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10 Strangest Foods Every Russian Grew Up With


Different people eat different things. Some like meat, others prefer veggies, and some are fine with eating raw roots and mushrooms. It’s all fine, but when it comes to national cuisine, pretty much every nation in the world has some weird dishes or ingredients that can make other people barf. Seeing as Russia is the biggest country in the world (for now) it’s prone to have quite a few bizarre recipes. And these 10 are just the ones I’ve tried personally.
Without further ado, grab your matryoshkas and balalaikas and let’s dig in! Bon appetit!



Pickled pretty much everything
Mushrooms, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, cabbage – anything that can fit in a jar can and will be pickled. And most of these pickled goodies get significantly tastier with a side of mashed potatoes and a glass of moonshine.

I’m personally not a big fan of this “jello”, even though it’s like 80% pure tastylicious meat – it’s on every New Years/Christmas/birthday table ever! I prefer eating it as a soup, but people look at me like I’ve just killed and skinned a kitten right in front of them.

Although it’s considered to be a Ukrainian national treat, Russians love eating salo as well. It’s raw pig fat with different spices or just covered in salt for longer safekeeping.

This is basically your equivalent of root beer but weirder? Sorry, never tried root beer. It has bubbles and the tiniest hint of alcohol in it, so you shouldn’t be driving after drinking this rye-honey-berry concoction.

Russians love their soups and this is the pinnacle of liquid food. Seriously, Solyanka has at least 3 different meat types, pickled cucumbers, lemon, olives, sour cream and whatever you feel like adding. Sounds weird, but this is like the Greek ambrosia, trust me!

Speaking of weird soups, how about a viscous fruity one? Yeah, you heard me right, a fruit soup is a thing! It’s usually served as a dessert and goes amazingly with deep fried bagels or donuts.

When the Russians are sick of soups they experiment with salads. Vinaigrette usually has cooked beets, potatoes, peas, beans, pickled cucumbers, and sauerkraut seasoned with vegetable oil – basically, all of the most popular ingredients of the Russian cuisine.

Herring Under Fur Coat (or just Fur Coat)
Sometimes their salad experiments can lead to confusing but delicious accidents. I mean, who in their right mind would put layers of salted herring, cooked vegetables, and a coat of grated beets and cover this monstrosity with mayo? It sounds really disgusting but just like the Twilight movies – it also has its fans.

Olivier aka “Russian Salad”
Eggs, potatoes, bologna, onions, and anything else you have lying around in the fridge – cook it, chop it into cubes, and and give it a nice mayo layer. BOOM! You’re now an honorary Russian!

And last but not least, and certainly not a dessert, we have cold kefir or kvas (yes the one from before) with fresh cucumbers and other random veggies, bologna, and dill. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? No, no it doesn’t, but when done right, this cold soup is everything you’ll ever need on a hot summer day.