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…

Eliseevsky Store in Moscow: When a Supermarket Is Also a Palace

This is what I call “only in Russia” experience. Right in Moscow city center, on Tverskaya street, you can find one of the most stunning pieces of architecture and a beautiful example of neo-baroque style that literally makes your jaw drop. And what is it you ask? A palace? A cathedral? A library, maybe? Nope!…

The Ultimate Guide to Making Traditional Russian Pelmeni

Russian pelmeni (dumplings) is a savior for women making a quick dinner on busy days; something every poor student used to live off for at least a week at some point of his life; and what you’ll find in a freezer of every Russian bachelor. Russian pelmeni recipe is very similar to the recipes of Chinese dumplings and…

Vladimir Olkinitskiy: Reviving Ural Cuisine

Vladimir Olkinitskiy must be the most popular and controversial chef in the city of Ekaterinburg at the moment. On my quest to find traditional Ural cuisine in the heart of Urals – Ekaterinburg – his name and that of his newly opened restaurant 26/28 came up time and again. It’s one of the most talked…

Searching for Ural Cuisine in Ekaterinburg: 4 Must Try Dishes

Here’s some food for thought. When you travel to France you’d expect to start your morning with a cup of coffee and a croissant. When you travel to India you would, probably, like to dig into rice, chapati, and vegetarian curries. In other words, you’d like to try authentic food of the country, because where…

EkaterinBURGER: a Story of American Burger with Russian Taste

I bet you have just looked at the name and didn’t dare to pronounce it out loud. Am I right? It’s not as scary and complicated as it looks, I promise! There’s a city in Ural region of Russia called Ekaterinburg. Still too much? Look at it this way: the city is named after a…

Why Christmas in Russia Is Celebrated on January 7th?

In the time of winter holidays the two most common questions I get are “Why New Year in Russia is more popular than Christmas?” and “Why Christmas in Russia is celebrated on January 7th?” I tried my best to give an answer to the first question in my blog post here. Now is the time…

9 Things You Should Know About Russian New Year

With New Year just around the corner I thought I will share with you some of Russian New Year traditions! I have already explained why New Year is way bigger and more popular in Russia than Christmas, so the excitement and anticipation are almost at its peak these days. If you are willing to celebrate upcoming year…

Why Is New Year More Popular Than Christmas in Russia?

While for most of the world Christmas craze is finally over and you can breathe a sigh of relief, for most of Russians the whole shopping-till-you drop, cooking-so-much-it’s-enough-for-the-next-two-weeks, and getting-a-nervous-breakdown-in-the-last-days-rush experience is still ahead of them. Are you wondering why? The answer is simple and shocking to those of you who have never been to…