What country has the world’s longest railway, the world’s largest McDonalds, and more women than men? If you guessed Russia, than you are correct! This month for Tastetrotting Across The Globe we are tasting our way through Russia.
When I was researching this country, it seemed like I already knew so much about this country so what is there left to tell or even share? But Russia is just one of those countries that continues to fascinate me, even though I already know so much about it.
As the world’s largest country, Russia encompasses nine time zones and contains dozens of ethnic groups. For about 70 years, it existed as the Soviet Union – considered by much of the world to be an “evil empire.” The Cold War tension between the Soviets and the United States very nearly led to a nuclear war on several occasions, until the dissolution of the USSR in 1991.
The Russian culture is one of the richest and most influential in the world. In Russia there are 160 ethnic groups that speak around 100 different languages. Russian literature reached it’s peak in the 19th century when authors such as Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Pushkin and Turgenev wrote some of the most influential books ever written. The music, ballet, painting and cinema were also hosts for great artists from Russia.
One of the things that fascinates me the most about Russia is their beautiful architecture. The beginning of the Russian architecture was with impressive wooden structures that were built in the old slavic era. Then after that came the strong Byzantine influence. The most impressive structures were in the Kremlin and churches with many stoney domes.
Since the summer olympics is right around the corner, lets talk about sports shall we? The Russians are great in many kinds of sports and they have won many medals and trophies. The two most popular are soccer and ice hockey. The Russians usually win in winter sports like Skiing and Ice Skating.
How do the Russians like to relax? By taking a dip in a Banya of course! A what? What in the world is a Banya? It’s a hot bath that looks a lot like a sauna. If your a visual person like me just take a look at the pic below for visual of what a Banya looks like.
The cold climate has much influence on Russian cuisine. Soups are very popular, especially the famous and traditional borscht.
A traditional Russian meal consists of fish, potatoes, vegetables and bread. The food is usually very heavy and nutritional and is served with a lot of alcohol. The Russians love their alcohol, specifically vodka. There is a Russian proverb which goes: “The church is near but the road is icy; the tavern is far but I will walk carefully.”
As tasty as that Borscht looks, that is not the dish I will be sharing. Hope your not too disappointed! The classic Russian dish I will be sharing is Chicken Stroganoff. Beef Stroganoff is the norm for classic stroganoff, but I wanted to transform this dish into something a little bit more healthy. This stroganoff can be served over mounds of mashed potatoes, rice, or Gluten Free Egg Noodles. I served mine over Gluten Free Tagliatelle since I could not find GF Egg Noodles.