Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday Travels - From Russia with Food

Russia has always fascinated me.

I can't pinpoint exactly why either.

Is it to do with the sheer oppulance of the aristocracy pre-1917 or the advent of communism?

Or a result of watching too many consipracy theory shows centered on 'What really happend to the Romanovs?'

Or maybe it derives from my strong affection for vodka?

Reading George Orwell's Animal Farm as a fifteen year old and realising it was an analogy of the of the Russian Revolution just added to my Russian obssession. 9 years later I decided it was time to visit this great land. And sample the food on offer of course.

My first few food forays into Russia were interesting. The meals were mostly meat and 3 vegetables. I started to feel confused. Was I trapped back in 1950's Australia? I soon realised that being on the tourist circuit sadly brings with it 'tourist friendly' food. This was, afterall my first organised travel tour after 18 months of backpacking. It took me a while to get used to eating in resturants. And with cutlery.
Thankfully it got better. Russia gave me some of the best breakfasts ever. EVER. Thank you Russia for introducing me to the breakfast buffet of all time. Russia also re-introduced me to omelettes, which I am now obsessed with eating.

Meal 1 - Light salad for starter.

Meal 1 - Baked potato, snitzel and boiled veggies aka 1950's Australiana.

Meal 1 - Softserve ice-cream with strawberry sauce.

Meal 2 - Fish with vegetables. I dislike fish but I ate it because it was Russian fish.

Meal 2 - Sweet rolls filled with jam for dessert. Any culture that puts dessert out with their mains is my type of culture.

Meal 3 - Borshch. This is what I'd been waiting for. I love beetroots and after 18 months living in the UK I was craving beetroot anything like mad.

Snack 1 - A sweet tart/cake with icing and a jam filling. Super sugary and super edible.

Caviar. Not much to say other than I loved it. I preferred the black to the orange though.

Breakfast Buffet of All Time - I'm still kicking myself that I didn't photograph the savoury breakfast foods on offer. I was just so smitten by the fact that I could get dessert with breakfast. Not to mention the jumbo cup of coffee accompanied by a biscuit.

The other breakfast goods on offer ranged from an egg bar where they would fry, scramble, poach or make omelettes in front of you, to savoury meals such as pasta, stroganoff, roast meats with sauces (I am serious) and borshch. You could select bacon, pancakes, a variety of cereals, fruit salads galore and juices. It was just pure bliss for me. I could honestly think of no better way to start my day.

Meal 4 - Tea and sweet cake dusted with icing sugar. Not sure why I neglected to photograph the mail meal.....

The best thing about Russia? Finding Taralli biscuits on sale.

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