Ever since I arrived here, the most striking difference that I notice every day (other than clothing, language, bathrooms, and everything else) is the food. Food in Russia consists of any and everything imaginable, but mainly centers on bread. I have heard explanations of why the Russians beat the Germans in World War II which completely disregard the climate or general lack of supply lines, and instead says that the Germans lost because they didn’t eat as much bread as the Russians did. That being said, along with the carb-filled meals is copious amounts of bread.
Things that I miss on a daily basis include Mexican (even crappy Midwestern Mexican!) and American pizza. Pizza does exist here, but typically not pepperoni, and never with any tomato sauce, oddly enough… Not only this, but there’s a distinct lack of spicy food. This is because Russians as a whole are an extremely superstitious people and fear any sudden change in taste/temperature/state of being, as it will inevitably make you sick. Luckily for me, Tatiana is actually from Khazakstan originally and thoroughly appreciates spicy food.
As much as I miss America and it’s foodstuffs, I LOVELOVELOVE Russian food. It’s honestly too good to be true, and just appeals to (almost) everything your tastebuds could desire. I just today learned how to make vinigriet, which is a salad of vegetables (potatoes, carrots, beets, and pickles, splashed with vegetable oil). Vinigriet is my favorite example of the perfect drunk/hangover food. The pickles in it make for a good drinking snack, but also a calming effect the next morning. Needless to say, I’ll be making it approximately every day when I get home.
Other fabulous dishes include tvorog, which I am currently obsessed with, as well as the related blinchiki, which are blini (thin crepe-like pancakes) rolled around a spoonful or five of tvorog. Perfect if you were hoping to gain 10 pounds in a week! But seriously, so good.
More to come on daily life and our trip to Peter…