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Russian Cuisine

Historically, the dishes of each nation differed in the way they were prepared from each other. So, Russian cuisine was based on cooking products in an oven, gradually changing under the influence of the cultures of other countries.

Characteristics of Russian cuisine

The formation of food preferences was greatly influenced by church abstinence. Orthodox Christians had about 200 fast days a year, during which they ate dishes made from vegetables, fish or mushrooms, sometimes raw. Before the reforms of Peter I, the main dishes were porridge, bread and pies.

In Russian cuisine, there is a wide variety of products and dishes from them. 

The national cuisine of Russia is extremely diverse due to the large number of nationalities living on its territory. Practically in every region, region or republic there are traditional dishes, some of them are no longer prepared by the population, but the recipes are carefully stored.

History of the development of the kitchen

Russian cuisine has developed in stages.

Old Russian period

In Ancient Rus (IX-XVI centuries) bread, porridge, flour and grain products were preferred. The pies were stuffed with fish, berries, eggs, porridge was cooked in three ways: steep, smudge and gruel. They drank mostly kvass, honey, home-brewed beer and mead. The berries were pounded, formed into a pancake and dried, compotes and syrups were prepared from them.

Moscow state

During the period of the Moscow state (XVII century), the formation of the recipe for soups was completed, they finally entered the everyday menu of the Russian person. The end of civil strife and the mixing of territories of previously isolated principalities brought new varieties of hot – kalya, hangover, hodgepodge, pickle.

Historians believe that during the period of princely Russia, they began to actively prepare “bread wine” (a kind of moonshine). The drink was driven in almost every home until the excise tax on alcohol was introduced. From that moment on, the production of the national drink became the privilege of the nobles.

A clear division arose between the peasant and boyar tables. The food of the common man has become more meager, with a lot of vegetables and cereals. The boyar feast was traditionally held with 50 dishes, the princely – from 150-200.

There were many recipes, but the combination and mixing of products was not used, often whole carcasses of animals were baked and stuffed.

Peter’s era

In the Peter the Great era (XVIII century), a lot of new food was brought in, to cook, but they did not immediately learn how to grow these products. Over time, the diet of ordinary people was enriched with potatoes, tomatoes, etc., but it was still not rich.

The nobility was fond of the discharge of foreign chefs who prepared their own national dishes, which led to the emergence of dishes uncharacteristic for Russian cuisine. They began to cook cutlets, casseroles, pies, small snacks, such as sandwiches, various types of cheeses. New alcoholic beverages were brought in – ratifs and erofeichi.

Petersburg period

In the Petersburg period (late 18th century – 60s of the 19th century), national cuisine was actively changed by chefs in the French manner. So, the rye dough for pies became yeast, flaky. Introduced into the menu salads and side dishes not used before.

The presentation of dishes changed: the animals were no longer baked entirely, the meat was cooked in pieces and then decorated beautifully. All the dishes at once were no longer put on the table, but were brought in sequentially, the lighter food alternated with the heavy one.

New kitchen utensils have come into use: a sieve, a meat grinder, and saucepan. The dosage of products has appeared in cookbooks, which was not previously available.

All-Russian national cuisine

The all-Russian national stage (60s of the XIX century – the beginning of the XX century) marked the era of recognition of Russian cuisine as equal to French cuisine, which for a long time was the standard for the whole world.

Over time, bread has undergone changes in the methods of preparation, but remained the main product of Russia. Porridge began to be prepared from a larger number of cereals and by all kinds of methods; soups were cooked not only hot, but also cold. Livestock meat on the table began to prevail over fish and game.

Dishes not cooked on the stove according to old recipes lost their original taste, so they were either replaced or the recipes were adapted to the stove.

Soviet stage

The cuisine of the Soviet period has undergone significant changes in a short time. It all started with the 1917 revolution, when the peoples living on the territory of Russia actively began to mix their traditions and move to new places.

The peculiarities of the preparation of some dishes were different everywhere, but over time they got mixed up. So new recipes appeared.

After the Great Patriotic War, a lot was lost both in terms of the cook staff and the quality of cooking. Women who graduated from short courses began to cook in the canteens that became widespread at that time. Since it was necessary to feed many people at once, the cooking process was simplified, and the palatability suffered.

They stopped serving the game, replacing the meat with cutlets and sausage. Homemade canned vegetables emerged, similar to the Bulgarian, Hungarian and Yugoslavian products sold in stores. A little later, livestock farming gained momentum, and broiler chickens were raised. In the last decade, the number of semi-finished products has increased; they try to spend a minimum of time on cooking.

