Old Russian Cuisine, History of Russian Cuisine

The basis dishes on tables of ancient Russians were bread, farinaceous products and grain-based meals. Women baked pancakes and rye pies, boiled flour-based fool. Not a single family celebration could do without delicious pastry foodstuffs. They baked kurnik for the wedding, pancakes and pies for Maslenitsa (Shrovetide). Pies were stuffed with fish, meat, poultry, mushrooms, berries, cheese, vegetables, fruits, and even kasha. Dear guests were greeted with round caravai (loaf of bread) and salt. Caravan was set in the center of the table at every feast.

Kashas were also a must. They were cooked from buckwheat, fine-ground barley, pearl barley, wheat, oats, oat flour ... Kashas in Russia were worshipped as a symbol of household welfare. Even the wedding feast used to be called Kasha.

Vegetables: cabbage, turnip, radish, peas, cucumbers –were eaten raw or salted, steamed, boiled or baked separately from one another.

Milk and meat until the 17th century were not popular. Meat boiled in shchi (cabbage soup) or for kasha and had not been roasted until the 16th century. Milk was consumed raw, baked or sour; sour milk was used for making curd cheese and sour cream, although production of cream and butter had remained practically unknown until the 16th century.

Honey and berries in ancient Russian cuisine were not only sweets by themselves, but also the basis for syrups and preserves, and being mixed with flour and butter, with flour and eggs, honey and berries became the basis of Russian national dessert - pryanik (gingerbread).

In the medieval period most Russian beverages turned national: mead, khmel, kvass, cider. Beer appeared in 1284. In 1440-1470s Russia discovered vodka. It was made from rye grain.

In the beginning of the 16th – 17th centuries Russian cuisine was introduced to “Oriental” dishes such as noodles and pelmeni (dumplings) borrowed from Asian cuisines that later became traditionally Russian.