In July 2018, I had the experience of attending the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. I have never really had the experience of eating Russian food, so everything that I ate was new and different for my taste buds. With some research and with my Russian friend’s knowledge, I was able to experience a wide array of Russian food, and in this list, I will share you my top 5 eats in Russia!
From Italy’s ravioli to China’s har gow, each culture has some sort of dish that consists of dough filled with meat, cheese or vegetables. Russia is no different with their pelmeni. They are dumplings of Russian cuisine which consist a filling of meat (usually lamb or beef) wrapped in thin dough. Compared to other dumplings, pelmeni have a very thin dough shell and is pretty small in size. For this reason, you are able to really taste the meat inside. I got pelmeni with veal and lamb, and the meat that they used is what made this dish so good. You can get pelmenis for around 250 RUB ($5.15 CAD).
2. Rye with Honey Ice Cream
When I first took a bite of this ice cream, I was perplexed with this unique taste. It began with a hint taste of rye bread and finished with a honey aftertaste. Russians loves their rye bread so it would make sense that they would put that flavour into ice cream. The price of this dessert came to 120 RUB ($2.48 CAD).
3. Beef Stroganoff
Ahead of my trip, I was surprised to find out that beef stroganoff was a Russian dish. It consists of sautéed pieces of beef served in a a sour cream based sauce. I was able to try the beef stroganoff at one of the top Russian restaurants in St. Petersburg, the Severyanin. I highly recommend the restaurant as it is a cozy place with a decor that steps you back in time to the 19th century. The wait staff were really polite and professional. There were also live music as an accordion player entertained the room. The prices are also reasonable as the beef stroganoff came to 740 RUB ($15 CAD).
Medovik is a classic Russian honey cake. It is a very popular dessert and can be found in many restaurants throughout Russia. It was a simple cake yet and had a melt in your mouth texture. I had the cake at Taste to Eat in St. Petersburg, which cost me 320 RUB ($6.63 CAD).
5. Russian Tea
Another fact I did not know coming to Russia, is how much they love their teas. Due to its cold weather, tea is one of the most popular beverages in the country. It is common to have tea at the end of meals with their desserts. The traditional way having tea (pictured below) is to pour a tea concentrate called zavarka from a small tea pot (the white tea pot). Then you mix in hot water from the samovar (the big pot with the tap). Different flavour jams (strawberry, black currant, cherry) can be added to your liking. I was able to experience this at Dachniki in St. Petersburg which came with cookies and gingerbread for 650 RUB ($13.47 CAD).
I also got to experience a variety of herbal teas, such as this herbal tea with thyme, linden, chamomile, black currant leaves. You can find many herbal teas served in most restaurants at around 220 RUB ($4.56 CAD).
Other Notable Russian foods I tried
- Salmon Caviar
- Dressed herring salad
- Chicken Kiev
- Olivier or Russian salad
- Pickled herring