Russian cuisine is one of the most popular and widely spread in the world. French cuisine is festive and elegant, Chinese cuisine is exotic, Russian cuisine is healthy and delicious. Most Russian dishes are easy to cook and they do not demand much skill and special ingredients, they do not need exotic equipment and tool and everybody who knows how to hold a cooking knife and how to peel potatoes can use Russian food recipes.
In old Russ, grain that is rye, barley, oats, millet and wheat ? was always the main food product. Since days of old, the Russians have been known as land-tiller. That is why bread remains their major national food. Pies have always been a part of the holiday fare. The pies are customarily filled with different kinds of meat, fish and berries. Russians have always eaten vegetables. In old times, it was the turnip, cabbage, radish and cucumbers. Since the 18th century, the potato began to play an ever more important part as one of the most loved ingredients of the Russian board, and new Russian food recipes appeared.
One more important thing should be mentioned for better understanding of Russian cooking traditions and specificity of Russian food recipes. Russia is an Orthodox country and all the feasts were always strictly followed. Totally, there are more than 200 days in a year in which the Orthodox Christians should avoid eating meat, eggs, milk and milk products, including butter. That is why Russian cuisine widely uses vegetables, fish, berries, and mushrooms.
In order to cook tasty dishes using just vegetables it is necessary to use different spices, Russians used dill, parsley, celery, later they used spices which were delivered from other countries - pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves. Nearly all dishes include onion.
In Russian cuisine fish dishes are some of the most favorite ones. The rivers, lakes and seas by which Russian people settled always gave them this tasty and accessible food. There is one more explanation why in past Russians used to cook fish dishes: it was not allowed to eat any kind of meat and any kind of milk food in duration of long fasts but fish dishes were permitted, except time of the Lent.
In Russian food recipes you may find different names of both fresh-water and sea fish. Most often fish dished are served with potatoes and boiled buckwheat.
Almost all Russian traditional drinks are original and are not present in other national cuisines. Those are sbiten, kvas, medok, mors, curdle with raisins, boiled cabbage juice. Many of them are no longer in use.Well known is Russian drink called kvas. To get real kvas, you need rye bread or rye rusks, yeast and sugar. You cannot substitute rye bread or rye rusks with something else, so you should find it. You can drink kvas as a cold beverage, you can add a leaf of peppermint, and it will make taste flesher.
A kind of soup called okroshka is made with kvas. Kvas that is most commonly used in okroshka is white kvas, which is much sourer than drinking kvas. Okroshka is a cold soup, the main ingredients are vegetables which can be mixed with cold boiled meat or fish with a proportion 1:1. Depending on this okroshka is called vegetable, meat or fish. Soups have always played an important role in the Russian meal. You should taste it!