Peter and Catherine epoch, History of Russian cuisine

Russian Food in the Time of Peter the Great (18th Century)

Starting from the era of Peter the Great, in the 18th century, Russian cuisine started to borrow Western European customs and manners. The rich and upper class were able to visit Europe, and hire chefs to come back to Russia with them. This is when dishes made from meat (such as patties, casseroles, pastes, and roulades) become more and more common, alongside soups (cream and vegetable) and other dishes from Swiss, German and French tables.

Even though these chefs from abroad made their own traditional dishes, rather than traditional Russian dishes, many of the foods that they prepared became staples in Russia. Open sandwiches, butter, and French and Dutch cheeses all came from the West to Russia during this period.

The word “soup” also arrived in Russia during this period, since before soups were simply called pokhlebki, and were made from noodles, grains and vegetables, and served with bread and a wooden spoon.