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Help me identify these Russian Foods

MaspethMaven Feb 1, 2007 06:32 PM

Went to the home of a new friend for a family party. Was promptly force fed by her delightful family all variety of foodstuffs, isome of which I recognized, others I did not. I asked for the Russian nams of many things, but did not get an answer. Can someone help me figure this out?

dishes include:=

-manti (is this pork, beef, a mix of the two, or pork and veal?)
-"black caviar" a mild, briny, mellow roe spread on brown bread absolutely SLATHERED with salted butter (is there a Russian style butter? It was richer than any butter I ever had, and VERY pale in color),
-meat pie. I think it was referred to as pierogi, but this was not like Polish pierogi at all. It was more or less a large stuffed bread with a flaky crust, cut into large wedges, eaten out of hand and served room temperarture.
-Crudite with runny sour cream (explained as "Russian sour cream, better than American" Whats the cream called
-Assorted charcuterie: sausages-dark red in color with large cubes of fat running throughout, as well as a pinkish one that reminded me of bologna or mortadella, but more subtle.
-Smoked salmon
-smoked whitefish or sablefish large flat slices, the length and thickness of country bacon.
-some kind of potato salad with pickes, egg, peas and carrots(?) in a yellow dressing
-some kind of chopped salad featuring celery
-Tea
-"apple pie" which looked a little like strudel

I'd love the names of this stuff so I can buy it on my own some time.

thanks in advance, everyone

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  1. StrawbrryF RE: MaspethMaven Feb 1, 2007 06:45 PM

    MaspethMaven, it sounds like you live in New York, do you want names and address of places where you can buy these things?

    1 Reply
    1. re: StrawbrryF
      MaspethMaven RE: StrawbrryF Feb 3, 2007 04:20 AM

      h authority, and not old point-smile-nod for what I THINK is the right thing. Thanks, though.

    2. plum RE: MaspethMaven Feb 1, 2007 07:19 PM

      The sour cream is smetana. The meat pie you had sounds like a large pirozhki - pirozhki are made with a rich yeast dough and can be either little like dumplings or pie-sized. The potato salad was "salad olivier" if it had chicken in it, otherwise just "russian salad". Manti are supposed to be filled with lamb and onions. Was the celery part of a mix of pickled vegetables, or a chopped salad? The smoked fish might have been capitan (spelling?) or ossetrin (sturgeon), but a good Russian appetizing counter has many, many types of smoked white fish - note they are hot smoked, so not like cold smoked fish like nova.

      The apple dessert might have actually been "shtrudel" or, if it was pie-like with a short-ish pastry crust on top and bottom, pitte (spelling?) - and you can buy this exact thing at any Polish bakery in Maspeth, by the by. I don't know what sort of tea you had, but black tea flavoured with bergamot - much like Earl Grey - is very popular in Russia and the Caucuses.

      The sausages, smoked fish and butter can be bought at any Russian shop (look in Brighton Beach or Rego Park). And while you are there, make sure to buy some Georgian kidney bean salad with coriander leaves and walnuts and look for a carrot salad with grlic and hot pepper that is like a Russian take on kimchi.

      1 Reply
      1. re: plum
        MaspethMaven RE: plum Feb 3, 2007 04:24 AM

        EXACTLY the response I was looking for. The salad with celery was chopped. I think the apple pie was more like pitte. I think I have seen it at the Kiszka in Maspeth, you are right. The tea was Ceylon Special--a mix of Ceylon with Earl Grey. Hostess sent me a box since I liked it so much.

        Thanks Plum.

      2. plum RE: MaspethMaven Feb 1, 2007 07:20 PM

        The sour cream is smetana. The meat pie you had sounds like a large pirozhki - pirozhki are made with a rich yeast dough and can be either little like dumplings or pie-sized. The potato salad was "salad olivier" if it had chicken in it, otherwise just "russian salad". Manti are supposed to be filled with lamb and onions. Was the celery part of a mix of pickled vegetables, or a chopped salad? The smoked fish might have been capitan (spelling?) or ossetrin (sturgeon), but a good Russian appetizing counter has many, many types of smoked whitefish.

