Beyond Beetroots and Tradition

Natalya Gribulya on the Russian gastronomic preferences and habits

By Federal Agency for Tourism

Natalia Gribulya (21st Century) by Natalia GribulyaFederal Agency for Tourism

Natalia talked about local and global trends and products that Russians choose to make meals with in 2020.  

Natalya Gribulya publishes the Kak Yest media from the Kukhnya Na Rayone fast delivery service, one of Moscow's favourites.

Herring under a fur coat by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Trend 1: New Russian Cuisine

Both local and global trends influence what we cook, how and with what. The new Russian cuisine is a local story. Traditional homemade recipes have been on the rise over the past 3 to 4 years, inspiring a rethink of certain well-known dishes. Tools or skills may be different at a professional kitchen as compared with a family kitchen, but certain questions are the same. 

The new Russian cuisine trends have the country's foremost chefs among their followers: Vladimir Mukhin, Ivan and Sergei Berezutsky, Andrei Makhov, Georgy Troyan, Anton Kovalkov, Alexander Volkov-Medvedev and others. 

Crayfish soup (21st Century) by photo by Aleksander AverinFederal Agency for Tourism

How can I cook something I know from childhood while changing the texture or intensifying the taste? Shall I swap wheat flour for almond, buckwheat or amaranth in the pancakes? 

There is now greater leeway and boldness with cooking up to the point where a person simply throws the cookbook out thinking that it’s best to follow the principle behind the recipe rather than the exact step-by-step guide.  

Honey (21st Century) by tm agencyFederal Agency for Tourism

Say, I follow the salad dressing formula: oil+sour+sweet+spicy+salty. Today I'm going to pick olive oil combined with wine vinegar, soy sauce and honey.

Lemon taste (21st Century) by photo by Aleksander AverinFederal Agency for Tourism

Tomorrow I'll go for grape seed oil before throwing in the sour lemon juice, the sweet maple syrup and the anchovy that give just the right tint of salt that I need.  

Bruschetta (21st Century) by photo by Yuliya Romashikhina, @yuliya_foodphotoFederal Agency for Tourism

Trend 2: Simple And Quick to Make

Quality will be trending for a long time. Russians have acquired a taste for quality products in the past 20 years that they have spent travelling, tasting and drawing comparisons.

Often, all it needs is just a pinch of good salt and a quick roasting or frying.

Pasta (21st Century) by photo by Aleksander AverinFederal Agency for Tourism

This leads to the second trend: everyone wants a meal that is quick to make, simple and understandable.  

Examples include mashed potatoes with beef cheeks or chicken, a warm turnip salad, baked pumpkin, beetroot with goat cheese or pike caviar with sour cream served on Borodinksy bread or garnished with potatoes. No ‘arcane technology’, complex sauces, sous vide or long cooking.  

Dumplings (21st Century) by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Home-style meals are getting popular. The lockdown has offered a fresh perspective on culinary experimentation and cuisine on the whole. 

Everyone is now passionate about homemade bread, pastries, and one pot dishes.

Poke with vegetables (21st Century) by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Trend 3: Interest in Ethnic Cuisines

Over the past two decades, the geography of gastronomic travel in Russia has expanded, and gastronomic festivals have become popular. Asia, the Middle East and Africa have been trending in recent years.

Home food varieties have expanded to include such exotics as tahini, ponzu sauce, za’atar and chili paste. Russians have been enjoying pho bos, kimchi, tom yums, couscous and falafel at home as well as at restaurants.

Healthy food (21st Century) by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Trend 4: Healthy Food

Global trends are a major influence on what we cook at home, and how.

Fermented food platter (21st Century) by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

As the world moves towards conscious consumption, healthy eating and vegetarianism, Russia follows with a growing interest in alternative vegetable protein, while more Russians are enjoying a home meal of cutlets made of beans, vegetables or quinoa or other similar cereals.

Food to go (21st Century) by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Trend 5: Fast Delivery

Another global trend is an explosion of foodtech services driving changes in consumption behaviour with a demand for speed and cost efficiency. 

In Russia’s biggest cities it is becoming the norm to expect food and groceries delivered at your doorstep within 15 to 30 minutes. The lockdown has spurred a vast market penetration by foodtech services.

Credits: Story

Сhief Сonsultant — Ekaterina Drozdova, restaurateur, gastronomic entrepreneur, food and social activist, Contributors — Natalya Gribulya, Proximity Russia, Denis Yershov, Alexander Averin

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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