There are five the most common and generally recognized Russian food items.

There are some food items which history began in Russia. The list is pretty long, so let’s talk about the most famous among them.


Russians have been intensely fishing for sturgeon for centuries in the Black and Caspian Seas. The caviar was eaten often, after it was salted. And this “delicacy” was available not only to the aristocracy, but also to common people. But red caviar appeared on Russian tables relatively recently – in the late 19th century.

“Red Fish”

Russians nicknamed all sturgeons the “red fish”, as in “beautiful fish”, not the color red. That is why initially the red fish included sturgeon, stellate sturgeon and beluga. Now this list also includes fish from salmon family, which is also common in Russia. Red fish was used as filling for pies and pancakes, as an ingredient of other Russian dishes such as ukha and okroshka (both are traditional Russian soups).

Sour Cream

First sour cream was prepared also in Russia. Most Russian dishes are unthinkable without sour cream. It softens the taste, brings down the heat and gives juiciness.

Sour cream was added to hot and cold soup dishes, also to meat, fish, vegetables and pancakes. Sour cream was prepared using milk that was left to stand for a few days – afterwards the top layer was skimmed and it was named sour cream. Until the early 20th century outside of Russia no one heard of sour cream.


Until the middle of the 19th century turnip was the foundation of the list of all vegetables used in Russian cooking. Turnip was affordableand yielded huge crops; it also was easy to store. Moreover, turnip has a number of medicinal properties. It was prepared in different ways – steamed, stewed, baked, added to main dishes.

Buckwheat (“Grechka”)

Birthplace of buckwheat is not Greece, but South Siberia and Altai. Its name the grain received in the 15th century, when in the monasteries of Russia Greek monks began cultivating it in large quantities. Buckwheat was cheap and affordable. In Russia, buckwheat and foods made of buckwheat flour are very popular.


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