Russian Food Culture

Фотобанк Лори

Rise of Patriotism

After the victory over Napoleon’s Grand Army (he miraculously survived) in the Patriotic War of 1812, the revival of interest in traditional Russian cuisine began.

Foreign influence in the Russian cuisine was not completely lost, which was supported by French, who were taken prisoners.

The abolition of serfdom in 1861 strengthened the influence of Russian culinary traditions preserved by the peasantry on the food of the privileged classes.

Rethinking of the traditional Russian dishes began with the influence of Europe’s best chefs.

Territorial Expansion of Russia

Expanding Russian borders included in the orbit of the empire more and more new peoples, who brought their influence to the Russian food culture.

At that time, pelmeni, special kinds of pies, venison, salmon roe emerged.

Combining a large number of innovations, refined taste, unique products – Russian food culture became one of the best in the world.

The Bolshevik Revolution and the Soviet Period

After these historical events the impoverishment of the Russian table took place. Revolution, civil war, World War II – there were fewer products, and people who could cook something special disappeared.

At the same time, the borders opened for citizens of socialist countries have introduced some foreign innovations to the Russian culinary culture.

Since the second half of the 20th century there was formed a set of dishes with carefully calibrated formulation that was good for health. The emphasis was on making dishes more nutritious and healthier. Nothing could distract people from “establishing socialism.”

Also, “averaging” of the Russian table led to the fact that, for example, ocean fish took solid position in the daily diet of the residents of mainland Russia.

Along with numerous public canteens, delis selling prepared foods (not to be confused with modern freezing – prepared foods were prepared on the same day), in families traditional Russian food culture was preserved. In particular, people still preserved food for the winter: pickles, pickled vegetables, salted or pickled mushrooms, jams, compotes.

Modern Russian Food Culture

Today you can observe two main trends in the Russian culinary culture.

The first is internationalism in the cuisine, a desire to try something unusual. There are fans of the Japanese, French, Italian and other cuisines.

The second trend is exploring the origins of traditional Russian culinary culture. Here we have opening Russian fine dining restaurants, and emergence of national Russian fast food chains (that compare very favorably in terms of quality and great tasting food to the world’s leading fast food chains), and the change in daily food rations towards the traditional Russian cuisine.

There is a developing trend that will make the Russian cuisine more and more known in the world.

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