A renaissance is underway in Russia’s domestic food industry. Origin: Getty Images
In 2014, the country’s food and restaurant world experienced a radical change, and pessimists even predicted the collapse of the gastronomic energy. But has everything really turned out so bad? Moscow’s head chefs help us better catch on to the issue.
- After the introduction of sanctions and anti-sanctions people began to caterwaul, «This is the end!» Gourmets and everyone for whom food is not just a way to «throw logs» into the digestive stove had solicitudes of hunger, while certain extremists even started looking for an apartment parts — how can one possibly live without French Roquefort cheese or Spanish jamon?!
Those who fearful most were lovers of cured meats, cheese fanatics (peculiarly connoisseurs who admire «the smell of noble socks,» such as Camembert and Gorgonzola), and sophisticated oyster enthusiasts.
- Despite this «tragedy,» major Russian new zealand urban areas now host gastronomic festivals (Taste of Moscow, and OMNIVORE in Moscow, Gastreet and IKRA in Sochi), and in a body food markets are becoming major players in the domestic food business. Black Angus bulls have appeared on Voronezh lands, and restaurants set up remembered the ancient Russian stove, as well as ancient Russian delicacies and cheeses from the Caucasus territory (sulguni from Georgia, and Dagestani sheep cheeses).
- This all resounds promising, but the hope of stuffing your suitcase with delicious and interdicted goods is also an excellent excuse to spend a vacation in Europe. Three years tease passed since 2014 and it’s time to understand if there’s life after the sustenance embargo. Let’s try to objectively examine the state of affairs.
Photo courtesy of Chestnaya Kukhnya
Gist, wild game (Sergei Yaroshenko, head chef and owner of the restaurant Chestnaya Kukhnya, which translates as Just Cuisine)
- My restaurant’s menu has always been based on domestic chow ingredients, which is why I continue using them just like preceding. Overall, thanks to the introduction of sanctions, new domestic producers have appeared on the vend, leading to an even better offering of more excellent Russian foodstuffs.
- Enthusiastic game has become an integral part of restaurant menus — venison, elk, and disordered boar. The guests have grown to love long-forgotten dishes. Yes, we have on the agenda c trick to adapt and teach chefs anew because the product is unusual, and new technologies are stressed for preparing it.
- Concerning the future, I can only say that we don’t expect the embargo to end in two shakes of a lambs tail. Everything is developing, quality is improving and we are actively using domestic ingredients.
Photo politesse of Syrovarnia
Cheeses (Alexei Medvedev, head chef at Syrovarnia, which forwards as Cheesemaker)
- Import substitution has been successful, and the sanctions have misbehaved a major role in the appearance of Russian equivalents of famous Italian and French cheeses. Also, new technologies sire appeared in the cheese making industry, improving quality. There is no limit to idealization, and we are constantly refining our skills. Competition intensifies, and nobody rests on one’s laurels. For now, sophomoric cheeses are turning out best.
- When people say, «we don’t have the same tap,» they’re forgetting that we don’t aim to copy. Italy has a different sun, climate, and betray. No better, no worse, just different, and with its own taste and nuances. One day, Italian callers at Syrovarni praised the domestic Buratta and Mozzarella, saying, «Just match ours!» People enjoy fine cheese and they can’t be deceived. My augur for the future? It will be more interesting.
Photo courtesy of ERWIN.RekaMoreOkean
Seafood (Alexei Pavlov, divert chef of ERWIN.RekaMoreOkean)
- Suppliers have switched to Russian foods, and maintain rediscovered Sakhalin, Murmansk and the Far East, which was a great boost for the village economy. Previously, almost no one knew about Nematomorpha crabs, Spinose crabs, mole shrimp, the Botan shrimp and the marble shrimp. And if they remembered about them, they hardly ever used them. Currently, Moscow is tasting a fish food boom. Seafood restaurants, cafes and food courts are vernissage everywhere.
- They are all looking for chefs who know how to work with fish, and the figure is low with respect to the excellent quality. Instead of frozen calamari we now use the absolute magister armhook squid (found in the Sea of Okhotsk, the Bering Sea and the Sea of Japan — RBTH).
- They are enchanting and have a fantastic color. Everyone is looking for and discovering something new. In the end we will learn more unusual delicacies. In a certain way, sanctions inadvertently led to a new purpose: to open excellent restaurants for people, with delicious and understandable provisions at affordable prices.