Old Moscow cuisine, History of Russian cuisine

Old Moscow Cuisine - The Prime of Traditional Russian Foods in the 17th Century

Starting in the 17th century, typical diets in Russia began to differ according to class. Before this, poor families differed from rich families only in the number of dishes available, but now, richer families began adding new dishes and ingredients from abroad. Roasted meat, poultry and game became the centerpieces of tables, and corned beef and cured ham became popular dishes. The main types of Russian soups became popular during this time, too, including solyanka and rassolniki (which definitely had pickles, lemons, and olives in them).

The 17th century was also the time when delicacies, such as black caviar, salted fish, and fish aspic, started occupying an important place at the table.

Russian cuisine also started diversifying at this time. The Kazan and Astrakhan Khanates came under the control of Moscow in this period, as did Bashkiria and Siberia. This brought new foods, such as raisins, grapes, apricots, figs, melons, watermelon, lemons, and tea. Russians started eating new types of gingerbread, sweet pies, candied fruits, and fruit jams. However, while the diets of the wealthier grew more and more varied, the dishes available for peasants became simpler.