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Main ingredients of Russian cuisine

The products from which the dishes were prepared were the most diverse: meat, fish, vegetables, mushrooms and berries.


This root crop in the XIX century. replaced the turnip, which traditionally formed the basis of the diet of most peasants. At first, the new product was not very popular, but gradually, due to the possibility of harvesting a large harvest and a variety of cooking methods, potatoes became in demand. Its peculiarity to be stored for a long time in winter saved the growing population of Russia from hunger.

Pastry and baked goods

The most popular in Russia were pies with a variety of fillings – from onions to currants. They often baked loaves or butter bread. Pancakes were served not only on Maslenitsa, but also on non-fasting days – they wrapped the filling in them: honey, sour cream, caviar or salted fish.

Also, in the Russian oven, syrniki, baked goods, cheesecakes, which were eaten not only at home, but also sold at fairs and city streets, worked well.

Russian cuisine is simple, but at the same time very satisfying.

Meat and game

Meat was preferred beef or pork; most often it was simply boiled or salted. In some regions, one could find dishes made from horse meat or salmon.

Game was on the table of an ordinary person during the period of ancient Russia and the formation of the Muscovite state. Further, such dishes were present only at the meals of the boyars and tsars, they were prepared from the carcass of a whole animal and started with porridge and fruits.


Each peasant on the farm had chickens and fresh eggs, so they boiled or fried them constantly. These dishes have never lost their popularity.

Fresh and pickled vegetables

Fresh vegetables as a separate meal began to be consumed later, around the time of Peter the Great.

The first recipes were associated with pickling or pickling vegetables: cabbage, beets. Winters were long, and harvesting could save you from hunger.


The production of products from cream and sour cream began under Peter I, before that fragrant nut oil from cedar was in use. Flaxseed was also made, but they did not eat it – it was part of the paints.

Features of the native diet

The specificity of the dishes of the peoples of Russia directly depends on the place of residence and weather conditions. Residents of regions with a harsh climate had to eat a lot of fatty and hearty food, in the coastal regions fish and other sea inhabitants became the main products, in the southern provinces they always preferred vegetables and fruits.

Antique kitchen

In the old days, everything that could be obtained went to the table. Dishes could be named the same, but the ingredients were different, since there was no opportunity to have the same set of products at hand all year round. There was almost no waste left, since everything was prepared: offal, heads, even a cow’s udder.

They cooked pies, which were convenient to take for lunch in the field in the summer, baked loaves, boiled stew and fermented vegetables. Among the drinks they used kvass, sbiten and mead. The food was simple, hearty and balanced.

Ritual dishes

Traditionally, there are many festive dishes in Russia, for example:

  • kurniki ate at weddings;
  • pancakes personified Shrovetide festivities;
  • “Larks” made of dough marked the spring holiday, the return of birds;
  • kutya was prepared for the commemoration;
  • porridge was cooked in a special way for the christening of the baby.

Cereals and vegetables

Meat was far from always available to the peasants, so many dishes from grain crops with vegetables were created. These products were grown in their own vegetable garden and stored in basements for long winters.

They ate vegetables not only raw, but also boiled, stewed, fried.

Bread and flour products

Bread can be taken out in a separate dish, often from it and milk, sometimes the peasant’s breakfast consisted. It was baked with and without filling. Loaf as a type of sweet bread has become a symbol of the hospitality of our people. Pies with fillings were always baked in large quantities, since they are hearty and you can easily take them with you.

Dairy and fermented milk products

Sour cream was the main seasoning. Syrniki was prepared from cottage cheese or they ate it with honey and berries.

Sour milk did not immediately appear on peasant tables, but then it became an integral part of it.

Fish and meat dishes

Initially, they preferred not to eat livestock meat; the table often had game: hare, venison. Fish was preferred: it was stuffed with various fillings, dried, dried, fermented, salted – this helped not to starve in winter. A little later, they began to cook domestic animals: chickens, pigs, etc. In the summertime, dishes were mainly stewed, fried, boiled.

Traditional desserts

The very first desserts were the harbingers of marshmallow – dried and crushed berries, baked apples. Cottage cheese casseroles and Easter became in demand with the Christianization of Russia. Also, rolls, gingerbread, honey and jam were considered delicacies.

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Dishes of the peoples of Russia by region

Russia is a multinational country, and with the addition of each new people, the number of traditional dishes only increased. Some of them supplanted the former Slavic ones, and some were simply modified.


Primorye is located at the junction of several cultures, so the cuisine turned out to be mixed. The menu is based on seafood dishes: caviar, crab, salmon, scallop.

In Russian cuisine, there are many borrowed culinary traditions of other peoples of the world.

