I had a wonderful opportunity to go to Moscow to attend a family wedding celebration, along with a group of Canadian and American family and friends. Although Russia was never on my wish-list, here was a chance to go someplace that I may never have visited. Moscow is a huge, modern city — we travelled by taxi and tour minibus, but mostly walking and even taking the subway. We visited the Red Square, Kremlin and even a local flea market. Wow, some of the Moscow subway stations are gorgeous! And very deep underground!
And what foods did I think of as being Russian cuisine? Borscht, pickled fish, and caviar?? Well, well, well. I will have to tell you that the food was a very delicious surprise. Between the hotel breakfasts, restaurants, to the beautiful wedding cuisine, food was plated delicious to the eyes and to the taste. I want to share with you some of my favourite plates.
(p.s. it was fun trying to figure out some words by reading familiar signs….Starbucks Coffee, in particular.)
My absolute favourite was the cheese syrniki for breakfast. Delicious cheese pancakes served with sour cream and sweetened condensed milk on the side. The condensed milk was an interesting combination but worth the experience.
A dense sweetened cheese filling dusted with flour and lightly fried. I have found the Russian-style cheese at a Russian food market here in Ottawa and already attempted these once…getting closer in flavour and texture and will try them again soon.
And below are poached eggs with Hollandaise sauce sitting on slices of smoked salmon (instead of the traditional ham) and toast.
Couldn’t resist a second photo of this dish.
And who doesn’t want salmon caviar for breakfast with the traditional grated egg white and yolks and sour cream on the side, accompanied by blini (pancakes) and grilled veggies?
Georgian food is popular in Moscow and we were able to sample various traditional foods. The plates were served family style, shared across our tables. Various salads and even a plate of herbs to aid with digestion.
Khachapuri is a traditional Georgian flatbread. We got to try it two ways, the first stuffed with a local cheese and the second way, shaped as a boat, also stuffed with cheese, but topped with a fried egg.
And for another interesting taste sensation: khinkali, a traditional Georgian dumpling filled with meat and spices. Also my nephew’s (the bridegroom) favourite!
You pick up the dumpling by the knob and carefully bite into it. Filled with the juices in which they were boiled — you slurp up the juices and bite into the filling. And never eat the dough knob; they are left on the plate to count up how many have been eaten.
Vendors at a huge Russian flea market. All shouting at the same time to get our business. Kabobs of chicken, lamb and salmon. Loads of vegetables.
The street food was as delicious as the restaurant cuisine. Grilled and spiced vegetables and tender chicken kabob. Not fancy but so tasty.
Just had to share the buffet table of appetizers galore at the wedding.
And more beautiful food on day two of wedding celebrations. Smoked salmon rolls filled with cream cheese with caviar, and delicious mushroom tarts in pastry.
The last meal my husband and I shared before heading home was also Georgian cuisine. We took a chance and ordered by a photo menu (great idea for visitors, like us) and won.
My husband’s favourite appetizer were eggplant rolls stuffed with walnut filling (badrijani nigvzit). I have already followed up and found this recipe online and will be trying it soon at home.
Mixed traditional cheese platter, Georgian bread, and Georgian salt. The salt is a blend of sea salt, dried garlic, fenugreek, coriander, and red chile pepper; some recipes also include black pepper, caraway, saffron, or dill. It was nice savoury sprinkling salt for a touch of authenticity.
A salad of sliced tomatoes, soft goat cheese with a puréed mixed herb topping — like a Georgian version of an Italian caprese salad with pesto and just as tasty.
Chakhokhbili, a chicken stew with tomatoes and herbs.
Chanakhi, lamb stew with potatoes and peppers.
And a layered Georgian-Russian honey cake (medovic) for dessert with our fresh mint tea.
There you go — the highlights of our food experiences. What an adventure of travel and sights and taste sensations from Russia. Glad I was able to share a little with you.