The Savour of Central Russia

Get to know the cuisine of Russia’s Golden Ring and reasons to visit this central region of the country

By Federal Agency for Tourism

Central Russia by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Introducing the region

The modern Russian central region occupies roughly the same areas as the 15th-century Grand Duchy of Muscovy, with the areas around the capital and a short way to the west, north or south considered the archetypical Russia.

In the early 16th century, the Tsardom of Russia expanded beyond its ethnic boundaries and had by the late 19th century grown into a vast land stretching from what is now Poland in the west to what is now the Russian Far East. 

Lady prepares buns for baking by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

This evolution shaped the diverse culture of Russia and its national cuisine.

The typically Russian dishes are to be found within 300 to 600 km around Moscow, an area dwarfed by the country's gigantic scale and confined by Smolensk in the west, Kostroma in the north and Belgorod in the south.

Resurrection Cathedral by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

5 reasons to visit Central Russia

Golden Ring 

For those seeking original Russian experience, a trip around the Golden Ring of eight Russian towns is a must. First designed in the 1960s, this well-known route explores what historians term “Northeastern Rus” or the historical domain of the Grand Duchy of Vladimir, which existed between the 12th and the 14th centuries and is considered the cradle of the modern Russian state.

Yaroslavl Kremlin by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

The Golden Ring officially comprises the variably traditional towns of Sergiev Posad, Pereslavl-Zalessky, Rostov, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Ivanovo, Suzdal and Vladimir, which have all contributed to the development of the Russian nation.

However, it is sometimes expanded by tour operators or local authorities to include the picturesque towns of the Upper Volga — Uglich, Myshkin and Ples. Wherever you choose to go, you are promised preserved historical landmarks, ethnic Russian crafts and even traditional dishes.

Bell museum by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

By Alfred EisenstaedtLIFE Photo Collection

Spoon Museum, Vladimir

The Golden Gates and the Dormition Cathedral may be the main tourist attractions in Vladimir, but a short walk will take you to the Spoon Museum with thousands of items from a private collection. According to legend, it was Prince Vladimir the Fair Sun who commanded his subjects to use cutlery, primarily spoons.

The display presents the spoons from that time and tracks the changes in spoon shapes and decoration over the centuries. In addition to Russian wooden and silver spoons, the collection features coronation spoons of the House of Windsor, copies of spoons from Ancient Egypt and other peculiar items. 

Cucumbers by Alrxander AverinFederal Agency for Tourism

Cucumber Festival

Records are unclear as to when cucumber first appeared in Russia, but by the 15th century, it had clearly established itself as a staple of Russian cuisine.

Fresh vegetables and fruits by Alrxander AverinFederal Agency for Tourism

A few years ago, Suzdal launched a Cucumber Festival to celebrate this important ingredient after discovering a sentence in the town's earliest 18th-century historical record that read: “In the town of Suzdal, the goodness of the soil and the pleasantness of the air produce an abundance of onions, garlic and, above all, cucumbers.”

The festival offers a taste of fresh and salted cucumbers, cucumber soups and even jams, and a chance to get the hang of cucumber salting. Lukhovtsy and Istobensk are two other major cucumber destinations in Russia. 

Bridge over the Volga in Rybinsk by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Volga Fest

Held in the city of Yaroslavl, Volga Fest is an annual festival of the city’s contemporary cuisine that offers a taste of dishes and a peek at artisan products. 

Volga Feast by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

The Samovar Festival

The Samovarfest programme features workshops, music and a samovar display, in addition to a souvenir fair, a graffiti contest, a cyberfestival, a fashion pageant, all rounded out with a dog display and a street game festival.  

Festival on Volga river by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Workshops in Yaroslavl City

The #ЕДУВЯРОСЛАВЛЬ (#TOYAROSLAVL) cooking state presents workshops by Yaroslavl and guest chefs.  

Credits: Story

Сhief Сonsultant — Ekaterina Drozdova, restaurateur, gastronomic entrepreneur, food and social activist, Contributors — Natalia Savinskaya, Anna Kukulina, Proximity Russia, Alexander Averin, Denis Yershov, Yuliya Romashikhina 

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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