From Korea came the recipe for pian-se – a spicy steamed pie with cabbage and meat, from China – go bao zhou (pork in sweet and sour sauce) and many others. etc. The diet included a large number of Japanese dishes based on seafood.

Siberian cuisine

Siberia is a large region inhabited by nomadic peoples, which left an imprint on the composition of the dishes.

Allocate kitchens:

  1. Buryat. National dishes: borso (meat dried in the wind), salamat (a kind of milk porridge).
  2. Altai. It is represented by kocho – meat soup with barley or barley grits, kurut – hard smoked cheese.
  3. Tuvan. Her dishes are familiar to many: kumis – sour mare’s milk, puts – unusual steamed dumplings.
  4. Nenets. It is customary for these peoples to eat the brains of reindeer raw.
  5. Chukotka. It is replete with such dishes as kanyga – the half-digested contents of the stomach of a reindeer, maktak – frozen whale fat and skin.
  6. Eskimo. It is represented by akutaka – whipped fat with berries, fish and sugar, an analogue of modern ice cream.

Far East

It is dominated by fish dishes such as tala – frozen fish stroganina with onions and peppers. The second product inherent in the Far Eastern cuisine is wild animal meat. It is customary to cook it in different ways: freezing, salting, boiling and roasting over the fire.

Volga region

This region of Russia is characterized by a low consumption of vegetables and the prevalence of meat, flour, cereal products. In the Volga region, they eat fermented milk products from the Tatar cuisine, they love horse meat.

Some recipes are similar to Caucasian ones, but with less spices and more onions. The peoples of this region have presented our cuisine with pilaf, strudel.


At the junction of Europe and Asia, not only customs, but also the traditions of cooking dishes were mixed. Due to the unfavorable climate, they prefer high-calorie and fatty food, for example, thick soups, pies. In the Urals, recipes for dumplings and nettle soup originate, enriching local residents with vitamins.

In the Urals, pies and dumplings are traditionally prepared.

South of Russia

Kuban has always been a fertile land, where many dishes from fresh vegetables and fruits were in use. The Caucasus presented Russian cuisine with barbecue and traditions of cooking fish and meat on an open fire. Ukrainian cuisine is famous for stuffed cabbage rolls, borscht and dumplings.

Some more Russian dishes

Among the variety of recipes, there is a small number of dishes that foreigners associate with Russia.


Boil 500 g of meat: Bring to a boil in a large saucepan, reduce the heat and remove the foam. Soaked in the evening 1 tbsp. pearl barley is placed in boiling broth. Chop 2 carrots and an onion, fry vegetables with 50-70 ml of vegetable oil. Cut 3 pickles into cubes, then take the cooked meat out of the pan and chop it finely.

The meat is again placed in the broth, 5-6 tubers of diced potatoes are added. After 20 minutes, add the roast and pickles. Spices are poured: 3 bay leaves, 5 black peppercorns, salt. Add 0.5 l of brine to the broth. The soup is boiled for another 3-5 minutes and then infused for 20 minutes.


For cooking, an average of 1.5 kg of fish is needed. The head, fins, tail are added to boiling water, boiled for 40-50 minutes.Then they take out and separate the meat from the bones,

4 potato tubers, 2 carrots are cut into cubes, the onion head is divided into several large parts so that later it can be removed from the fish soup. Prepared vegetables and fish are placed in the resulting broth, cooked for 15 minutes. Then add 2-3 bay leaves, 2-4 black peppercorns, salt. After waiting a little, they remove the fish soup from the heat, take out the onion and season the soup with chopped herbs.


For 1 serving, finely chop:

  • 20 g of boiled potatoes;
  • 20 g of radish;
  • 30 g of boiled beef;
  • 1 boiled egg;
  • 20 g fresh cucumbers;
  • 2 g dill and 8 g green onions.

The resulting base is charged with 300 ml of kvass. To taste, add horseradish, mustard or sour cream to okroshka.

Cabbage soup

Cook broth from a chicken carcass, add a chopped onion head and spices to taste. Potatoes (6-8 pcs.) Are cut into cubes, half a cabbage is chopped. The vegetables are added to the cooked chicken and cooked until tender. For convenience, the meat is cut into portions.


The broth is boiled for 150 g of chicken, then it is taken out and cut into cubes, as well as 150 g of boiled and 300 g of smoked sausage. Next, 2 onion heads are cut in half rings and 3 pickled cucumbers are cut into bars.

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Fry onions in a skillet with vegetable oil for 3-5 minutes, add cucumbers and 1 tbsp. brine, stew until the liquid is completely evaporated. Then put a spoonful of tomato paste to the vegetables and evaporate for 7 minutes.

