Russian/Ukr. food in Edmonton
I travelled to Ukraine for 3 weeks this past summer, and since returning to Edmonton, I am craving Ukrainian/russian food. (The people I stayed with were Russians living in Ukraine). Does anyone know the name of the russian food store on the west end? I stopped at K&K imports on Whyte Ave out of curiousity, and the lady there told me that there was a Russian food store on the West End somewhere, but she could not remember the name of it. I have scoured the internet and cannot find it either. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
Btw, I noticed the post about Kvac (spelled "KBAC" in Ukrainian), and I tried Kvac when I was in Ukraine, and it is good! It is sort of like root beer, but a little stronger.
I work with a woman from Russia who is taking me there tomorrow. I will send you the address once I go there.
If you are looking for good Russian food it is hard to find. And most of the Ukrainian food is actually more accurately called Ukrainian settler food - perogies and bad cabbage rolls. My mother's family is Russian and she says that the food most of us here think of Ukrainian or Russian is the low-cost, family style food and not what would be served in good Russian restaurants these days.
I think the store is "European Produce", or something like that. The location is somewhere off of 69 Avenue and 177 Street in a strip mall, just east of Callingwood shopping centre.
There's also the Mundare Sausage House on 118 Ave and 48 Street. They have a little restaurant, and a deli counter where you can buy their kielbasa and other meats. They have a small amount of other grocery items, and a big freezer full of pierogies, cabbage rolls, borsht, perishke, etc. We were there over Thanksgiving and I love the convenience of their frozen foods - very good borsht and very good pierogi.
I love Mundare Sausage house but they do what I called Ukrainian settler food not good Russian food. This is particularly obvious in the borsht which is pretty much a straight cabbage soup without the complex broth I think of as Russian borsht.
Actually the best thing from Mundare Sausage House is the smoked back ribs.
pengcast, you are wrong about pyrohy (in Eastern Ukraine, called "varenyky"), cabbage rolls and borscht being "settler food". You will find these foods in restaurants in Kyiv, particularly varynyky. The fillings are much more varied in Ukraine than we normally find here - more meat (also served in Russia), more fruits, particularly cherries, which are abundant in Ukraine, and more varieties of cheeses, which we don't really have here.
Borscht made with beets is a very typical Ukrainian dish, as most beets are grown in Ukraine. Most true Ukrainian borschts do not have a significant amount of cabbage in them. Cabbage soups were much more common in Russia than in Ukraine, and blini were a staple in Russian restaurants, though this is hardly a sophisticated taste.
There are dishes which were served in restaurants in both Ukraine and Russia, such as Salad Olivier, different types of shish kebobs, and chicken and fish dishes. Mushrooms are big in both cultures, and Russians have a very unique and tasty mushroom soup.
Personally, I prefer Marcheshyn's sausage to that of Mundare, but this is a personal preference.
And yes, the food store is in Callingwood, although the Italian Centre carries some Russian foods, as well as East European (particularly Polish) products.