Dining In 1 minute 22 June 2018

5 Russian Dishes to Eat As Though You Are at the World Cup

From borscht to blinis, transport yourself to the heart of Russia with these five essential dishes.

World Cup 2018 culture Russia

Get to know Russia—host of the 2018 FIFA World Cup—through its cuisine. Here are some of the quintessential dishes that all World Cup fans and beyond should know.

Borscht

This simple sour beet soup is usually made with beef broth, served hot and garnished with sour cream. The classic borscht, made burgundy red by beetroot, uses lots of vegetables and a touch of bacon for extra flavor. The ingredients in borscht can be customized to be completely vegetarian or served with tender braised beef pieces in the soup. Try serving it chilled—perfect for those hot summer nights.

Pelmeni

If you’re a fan of xiaolongbao (Chinese steamed buns), then you’ll be a fan of pelmeni, Russian dumplings that are a must for New Year celebrations. Typically, the filling in these dumplings consists of three kinds of meat: beef, pork and lamb. These fillings are wrapped in thin and unleavened dough before being boiled. Making pelmeni is a favorite family pastime during the long winter months, as they are common and convenient to make, all while being easy on the wallet.

Blini

Also known as Russian crêpes or pancakes, blinis are thin and flat cakes—and usually the diameter of a saucer—that are prepared from batter and cooked on a hot frying pan.

Although they take a long time to prepare, blinis are best made in large batches as they freeze well and can be kept for months, easily whipped up for visiting guests. You'll typically see them served with a dollop of sour cream and caviar, creating an authentic culinary experience.

Mushroom Julienne

This creamy mushroom dish is often served as a hot appetizer and consists of a mixture of thinly-sliced mushrooms and sour cream that's topped with grated cheese and baked in a cocotte dish.

While the mushroom julienne may seem like a basic dish, its ingredients can be replaced by chicken or seafood, providing variety. In Russia, where mushroom picking is a common family activity, this dish showcases the uniqueness of its culture.

Dressed Herring

In Russian, the name of this dish literally translates to “Herring under a fur coat,” and is a very popular traditional Russian festive dish that is a must during holidays. Dressed herring is a layered salad made of thinly-sliced pickled herring with grated boiled potatoes, onions, beet roots, carrots and eggs. Every layer of the salad contains a smattering of mayonnaise, with the final layer typically being grated boiled beet giving the salad a distinct purple color.

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