Cooked and smoked sausages are sautéed in a separate frying pan in sunflower oil.

Fried vegetables, sausages and chicken meat, 10 olives, cut into slices, and dried dill are spread in the broth. Boil the hodgepodge for 5-7 minutes, add salt. Let the soup steep with the lid closed for 20 minutes.


1 kg of flour is sieved, 1 tsp is added. salt. Shake the egg in 0.5 L of water and slowly pour the mixture into the flour. The dough is mixed first with a wooden spoon, then with your hands. The resulting mass is covered with cling film and placed in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

1 kg of meat, 4-5 onions are scrolled through a meat grinder, salt and pepper are added to taste, mixed.

They take the workpiece out of the refrigerator, cut off a small piece, wrap the rest with foil again so that it does not dry out. The separated dough is cut into 2 cm strips, dipped in flour poured onto the table and rolled out with a rolling pin.

A small amount of filling is placed on the rolled piece, opposite sides are connected and the edges are formed. A baking sheet, tray or plate, on which the finished product will lie, is first sprinkled with flour.

For the convenience of cooking, you can use a special form for forming dumplings.



  • 1 liter of milk;
  • 6 eggs;
  • 3 tbsp. l. flour;
  • 0.5 tsp salt;
  • 0.5 tsp soda;
  • 2 tbsp. l. vegetable oil.

Beat the mixture thoroughly with a whisk. The resulting dough is left for 30 minutes. Then it is poured into a hot frying pan in a thin layer. If the pancakes stick, you can brush it with sunflower oil. After frying on both sides, the pancake is dipped in butter melted in a separate deep bowl.

Olivier salad

Tsarist Russia recipe:

  1. 1/2 fillet of fried hazel grouse is mixed with boiled and diced potatoes (3 pcs.).
  2. Grind the cucumber, 1 tsp. capers, 3-5 olives.
  3. Pour the salad with Provencal sauce with the addition of kabul soybeans.
  4. Decorate the salad with 3 crayfish tails, 3-4 lettuce leaves and 1 tbsp. lanspika (frozen broth of veal heads and legs).

The dish was consumed cold until the broth pieces melted.


Apples are cut and boiled in a small amount of water for 1-2 hours, cooled and ground through a sieve. If there is a lot of moisture, the mass is filtered, but not until completely dry, since the juice will taste like a pastille.

Cover the baking sheet with parchment for baking, spread the mashed potatoes in a thin layer, dry in the oven at a temperature of 100-120 ° C (2-3 hours), turn over and repeat the process, but without paper. Next, cut the marshmallow into cubes or strips.

There is no exact amount of ingredients, since everything depends on the variety of the selected apples, so it is better to taste the apple mass before drying.


Sourdough preparation:

  1. In a half-liter jar, put 75 g of chopped brown bread.
  2. Add 1 tsp. Sahara.
  3. The jar is poured with warm water, covered with gauze and placed in a warm, dry place for 24 hours.

Kvass is a traditional Russian drink.

As soon as the leaven becomes cloudy and sour, it is ready.

The resulting liquid is poured into a three-liter jar or bottle, add 150 g of chopped bread and 2 tbsp. l. Sahara. Pour in water, but not to the very neck.

The container is placed for a day in a deep dish near the battery or in the sun – this is necessary to speed up the fermentation process. The readiness of kvass is determined by taste. Then 2/3 of the drink is drained, filtered and raisins are added. The kvass is cooled, and the remaining mixture is used to re-prepare the drink.

Beef stroganoff

500 g of beef is cut into plates and beaten with a hammer, then chopped into strips. 3-4 onion heads are cut into half rings and fried in a pan, then meat is added to it and continue to fry for 7-10 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp. l. flour, after a few minutes add 150 g of sour cream, after 2-3 minutes – 2 tbsp. l. tomato paste. The dish is salted, pepper to taste, mixed and cooked for another 10 minutes.

Russian drinks

Tea in Russia was brewed from St. John’s wort, mint, nettle and willow-herb. At first they did not like the Chinese drink, only closer to the XVIII-XIX centuries. they began to drink it in large quantities.

Wine or vodka was prepared from bread alcohol infused with herbs, spices or berries, which was subsequently distilled to obtain a fortress of 45 vol.

Mead was made from honey, which fermented in barrels buried in the ground for 5-10 years. Then the recipe was improved and it was cooked in a month.

Sbiten was prepared with honey, St. John’s wort, ginger, bay leaves, capsicum and sage. Wine was sometimes added to the drink.

Kissel was based on wheat, rye or oat broths and resembled jellied meat in consistency. Each housewife prepared kvass according to her own recipe.

Russian Cuisine
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