Cuisine of Russia's far North/East
Posted 05 November 2008 - 06:45 AM
I was just reading about the Yakuts (from Sakha), Evenks and many other lesser known groups of people and the first thought that popped in my head was "I wonder what they eat!".
I have no doubt that these people have their own cuisines but has it been absorbed into Russian cuisine and now become indistinguishable/extinct?
Or do these people eat common Russian food like the majority?
Posted 05 November 2008 - 07:08 AM
Food culture in Russia and Central Asia
Russia and the newly independent states of Central Asia are struggling to reassert or create national identities and are receiving fresh attention from the West. After decades of oblivion, the vast Eurasian continent is once again divulging its intense cultural heritage and foodways to the international community. The diversity of food cultures within the former Soviet Union, with more than 100 distinct nationalities, is overwhelming, but this book brilliantly distills the main elements of contemporary cuisine and food-related customs for students and foodies. Vibrant descriptions of the legacy of the Silk Road; the classic foods such as kasha, pirogi, non (flatbread), pickles, and shashlyk (shish kebab); the over-the-top Moscow theme restaurants; and meals at the dacha and tea time are just some of the highlights.
EDIT: The above is just the blurb. You can read the book through the link.
Edited by Ce'nedra, 05 November 2008 - 07:25 AM.
Posted 10 November 2008 - 05:29 AM
In former Moldavia polenta with brinza(feta cheese) is very popular as much as in Romania and Bulgaria.
In the former Central Asian republics as well as central Siberian is heavily dominated by ethnic Turkic/Mongol peoples. Please these are not the same national Turks but many Turkic (These peoples are generally known as Tatars) ethnic groups exists they share some linguistic and other characteristics but there are dozens of different Turkic nationalities some are autonomous republics like Kazan, others are simply regions some food and ways of cooking is similar but depends on the geographical situation and what the land offers. One thing that comes to mind is "manti, " cannot be really differentiated that much from Chinese sui mai, pelmeni and vareniki are similar and shapes and cooking styles to those in Korea and Japan just names and some local ingredients vary. Among the Turkic peoples of middle Central Asia the food are plovs or pilafs and tandir ovens (tandoor ovens) have been popular for centuries and their foods have become staple in Moscow but then again main Russian dishes are well known too.
Northern Siberia is not much different but tribal people do live off the land same as peoples from Lappland.
Then of course large groups of Jews lived also there for hundreds of years in fact since the Xll centuries and earlier a large group called Khazars dominated Southern Russia and Ukraine converted into Judaism and their kingdom extended from Romania, Moldavia and as far as Iran. Russian and Ukranian food is not different to Jewish except for religious purposes (name changes exists but this is only cosmetic). Many of these foods where brought to USA and became a staple food Items there too.
More towards the southern borders of Russia food as well as peoples take on cross border characteristics already mentioned and very popular Kabobs (kebabs) are well known throughout Russia fast foods outlets spring up everywhere even to the far reaches in Siberia.
The Caucasus (lamb is prevalent) rolled vine leaves, boreks (baked or fried breads) Georgian(stuff breads, yoghurt), Armenian (lavash stuffed breads),Turkish,Iranian influences, Khazakh, Uzbek, stuffed breads,horse meat, lamb, plov,kabob, tandir cooking, samsas (samoosas) and Uigur cooking characteristics as in the Caucasus for instance Kalmykia is originally a Mongolian settlement in Europe, Abkhazia, Cherkessia, Nagorno Balkaria, Daguestan, Chechnia are just few peoples and regions that live there although not peacefully sometimes they live in close proximity to each other and food reflects more or less what is available in these sometimes harsh and roughed lands. Then they are those ethnic groups that migrated sometimes forcefully like Koreans (they call themselves Koryo Saram and spread as far as Ukraine although the largest contingent is found in Khazakhstan) and lately over the last twenty years Chinese have settled in the far eastern borders opening up food outlets too.
Chinese food has been well known by Russians in the Far East for long time although is strictly Northern Chinese, Mongolian, Korean and Japanese foods and cooking styles have been part and become household staple foods for many years to the diverse peoples of the regions.
I have just provided a summary since there are hundred of ethnic groups and nationalities perhaps one of the most truly ethnically diverse country on Earth.
Posted 10 November 2008 - 06:36 AM
Definitely going to read what you linked too....thanks!
Posted 12 November 2008 - 11:44 AM
Russian cooking search engine
The Million Menu Culinary Project
Posted 14 November 2008 - 05:51 AM
Oh gosh, Uzbek cusine, I've been long interested in the food from that area but know absolutely nothing about until possibly...now!
You're the best!
faine: I would LOVE to see those pictures, thanks! :)
Anyway, I'm going to go read up on those links now woohoo!
Posted 14 November 2008 - 07:00 AM
I was looking up Amazon (as I've been doing alot these past few days), and found two particular cookbooks of interest:
'Please to the Table: The Russian Cookbook' by Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman.
The book has really good reviews (full stars from quite a number of ppl) and apparently, the recipes aim to give a good varied overview of Russia AND Central Asia. Also offers interesting history bits about the different groups of people and their culinary traditions. Another book to my wish list!
'The Art of Uzbek Cooking' by Lynn Visson, which also seems to have fairly good reviews. My gripe would be that there are no pictures, according to the reviewers. A real pity for people like me who are total noobs to this little known cuisine.