Monday, June 13, 2005

Russian Cuisine

Hi, my name is Michelle and I will share with you here authentic recipes of the millennium-old Russian cuisine. When I started to look into the matter, I found that for some reason, Russian cuisine is not really represented in the United States. One of the reasons that I could guess, is that Russians coming to the United States are usually well educated and make a very nice living as professionals. They simply have no reason to open cheap restaurants on every corner and popularize their national recipes. And that’s a pity, because when you look at those recipes, you find the meals that are much more healthy than a lot of things that we eat today. Any doubts? Let’s debunk a few myths about Russian Cuisine.

“Russian Cuisine is fatty” – wrong!

Granted, there is some use of oils in Russian cuisine. The central vegetable oil there is the flax seed oil. Just like ancient Egyptians, Russians produced a lot of flax, a source of a fabric that is healthier than cotton. As a result, they have a certain surplus of the flax seed oil that was used deliberately in their recipes. And, yes, that’s the oil you buy in GNC stores to keep yourself slim and healthy.

And if you are scared by the price, use olive oil instead. It will work all right, and I never met a dietician who would claim that olive oil is bad for you.

“Russian Cuisine is high-carb” – wrong!

First, if you are fan of Dr. Atkins, rejoice! As in any Northern cuisine, proteins have a prominent place in Russian recipes. And that’s not just meat. Russia is the land of forests and rivers, and fish have an important place on a Russian table. And what about mushrooms? If you did not know, they consist mostly of vegetable proteins.

And when you have carbs in a Russian meal, they are usually whole grain cereals. The kind that is ok with the Glycemic Index, South Beach and many other modern diets. But what’s especially nice is that they are still tasty.

“Russian Cuisine is expensive” – wrong!

Granted, Russian meals are more expensive than your local supermarket artificially flavored noodles for 20 cents a person. But thinking of a Russian meal based on the prices in an expensive New York restaurant is not exactly the right idea. “Caviar and Vodka” is just a popular image of a Russian meal; the real Russian cuisine is much richer and diverse. And speaking of caviar, most of the big cities in the United States have at least several Russian or European Deli stores where you can buy a can of red caviar for less than $7. And notice, that’s “deli”, most of the other ingredients are much cheaper.

Anyway, enjoy the recipes and thank you for coming!

Michelle

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