Russian Monday: “Pirozhki” – Baked Stuffed Pies – Cooking Melangery
Russians have some of the most diverse and fascinating dishes in the world. Changes brought by Christianity, pagan dishes and culinary traditions have been blended and enriched over a period of hundreds of years. Due to the cold weather that lasts up to nine months in some areas, the Russians prepare their winter meals in advance during the summer, making various canned foods, pickles, jams and salted, dried or smoked meat and fish. Since the market shelves were often emptied during the Soviet era, many Russians relyed on pickled fruit and vegetables they cultivated on their own land. Many of these preserved foods remain popular icons among Russian dishes.
Features of Russian dishes:
Russian food has a rich history of interaction with other cultures, resulting in unique food and flavors.
Many foods are prepared in the summer and used for six to nine months in winter. This means a fascinating culinary tradition filled with hundreds of pickle recipes, salted, dried or smoked meat, and food that is stored for months, such as fish and ravioli.
Many Russian dishes emerged as a way to use leftovers, but they became daily basic foods.
Russian pierogi and other baked foods were originally made on special occasions or as part of a religious ritual.
Borch soup (борщ)
Borscht is arguably the most well-known Russian dish, but it is often translated incorrectly as beet soup, which doesn’t sound as great as it actually is.
Borş, which is usually made with meat and vegetables containing potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage, garlic and beets, is the main dish of Russian culture. There are also several versions of its origin. One of the most popular types in Ukraine has entered Russian cuisine.
Borch recipes originally included beet yeast (a fermented drink, kvass) diluted with water and boiled. Nowadays, some sautéed or otherwise prepared beets are added to the end of the cooking process. It is among the most popular Russian dishes.
Each cook has his own recipe for borscht soup. It can be made with or without meat, or with mushrooms, using red meat or poultry and even fish. Although the soup of brochures is primarily a public dish, the Russian kingdom loved it later. II. Katerina (Catherine The Great) said it was her favorite food, and she had a special chef in the palace who made borscht soup for her.
Pelmeni, which is similar to Italian ravioli, is another meal that joined the Russian food in the 14th century. It remained a popular dish in the Ural and Siberian regions of Russia until the 19th century before it spread to the rest of the country.
Although there is no precise information about its origin, most of the theories agree that its pelmen came from China. The Russians learned to make pelmeni from the Komi people, which are unique to the Ural region.
A simple yet tasty and satisfying dish, pelmeni is made from meat, flour, eggs and water, and sometimes spices such as garlic, salt and pepper are added. Small meatballs are then boiled for a few minutes. Due to the simplicity of the cooking process and the fact that the frozen pelmen can be stored for months, this dish is popular with hunters and travelers who carry pelmen with them and cook them on campfire.
Blinis come from Slavic pagan traditions and symbolize the sun and the gods that represent it. It originally remained peculiar to Maslenica week (Maslenitsa, religious public holiday before Grand Lent) and is still one of the most preferred dishes in Russia.
There are a variety of recipes for blinis, including small drop buns, lacy paper-thin large blinis, sweet thick pancakes made with milk and many more. It is usually wrapped in meat, vegetable and cereal-based underwear. It is a popular Russian food dessert.
Pierogi or piruhi are traditionally seen in Russia as a symbol of inner happiness and culinary skill. It was only served on special occasions or when hosting guests. The word Пирог gives an idea of the symbolic meaning of this popular dish. Because the word is derived from the word пир, which means feast.
Different types of pyruvies were made for different situations. For example, while cabbage pyruh was served on name days, sour yeast (sourdough) was made at baptism and a coin or button was placed in it for luck. Baptism parents would only buy their own sweet pilaf.
Although there are hundreds of different recipes for this dish, it was traditionally made in an oval or rectangular shape. As a result, Piruhi became part of everyday Russian dishes, as they are made with ingredients that are accessible to everyone.