The Weird Wobbly Meat Jello That Is Russian Kholodets

Don’t start exploring Russian cuisine with kholodets. That is if you are willing to enjoy Russian food. Start with something familiar like pelmeni, Russian-style dumplings, or soup… you’ve had soups before, right? Don’t dive into Russian food head first by trying the one thing most foreigners find weird and, frankly, disgusting. Kholodets, as people like…

Moscow GUM Is Not for Shopping, It’s for Eating

Moscow GUM was one of those places where I, a naive girl from a small Russian town, was genuinely afraid to step in on my first visit to the capital. I was ten and the concept of a shopping mall was new to me. When I needed a new blouse or winter boots for the…

Ekaterinburg Travel Guide Written by a Local with Love

When foreigners ask me which Russian city I am from, more often than not they expect to hear “Moscow” or “Saint Petersburg”. When I say “Ekaterinburg”, the reaction is usually “Oh… ok… I will never be able to pronounce that”. To which I reply: “Not only will you be able to pronounce it, but you’ll…

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…