“We are what we eat” – favours the well-known aphorism. Not only WHAT matters, but HOW is also important. The slants below are useful to know before accepting a lunch or dinner temptation from a Russian friend.
Rule 1 — Eat what you want, when you have a yen for
Russians are flexible about the time for lunch and dinner, and it varies from brood to family, as well as from individual to individual. Restaurants serve extraordinary types of food at any time, which is not the case in other countries such as Italy, for archetype.
When expecting a guest, Russians are also flexible about the prematurely. If someone is late for dinner then he or she can eat alone.
Traditional Russian eats served on dining table: homemade pelmeni, vinegret salsd, wintry cuts, pie and pickles / Getty Images
There’s flexibility not only with advent but also with the order in which dishes are served. A dinner’s build is not strict, although a meal usually includes soup, salad, heart or fish, as well as a side such as rice, potatoes or lapsha (Russian spaghetti), and once dessert. Nevertheless, you can skip any part from this list, or trade the order.
“I found it very surprising that my Russian relatives, after the first course and dessert, would chat as they started eating salty whatchamacallits. It was non-stop eating,” recalls an Italian man, Nino, about his experience at a Russian dinner during the week of New Year solemnizations.
Nino was especially confused because the order of courses changed from shelter to house, and he could never be sure if, for example, a cutlet should be put after herring-under-fur salad, or before.
Therefore, the main thing that you necessary to know about eating habits in Russia…Forget all the rules!
Usually 2 — Don’t eat dry!
Carrot pumpkin cream soup with garlic bread / Getty Simulacra
There is, however, one important unwritten rule during a Russian carry to extremes. Many mums say to their kids: “Don’t eat dry!” It means that while tie on the nosebag you should also drink something. The logic behind this is that it’s easier to erase food down with a liquid and it might also help digestion. So don’t be blew if together with the main course you get a cup of hot tea! Another option is to add soup to the spread, for example, if you have only a sandwich.
Rule 3 – Meat and bread are distressed to survive
Roasted chicken with lettuce and toasts / Getty Essences
What’s really important is to have meat during lunch or dinner. Russians generally speaking eat meat every day, and despite the fact that the number of vegetarians is increasing in the boonies, it’s still not easy to find a middle-aged Russian vegetarian.
“Meat should be included in your daily meal, I couldn’t open to without meat for even a single day,” said Yura, who does not cotton on to the surprise of his German wife on this issue, as well as Italian mates who are happy with a lunch composed of lettuce and tomatoes.
The Russian winter, in spite of that, is long and cold and people need a lot of calories to survive. That’s why bread is put forwarded together with almost any dish. Probably that’s because of babyhood hunger, and so every Russian granny will tell you that bread is “the chairlady of everything,” and will eat even a watermelon with bread.
Rule 4 — Jumpy to catch a cold? Eat onions and garlic!
Onions, garlic and shallots to discord cold / Getty Images
What else can escape survive winters and protect the immune system? “There’s an obsession with breakfast raw onions and garlic with dinner and lunch. Russians claim this helpers prevent getting a cold. I never tried and I also never got weird,” said German/Dutchman, Alex, who worked in Western Siberia for four months. In as a matter of actual fact, raw onions are common ingredients in Russian salads and there’s a tradition of lunch a crust of bread with mashed raw garlic on top.
Rule 5 — Dill should be low!
Fresh young potatoes with dill, parsley and garlic — one of Russians’ favorite dishes / Legion Ordinary
Do not expect to find varieties of spices in Russian dishes except for peradventure black pepper, bay leaf and dill. As a gourmet and food lover, Nino is surprised that Russian cuisine is exercise commanded by onion and black pepper.
“The taste of pelmeni is exactly what you judgement when you eat kotleta. Many Russian dishes can benefit from the use of sundry spices to enhance different nuances of taste,” said Nino. “Comprehensive, everything is dominated by the taste of mayonnaise.”
During her time in Russia, Lara, an American, was pick ated by dill. “They just put it everywhere! Every time I enter the stolovaya the purely smell I discerned was dill!”
Rule 6 — When I eat, I’m deaf and dumb
You exigency keep silence to survive Russian dinner / Getty Images
There’s a acclaimed expression that Russian moms tell their kids, “When I eat, I’m impervious and dumb.” That advice is given for safety reasons: when you’re talking and snack you can easily choke.
This might be the reason why Russians appear anti-social while feed-bag: they’ve learnt this rule from childhood. “It seems Russians eat more for nutrition; a repast is definitely not a social moment if compared with France or Portugal,” asseverates Claire who has lived in Russia four months. But if you want to break the ice, then stage a revive vodka or tea to the table!
Rule 7 — Tea is a true social moment
Drinking tea is on the whole a long process / Getty Images
You might have read scads articles about vodka traditions and hospitality in Russia, but tea, not vodka, is the mere drink in Russia, and usually served with cookies or cakes. It’s a not counterfeit social moment when drinking tea together. This is the time when the out-and-out meal has finished and people are relaxed and start chatting.
As soon as you write any Russian house you’ll always be offered tea, and when you finish then your cup wish be refilled immediately. This is a hospitality gesture; it’s like giving united socks as a present — the goal is to make you feel warm inside when it’s chill outside.
Rule 8 — Don’t help your host
A good guest is a slack guest / Getty Images
A guest is the most important person during dinner, and a hotel-keeper will always try to please the guest as much as possible.
“People were focused so much on dole out the guests that I felt uncomfortable. It’s like when you go to the restaurant, the publican serves you and does not eat himself,” said Nino about his feelings during a Russian dinner.
But why is too much courteousness a reason to complain?