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Question about Russian cuisine.

rochfood Jan 7, 2013 07:54 AM

Recently the US Junior hockey team won an International tournament in Russia. (They beat Sweden..you may have read about it.) One of the players was from my local area and in an interview said he looked forward to coming home .because he was sick of eating noodles. It sounds like he/them ate noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I only have a cursory understanding of Russian food...noodles don't enter my mind.
So. never figured noodles to be a staple of Russian food. Even if this is just young American men afraid/ wary of local food..why noodles ? What type ? ramen ? They didn't say McDonalds ..they said noodles.
Any insight ?

  1. Perilagu Khan Jan 7, 2013 08:10 AM

    The noodle prevalence strikes me as a bit odd, too. I suspect egg noodles are fairly common (viz Stroganoff), but that's about it. Just out of curiosity, where exactly in Russia did the hockey team stay?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Perilagu Khan
      hazelhurst Jan 7, 2013 08:22 AM

      I had the same thought as to wondering where they were. In my times in Russia I have never seen noodles at all that I recollect. Stoganoff was always with shoestring potatoes (although I grew up with it over wild rice). It might be that whoever hosted these kids was saving money with cheap vittles. I would not be surprised if the boys had Salat Olivier at every meal or barrels of pickles, sauerkraut etc. "Schi and kasha: these are our foods" as the Russians say,

      1. re: hazelhurst
        Perilagu Khan Jan 7, 2013 09:23 AM

        Shchi da kasha, nasha pisha! ;)

        1. re: Perilagu Khan
          hazelhurst Jan 7, 2013 09:24 AM

          Yeah you rite, cap!

          1. re: Perilagu Khan
            Marusik Jan 7, 2013 09:48 AM

            Shchi da kasha, pisha nasha! It has to rhyme:)

          2. re: hazelhurst
            Marusik Jan 7, 2013 09:57 AM

            I have never seen Stroganoff served with showstring potatoes, as far as cooking at home goes.

            1. re: Marusik
              hazelhurst Jan 7, 2013 11:02 AM

              Really? That's all I saw, even in Kiev.

        2. f
          ferret Jan 7, 2013 08:12 AM

          Saying "Russian cuisine" is like saying "European cuisine." It's an enormous country with many regional influences. Hard to generalize.

          1. r
            rochfood Jan 7, 2013 08:22 AM

            OK..then..the tournament looks like it was held ithe city of Ufa..in the Republic of Bashkortostan..Any better ? I can't get more specific than that and I'm not going to rename my post.

            5 Replies
            1. re: rochfood
              hazelhurst Jan 7, 2013 08:55 AM

              I've never been out there so cannot say what teh Local rules are..the Republics I do know..Georgia, Khazakstan and a few others...have their own local gems. Bishbarmat (guess at your own spelling) is a supposedly Tatar dish from Khazakstan, ofr example. It means "five fingers" and is a stewed meat and onion affair. Again, I cannot say that I recall noodles anywhere in Russia/Ukraine but one would think that the closer one gets to Asia noodles would appear.

              Russian hospitality being what it is, though, I am surprised the boys did not get salads, shashlyk, innumerable soups, pickled garlic, schi, fish of every description, mushrooms (especially zhulliene and pickled versions), satsivi and on and on. You should look up the food (see "Please to the Table" for a good start). It is wonderful stuff.

              1. re: hazelhurst
                cresyd Jan 7, 2013 10:00 AM

                Making very broad assumptions (and being very open to being wrong) - I would guess that the US Junior National team stayed in a hotel as opposed to private homes. And possibly the noodles were either the only "not intimidating" item, or most appealing to their tastes, or the hotel's attempt at providing "American" food?

                The quote sounds to me similar to my brother returning from university and complaining about how he was sick of eating spaghetti. It wasn't that the dorm food was all spaghetti - that's just all he was choosing to eat.

                1. re: cresyd
                  julesrules Jan 7, 2013 10:06 AM

                  That's what I was thinking too - a buffet scenario and kids grabbing the most familiar item, over and over again.

                2. re: hazelhurst
                  Wawsanham Jan 7, 2013 11:37 AM

                  Noodles are common in Europe: Italian cuisine to name one.
                  Besides, maybe these kids were eating a lot of crappy hotel food--noodles were simple and cheap, and liked by many (spaghetti, for example).

                  1. re: Wawsanham
                    hazelhurst Jan 7, 2013 11:57 AM

                    That was basically my thought. Of course, hockey players would burn those carbs pretty fast.

              2. Marusik Jan 7, 2013 09:55 AM

                Noodles are fairly common food staple in Russia, as they are pretty cheap (especially the ones NOT from durum wheat - they tend to turn into mush).
                The most popular cheap dishes are - pasta with butter and cheese (and ketchup:); pasta with canned meat (so called makarony po-flotski, pasta navy style); pasta with butter and sugar. Also, there is filled pasta - pel'meni, vareniki; sorta gnocci - lazy vareniki.

                Ah, almost forgot - zapekanki! They are like fritattas, but with noodles instead of potatoes. Could be savory (pasta+eggs) or sweet (pasta+eggs+farmers cheese+sugar).

                It is possible that noodles were served as a side dish for lunch and dinner to the team as noodles are very popular side dish to go with meat-based entrees.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Marusik
                  Perilagu Khan Jan 7, 2013 01:40 PM

                  Does Russia manufacture much pasta these days, or is it mainly imported?

                  PS--I don't think those kids would have compained if they were getting a heavy rotation of pelmeni and vareniki.

                  1. re: Perilagu Khan
                    Marusik Jan 10, 2013 04:31 PM

                    I do not live there, but when I do go back to visit, I see a lot of Russian brands of pasta at stores (I'd take a wild guess that expensive, durum wheat brands are manufactured using some corporation's technology or in part owned by one).

                    Haha, true, but pelmeni and vareniki need to be made correctly (not like some cheap stuff which has 90% of dough and 10% of filling. Or with some "no-name" meat inside).

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