Russian borsch with beef and sour cream. Home made ray bread on the background
Photo by: Tanya !, Creative Commons
The Russian cuisine has obtained its abundant and varying features from the vast and multi-cultural expanse of Russia. The foundations of this particular type of cuisine were laid down by the food sold by peasants in rural populations in often harsh climates. Traditional Russian cuisine is a combination of plentiful honey, berries, mushrooms, game, poultry and fish. Russian cuisine also includes a plethora of vodka, beer, kvas, cerals, pancakes, breads, whose ingredients are mainly composed of millet, barley, wheat and rye. Seasonal meats, fish or storable produces serve as the base for soups and stews which contribute to the distinguishable full flavor of Russian soups. This native food entirely remains the staple for the large majority of people in Russia up until the 20th century.
More refined foods and modern culinary techniques have been introduced to Russia because of its great expansions of territory, interest and influence during the 16th to 18th centuries. It was during this time that liquor, wines, ice cream, chocolate, salads and green vegetables, pastry cooking, fish and smoked meat were imported from other countries. These changes have opened the doors for an innovative integration of these new foodstuffs with conventional Russian dishes, at least for the provincial gentry and the urban aristocracy. The result of this is extremely varied seasoning, combination and cooking techniques.
Since the time of Catherine the Great, every household has been influenced by the import of both the products and personnel, primarily from Austria and French, to bring the rarest, finest and the most innovative foods to the Russian table.
Just as like the typical Russian character, Russian cuisine is rich and very diverse. Russian cooking has developed from an amazing and interesting combination of various cultural traditions and influences that have been adapted over many years. It was the Mongolians who brought the valuable gift of tea to Russia. Peter the Great, at the end of the 17th century introduced the potato, which has added a new dimension to comforting Russian cuisine. Covered by forests, Russian has learned to use wild foods that are found there, like blackberries, honey and mushrooms.