||This article needs additional citations for verification. (December 2009)|
Soviet cuisine, the common cuisine of the Soviet Union, was formed by the integration of the various national cuisines of the Soviet Union, in the course of the formation of the Soviet people. It is characterized by a limited number of ingredients and simplified cooking. This type of cuisine was prevalent in canteens everywhere in the Soviet Union. It became an integral part of household cuisine and was used in parallel with national dishes, particularly in large cities. Generally, Soviet cuisine was shaped by Soviet eating habits and a very limited availability of ingredients in most parts of USSR. Most dishes were simplifications of French cuisine, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian cuisines. Caucasian cuisines, particularly Georgian cuisine, contributed as well.
In the West, Soviet cuisine is frequently mistaken for Russian cuisine, though national Russian cuisine is quite different.
An everyday Soviet full course meal (lunch or dinner) consisted of three or four courses, typically referred to as "the first", "the second", "the third", and "the fourth". An optional salad was not "numbered". Of course, in a restaurant one could order anything one liked, in any order, but in a typical canteen, especially in a worker's or student's canteen, one would normally have received what was called a "combined lunch" ("kompleksny obed"). "The first" was a soup or broth, i.e., "liquid" food. "The second" was some kind of "solid" food: meat, fish, or poultry with a side dish, called "garnish" (Russian: гарнир). Garnishes typically included potatoes in a variety of forms, buckwheat kasha, macaroni, etc. Bliny, baked dishes (Russian: запеканка zapekanka), or eggs could also be served as "the second". "The third" was something to drink: tea, coffee, kompot, milk, kefir, etc. "The fourth" was a dessert.
Green vegetables and salads were rare, seasonal, and with some exceptions uncommon at the table. Due to this, Soviets generally lacked nutrition and were vitamin deficient. Spices were rarely used and food had a generally mild taste. There were no differences between breakfast, lunch and dinner meals. Lunch was always consumed with a soup as a first course. A lot of households used to eat fish instead of meat on Thursdays. The common approach, which still holds today in Russia is: "Eat a lot, few times a day. Eat nothing between meals".[this quote needs a citation] A typical lunch meal could consist of chicken broth based soup or borscht for a first course and fried meatballs or goulash served with boiled potatoes or buckwheat porridge as a main course. Butter or sour cream was used instead of sauce.
Holiday meals were typically derived from old French and Russian cuisines with extensive use of heavy sauces, marinated meats and melted cheese. Mixing ingredients and extensive cooking was common, just as at classic French cuisine. Generally, people put a lot of effort in order to prepare such meals. Often, richness of a holiday table was an issue of honor for the family.
- Chicken Kiev (Russian) - a filled chicken cutlet
- Cutlet and Sausage - (International)
- Pelmeni - (Russian)
- Plov (Uzbek) - rice dish
- Shashlik - (Caucasus)
- Vareniki - (Ukrainian)
- Coffee with milk (black coffee was an extra)
- Kefir (Turkic)
- Kissel (drinkable starch-based fruit jelly)
- Kompot (Slavic)
Salads and extras
- Olivie or Russky salad - a mayonnaise-based potato salad distinguished by its diced texture and the contrasting flavors of pickles, capers, olives, hard-boiled egg and peas. Similar to the Russian salad.
- Vinegret (from French vinaigrette) - red beet root salad with onions, pickles, boiled potatoes, carrots, sunflower oil and vinegar.
- Vitaminniy (Vitamin salad) - a cabbage-based salad with seasonal vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, carrot, etc.
- Korean carrot - a spicy salad of koryo-saram (unknown in South Korea)
Read in another language
This page is available in 1 language