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While Russia seems to be constantly in the news, it’s never reported how amazing the nation’s cuisine is. Dive into the cuisine of the world’s largest country.

Russia is a truly gigantic country. And the breadth of its geography is also reflected in the variety of its cuisine. Being the bridge between Europe and Asia, Russia has for centuries been a melting pot of various cultures, languages, ethnicities, and cuisines. And while Russians sure do enjoy a good borscht and fine vodka, there is so much more to the culinary world of the world’s largest nation.

While some parts of Russia border warmer regions of the world, the majority of its landscape lies within reach of the Arctic Circle. This, of course, presents a number of problems when it comes to growing food. But it’s nothing that these hardy northern people haven’t been able to overcome. Historically, grains, root vegetables, and cabbage were the cornerstones of Russian cuisine. But upon the advent of modernity, Russian cuisine transformed, with new crops such as potatoes entering the ingredients lists of many of the country’s staple dishes.

During the Soviet era, the nation’s cuisine transformed considerably. With a number of satellite states now under their influence, food supply chains throughout Eastern Europe allowed Russians access to ingredients and dishes that they had never before experienced. And its relationship with communist China also allowed the USSR access to a number of far-eastern culinary delicacies.

Nowadays, the Russian diaspora has spread their fantastic cuisine to all corners of the world. If you have a Russian restaurant in your neighborhood, definitely give it a visit. You won’t regret it.

Borscht, reimagined

When most people think of borscht, a simple, red, beetroot-based soup comes to mind. Indeed, this food has been one of the staple dishes of Russian and Ukrainian peasants for many centuries. But sometimes, a visionary chef comes along and completely reinvents a classic dish. Luckily, the recipe has now been made available to the public.

The man in question here is famous Russian chef Anatoly Komm, and the dish he reimagined is a combination of hot borscht combined with foie gras and herring, all under the coat of vegetable rolls. It’s important to be honest here—this is not a simple dish by any means. But if you are already a fan of borscht and want to take your Russian culinary skills to the next level, then get ready for a kitchen challenge that you won’t regret.

This magnificent, reimagined borscht combines the original beetroot along with beef, foie gras, Russian bread, and a plethora of other ingredients. You’ll be preparing freshly made dried onion, a homemade sour cream sphere, and a number of herring-filled vegetable rolls. For the final touch, beetroot jelly is served on the side of this incredible revision of traditional Russian borscht.

Russia’s meatier side

If you haven’t had the pleasure of trying a beef stroganoff in your life, it’s time to consider doing so. Sure, you could visit your local Russian restaurant and enjoy a professional chef’s take on this timeless classic. But sometimes, with a dish as simple as this, it can be so much nicer to enjoy the process of learning how to make something new in your own kitchen. In fact, this dish is so easy to make, it could very well become a staple of your weekly cooking schedule. And the kids will love it too!

This recipe for a hearty Russian beef stroganoff will result in a creamy, mushroom-infused beef sauce which you can enjoy without any additional carbs. No pasta or rice required, here! Aside from the obvious beef, you’ll need a good amount of mushrooms, a couple onions, sour cream, flour, and mustard. To finish off your stroganoff, chop up some fresh parsley as a garnish. After all, it’s not enough for a dish to taste great—it has to look great, too!

The sweet side of Russia

Aside from borscht, another Russian dish has made its way all over the world via the Russian diaspora. This dish is, of course, Russian fudge, and can be found in bakeries, pattisieries, and even supermarkets in any city with a Russian expat population. The best part about Russian fudge—aside from its rich taste and beautiful texture—is that it’s extremely easy to make. In fact, it won’t take you more than half an hour until your taste buds are enjoying the sweet sensation of this traditional Russian dessert.

Part of this rich dessert’s allure is the short list of ingredients you’ll need, most of which you’ll probably have in your kitchen already. Aside from the obvious suspects like sugar, butter, and milk, you’ll also need some golden syrup, a couple teaspoons of vanilla, and both milk and condensed milk. Barring the vanilla, you’ll first combine all the ingredients in a pan, bringing the mixture to a steady boil. After about 15-20 minutes, you can remove the pan from your stove and add in the vanilla. After pouring this beautiful mixture into a baking tin of your choice, you won’t have to wait long until your sweet tooth will be enjoying a slice of traditional Russian fudge.

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