What could be better than a bowl of famous Borsch, steaming hot or refreshingly cold with a dollop of sour cream and fresh dill? Or Russian pirozhki with cabbage and eggs? Or traditional stuffed cabbage, also called golubtzi. I really don’t know where that name comes from, but I can promise you an absolutely delicious taste. Why are these dishes not only hearty, but healthy as well? Because lots of veggies cooked to perfection along with lean protein from eggs and the right cuts of meat provide necessary vitamins and minerals for a wholesome meal.
Many people today prefer a vegetarian cuisine. I want to be clear, everyone decides for himself what to eat and what not to eat, but studies have shown that meat is a good source of all the necessary amino acids, as well as vitamins B6, B12, iron and zinc. Despite the reality and concerns about hormones and antibiotics, pesticides and added preservatives, we are the decision makers in our lives. We have to pay attention to what we are buying at the market. Personally, I prefer to buy foods which do not have long shelf lives. It’s why homemade foods can be a much better choice for our well-being. As long we keep everything in moderation we will have a happy and healthy family around the dinner table.
What is a Russian cuisine? I am not sure if anyone can give a definite answer. Besides what we all know, what we grow up with as borsch, blini, caviar, pelmeny, golubzi. But in my mind Russian cuisine is much bigger. It is blend of so many cultures, traditions with over a hundred different nationalities, each with distinct language and a distinct cuisine.
How to choose from such a huge blend of tasty and delicious food? No cuisine is constant, traveling, even politics can influence any cuisine. Modern education and globalization lessen regional differences, but offer to people a new meaning of their culture, traditional customs. Today lot of Russians can regularly travel, that brings changes to their eating hobbits, preferences in food and drinks. Even 10-15 years ago people in Russia wasn’t that selective in their food choices they are now. Main drinks was vodka and beer, today many people know how to choose wine for the perfect combination to match the food. When people go to a restaurant they are prepared to discuss their wine choices with “sommelier”. Who knew that word not a long ago?
Many of my friends, are immigrants from former Soviet Union republics, they still desire food they remember from their childhood, but at the same time they are open to other cuisines. Not long ago I received an e-mail from a woman who lives in Australia, she was asking me about Russian soup called “rassolnik”. I sent her a recipe and received a heartwarming letter. It’s true, globalization erases boarders, but we all remember the food we ate growing up, and we remember the taste of grandmother’s fresh baked bread, somethings stay with us the rest of our lives.