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What are traditional Russian meals for New Year and Christmas?

Category: Russia, St. Petersburg

Russia has a long history connected with New Year traditions. Now as many years ago sitting near Christmas table and celebrating holidays with family and friends is very common among Russians. So, we’ve prepared a list of dishes that can be seen on every table in New Year and Christmas night! Let’s see what are they!

1.    Olivye salad

This salad has a French name, because the inventor of the recipe is a French cook Lucien Olivier. For many years in 19th century he was working in his restaurant “Hermitage” in Moscow. With no doubts, Olivye can be called favorite dish of all Russians from children to adults. The cooking process is really easy: all you need is boiled meat or sausage, eggs, green peas, boiled potato, pickled cucumbers and mayo or sour cream. Just grind everything with a knife, add mayo, mix again! Voila!

2.    Vinegret salad

One more salad with a French name and so much loved by Russians! Historians can only suggest what’s the origin of this meal and what caused its name. Many say that it comes from French “vinaigre” which means “vinegar”, because it was used as a salad dressing. Main ingredients are simple again: potato, bean, beet, pickled cucumbers, onion and sauerkraut. Easy to cook but very tasty and very popular as a result!

3.    Kholodets

We’re sure that you’ve about this dish at least once in your life! Actually, it’s a kind of meat jelly with some vegetables, for example, carrot. Sounds strange, isn’t it? Anyway, it’s tasty and loved by all the Russians! The cooking process is much more complex here: need to boil the meat, add vegetables, put to plates and leave it in a fridge overnight or longer. While eating it’s better to add some mustard.

4.    Baked turkey

Kholodets and vinegret salad are not that much popular among children, what can’t be said about baked turkey! It may remind you of Christmas turkey in other countries, and actually, these dishes are very similar! There’s nothing special in this case – just add thyme, butter or olive oil, and possibly you can add potato. Bake for a while and enjoy the Christmas smell and taste!

5.    Napoleon cake

And the last one is a desert – well-known in Russia and incredibly tasty! You may notice that is has a little “French” name too. That’s right, but in fact, the origin of the name can’t be determined exactly again. According to one of all the theories, initially, the desert was called “Napolitano” but later the name was distorted, so, it became “Napoleon”. Different types of desert exist in most of the countries, especially in Europe. The most well-known Napoleon’s variety is a millefeuille – a layered cake with custard and fruits. Russians really like this pastry and don’t miss a chance to enjoy it!

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