Russian Traditional Snacks
The food in Russia has a great diversity originating from the big number of cultures and nations that have contributed a lot to the national Russian cuisine. Usually the Russian people like to eat well and they don’t waste time on counting calories. You’ll find a great variety of tastes and smells that you’ll never sense anywhere else on the globe.
If it happens to visit Russia and you don’t have much time to go to a restaurant or cook for yourself you can try some of the traditional Russian snacks that will taste great, will provide sufficient calories to recharge your energy batteries and will not disturb your daily schedule. I’ll offer you just a few of these popular dishes that don’t require any specific cooking knowledge to prepare them. The ingredients are usually among the most common and appreciated products in Russia and it won’t be a problem to find what you need in the first store that you step in.
Maybe the fastest and the most customizable Russian snack food are Butterbrodi. These are different sorts of sandwiches where various types of bread is used along with different fillings. Often the fillings are meat products, butter or phish and also can be eggs, mushrooms, cheese and beans. You will notice that all traditional Russian snacks have a high amount of calories and if you’re on a diet you won’t have many options to prepare low calories Russian snacks. But what you would expect when the temperature of Russian winters goes down to -50°C. You need a lot of calories to face these harsh climate conditions in this country.
There are open and closed Butterbrodi. The open variety is when you use just a single slice of bread on which you put the filling you have chosen.
If the filling is something with a big amount of calories such as butter, bacon or ham then you need to use rye bread to reduce the calories of your snack.
The closed variety is made just by adding one more slice of bread on top of the one that has been filled with the desired product. A typical sandwich with Russian ingredients.
Usually you need to consume the sandwich right away after you prepared it. If you’ll keep it longer that one hour than you’ll notice that the bread is not so soft anymore and the taste has lost its freshness. Butterbrodi are good for all occasions no matter if you prepare them for breakfast, lunch, for a party, to go on a picnic or to take some food with you on the road.
Blini (pancakes) are one of the favorite morning snacks in Russia. Blini or Blinchiki as they are also referred to, are rolled with cheese, honey, jam and meat. They take a little longer to prepare but believe me they totally worth the time you spend on them.
For a classical recipe of blini you will need: 200 ml kefir, 300 ml milk, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 0,5 teaspoon of baking soda slaked with vinegar, 2-3 tablespoons of sunflower oil (refined), a pinch of salt and 4-5 tablespoon flour
You need to blend the ingredients starting with kefir, eggs and sugar. Then add the milk and the flour. Use a mixer to get to a sour cream consistence, then add the baking soda slaked in vinegar and mix again. Add one or two table spoons of sunflower oil in the frying pan and let it heat up really well. Then pour the batter in the hot pan but just to cover the bottom. You need to tilt the pan to spread the batter evenly. Every time use just enough batter to cover the bottom of the frying pan because blini need to be really thin. You repeat the procedure until you use all the batter you’ve prepared. Frying one of these pancakes takes about 1,5 to 2 minutes. If you think you’re skilled enough you can use two frying pans.
Another widely appreciated snack variety are pirozhki. These are little baked patties with different fillings, as in case of blini. Usually this dish is served with tea or coffee for breakfast but it’s also a great snack for parties and special occasions. You can use your fantasy when cooking pirozhkii and you can easily come up with your own recipe, using the ingredients and the fillings that you like the most. You can use special shapes to have an original decorated table for your guests.
Pelmeni are one of the most delicious Russian foods and although they require some time for preparation, you’ll amaze your guests with a tasty and delicious dish. For preparing pelmeni you’ll need dough; which consists out of 400g. of flour , 200ml of water, an egg and a teaspoon of salt, and filling composed of 250 g. of porc, 250g. of beef, some black pepper and one onion. If you can’t really cook very well then go and buy pelmeni in a local store because they are sold in every food store in Russia. You’ll just need to go home and boil them in a bowl with water until they float for 3-4 minutes. Russians use to serve pelmeni with soar cream.
Baked Rolls – Bulochki
A great option for on road snacks are the numerous varieties of baked dough rolls which can be with or without filling. You will find them in every food store and in crowded places there will be ambulant sellers offering this type of food. You can buy rolls with meat, chocolate, jam, mushrooms and cheese, sea products, dried fruits and many others delicious fillings that will delight your taste sensors.
Pirog is a large pie which is filled with various fillings. Usually the Pirog filling is sweet and is served for desert, but you can easily save a slice or two for later when you’ll go on a tour or on a picnic. Similar to the Russian butterbrodi, pirog can be open or closed. It is made of dough and it’s baked in the oven for 30 minutes up to one hour. The result is a large, sweet and crisp pie, somewhat like a pizza, which is cut down to slices and offered to all your guests. It is well suited to be served with tea, juice and coffee.
When talking about less time consuming snacks that don’t require any preparation then Russians prefer peanuts and sunflower fried seeds. This type of food has a big number of calories per 100 g. and also is rich in vitamin E. A very small package of sunflower fried seeds can keep your energy level until you’ll get to eat properly. They are also great for your appetite too, so don’t exaggerate with them because you’ll gain weight very fast.
Maybe the most important for all the Russian snacks that I’ve mentioned is the special flavor that each of these food varieties has. The diversity of each of these specialties is tremendous and you’ll need more than one vacation to be able to say that you are accustomed with Russian traditional snacks.
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