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We tuck into everything from jellied meat to fruit soup for an authentic taste of Mother Russia.

If you had to come up with a list of well-known Russian dishes, you might struggle to get beyond the holy trinity of caviar, borscht and vodka before throwing your napkin on the table. But the largest country in the world stretches 5,000 miles from end to end and packs in all sorts of culinary curiosities along the way.

1. Selyodka Pod Shuboy

#selyodkapodshuboy #pickledherring

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‘Herring under a Fur Coat’ is a don’t-miss party buffet basic served up across Russia. There’s no actual fur involved (hopefully), but instead it’s a garish salad layered with pickled herring, eggs, potatoes, beetroot, carrots and dressing in a multi-coloured, multi-storey food mountain.

2. Kholodets


Kholodets is a hard sell – it’s basically jellied meat and gets its name from the word ‘kholod’, which translates as cold in Russian. It’s perfect for filling up on freezing winter days (of which there are many) and goes well with a shot or two of vodka – aspic and alcohol will keep out any chill.

3. Solyanka

S for Solyanka #foodpic #foodporn #foodstagram #food #solyanka #солянка

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This turgid soup is as thick as they come and a bowl could keep you going for days. There are three versions – meat, fish or mushroom – but all contain pickled cucumbers, brine, cabbage, mushrooms, onions, lemon and dill. Solyanka derives from the word for ‘salt’ and one spoonful will tell you why.

4. Doktorskya kolbasa


The sausage is sacrosanct in Russian culinary tradition, and this beef-and-pork mash-up has been propping up open sandwiches across the country for centuries. The name means ‘Doctor Sausage’, which is stretching the truth a little considering the calorie count.

5. Kissel


You don’t often see soup served for dessert, but then this is no ordinary soup. The Slavic word means ‘sour’ and the description is spot on. This is a bowl full of tart goodness – sour fruits such as cranberries, cherries or redcurrants mixed with water and a little potato starch to thicken.

6. Okroshka


Another cold summer soup with a twist, okroshka is basically a Russian salad with a fizzy drink poured over the top. The drink is kvas, a rye-based concoction with a thousand-year history and legendary claims to its nutritional value. After a dip in popularity, it’s having a rebirth as a healthy homegrown brew.

7. Salo

Красиво жить не запретишь. Тэг #сало #salo #sho_tam_u_hohlov ??

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Drinking vodka is pretty much a national pastime in Russia – the country guzzled a billion litres of the stuff in 2014 – and this anti-diet delicacy of cured pork fat makes the perfect stomach liner, with a few onions and pickles on the side – all part of your five-a-day, of course.