiled) and enhanced with salt, some flour, milk and butter. Nowadays, it has become common to eat buuzy with ketchup, soy sauce or mustard.
Peoples of the North Caucasus also carefully keep the recipes they inherited from their ancestors. Of course, ethnic groups blend and closely communicate with each other, so we will talk about Adyghe, Ingush, Chechen and Ossetian cuisines as the single cuisine of the North Caucasus. In some cases, it is possible to identify the origin of a recipe, but in other cases it is not. For example, zhizhig-galash (boiled meat with dumplings and garlic-onion sauce) and wild garlic in all forms – are favorite traditional Chechen dishes, but bread made from corn flour is spread almost universally.
The cuisines of different ethnic groups that live in coastal areas or along lakes and rivers, include a vast number of fish dishes.
Baikal cuisine will let you enjoy salted or smoked Baikal cisco, a dish that you will not try in anywhere else. The ciscoes are the true symbol of Baikal, and are well-known far beyond Russia. The species is unique to Baikal, and came from the Arctic Ocean during an interglacial period. It is an incredibly tasty fish, and its consumption has beneficial effects on health.
Altai is rich in traditional recipes as well. They include Chegen’ - boiled milk that has been fermented in a keg fumed with old fallen leaves and bird cherry. Another dish is tutpach - little cubes of unleavened dough with wild bunches of onion. There is also blood sausage, kan, prepared with the addition of milk. Altai honey is considered one of the healthiest. Here is an incomplete list of bee plants: angelica, spurge, oregano, Kuril tea, sweet clover, and sow thistle. Is it possible to choose between the different kinds of honey: acacia, green, amber, mountain and many more? The answer is – it is not. When you get the chance – take a little bit of everything.
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