50 Important Tips for Traveling in Russia

So you are planning a visit to my Motherland? This truly makes me happy. As a person who was born in Russia and knows about its beauty, historical and cultural heritage, and warm hospitality, I often feel frustrated by the lack of interest to my home country around the world. Ok, I’ll rephrase that. There’s…

Victory Day: Why I Remember and You Should Too

With a little over a month left till summer, I walked around the city center of Ekaterinburg under a snowfall like I haven’t seen in years. Even for hardcore Russia snow in April is a little too much. Not completely unexpected, but it’s definitely an “oh, common!” moment. After half an hour outside, a one-inch…

“Mama, Chai?” or the Way Russians Drink Tea

Without a cup of tea any meal feels incomplete to me and to any other Russian for that matter. For the longest time I thought that’s how it works all around the world. Or at least in the tea-drinking countries like Sri Lanka. One would assume that people of Sri Lanka, one of the largest…

The Meaning of Life Can Be Found in a Russian Kitchen

When my best friend and I were 15 and lived in our small town of Asbest (remind me to tell you one day about my sweet little town, the largest producer of asbestos in the world) there was literally no place for us to hang out. Don’t judge my use of “literally” here. I mean…

3 Cottage Cheese Recipes for Russian Breakfast

If you have been reading me for a while you know about my eternal love of cottage cheese. In a post a couple of weeks back I have written a whole guide to making Russian-style cottage cheese at home in 3 different ways. Today I am going to share with you some of my favorite…

How to Make Authentic Russian Tvorog at Home

When people ask me whether living abroad makes me miss Russian food, I always reply with a firm “no”. Not because I don’t love it, but simply because I can prepare most of Russian dishes in the convenience of my own kitchen. For the same reason I almost never go to Russian restaurants abroad, except…

How to Eat (and Drink) Like a Russian

It’s one thing to know some delicious Russian dishes and it’s a whole different story to understand how Russians eat. The most common idea is probably that Russians eat potatoes for all three meals and follow it up with a shot of vodka. I am not kidding, people asked me whether in Russia we have…

Soviet Kartoshka, or Why Russians Eat Potato for Dessert

The word “potato” in Russian can mean both a vegetable and a type of cake. To be fair, the pastry does look like potato, hence the name. In Russian you call it kartoshka. It’s neither fancy nor does it have a sophisticated flavor profile but I, like many other Russian people, am very fond of it…

Russian Sweets Beloved by Tsars and My Mom

This post wouldn’t be written if it wasn’t for my mother’s big love of marshmallows. No cookies, chocolates, cakes or pies can compare to marshmallows in my mom’s Universe. She only wishes other people could understand and share her love. So when it comes to sending Russian sweets to beloved daughter who lives across the ocean…