        The apple dessert might have actually been "shtrudel" or, if it was pie-like with a crust on top and bottom, pitte (spelling?) - and you can buy this exact thing at any Polish bakery in Maspeth, by the by. I don't know what sort of tea you had, but Earl Grey is very popular in Russia and the Caucuses.

        The sausages, smoked fish and butter can be bought at any Russian shop (look in Brighton Beach or Rego Park). And while you are there, make sure to buy some Georgian kidney bean salad with coriander leaves and walnuts and look for a carrot salad with grlic and hot pepper that is like a Russian take on kimchi.

        1. StrawbrryF RE: MaspethMaven Feb 6, 2007 06:05 AM

          MaspethMaven, after consulting with my Russian parents, it was agreed that the best place for a non-Russian speaking person to shop for Russian groceries is Romanoff Supermarket (6364 108th St). Most things are self-serve and labelled in English and they have a great deli counter for your smoked fish, caviar, etc.

          2 Replies
          1. re: StrawbrryF
            MaspethMaven RE: StrawbrryF Feb 6, 2007 04:41 PM

            Thank you very, very much! I was worried I'd have to wait for an acquaintance to invite me...

            1. re: MaspethMaven
              StrawbrryF RE: MaspethMaven Feb 6, 2007 06:23 PM

              Oh, I forgot to mention: that's in Rego Park/Forest Hills. And no problem! Enjoy!

          2. m
            mrfrostee RE: MaspethMaven Feb 7, 2007 04:29 PM

            Okay I've been out of the country for ages, but here's my rundown:

            >>>-manti (is this pork, beef, a mix of the two, or pork and veal?)

            This is actually Mandu ( for a reason unknown, most Russians will forever insist they invented it and dumplings in general):
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandu_%2...
            If it's homemade, it's probably 50-50 pork and beef for the best taste.

            >>>>>>salted butter (is there a Russian style butter? It was richer than any butter I ever had, and VERY pale in color),

            This is called "cream butter" and is a staple in Russia. It has more taste than American butter due to salt and fat. Interestingly it is more viscous at room temperature so you can always use it as a spread unlike the American kind.

            >>>>>>>-meat pie.

            This is Pirog (plural pirogi), basically a stuffed flat pie that can be as large as an oven tray. Can be stuffed with meat (ground beef + onions), cabbage, chopped hardboiled eggs, carrots or mashed potatoes. Once it cools you can probably eat the whole thing it's that good. Pirozhki is just 'little pirogi'.

            >>>>>>>-Smoked salmon

            Lox?

            >>>>>>-some kind of potato salad with pickes, egg, peas and carrots(?) in a yellow dressing

            This is Salad Olivier (in French manner pronunciation), or "Stolichny" salad, a traditional dish for New Year's. Very similar to the American potato salad, but also includes sweet peas. Does go well with vodka of the same name.

            >>>>>>-some kind of chopped salad featuring celery
            This is probably Vinegret, a derivative of French word vinaigrette, but in Russia it describes the specific type of dish and not the sauce.

            >>>>>-"apple pie" which looked a little like strudel

            This would probably be called Charlotka/Sharlotka (or "Little Charlotte"), and is basically an apple pie with a light flaky crust and fresh apple slices.

            HTH

            P.S. For the true chowhounds, I recommend also 'seledka pod shuboi' literally 'kipper in a furcoat' (pickled kipper under a mound of pickled grated beets), and 'zalivnoe' (boiled fish chunks with an inch-thick layer of cold gelatine over it).

            1. welle RE: MaspethMaven Feb 8, 2007 06:57 AM

              Smoked salmon like fish could've been semga - fresh-water salmon from Northeastern Russia. Expensive, but worth every penny!
              For sausages, ask for 'Moscow' (dark red with fat pieces) and doctorskaya (?) for a subtle pinkish style.

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