Green Secret Box of Ural Region

Any description of the Urals would begin with the word "between." The Ural Mountains lie between the East European and West Siberian plains, and along their watershed runs the border between Europe and Asia.

By Federal Agency for Tourism

Ural by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

The border is marked with a number of obelisks, each one indicating a passable route. 

The natural diversity of the Urals is absolutely exceptional, but this historic center of the Russian industry has a pronounced urban culture.

Ural landscape by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

This boundary condition left its impression on cuisine which at first glance may seem not much different from others.

Today, however, Ural chefs and culinary aficionados are energetic in their search for a gastronomic identity just as they write the history of a new Ural cuisine. 

Theater of the young spectator by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Must see: Ural Region Landmarks

Perm is the region's cultural region. Even a whole week may not suffice to see all the art objects, take all the old tourist routes, visit all the museums, and go to all the theatres that matter so much to the entire country.

Ural by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Perm Territory is home to several nature reserves that are worth a separate mention.

To the north lies the Komi-Permyatsky Autonomous District populated by the Komi-Permyaks, one of the ethnicities who have shaped the Ural lifestyle, including its cuisine.

Ekaterinburg by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Yekaterinburg

Yekaterinburg, the capital of the Ural, is also considered the capital of constructivism with around 140 constructivist buildings of the 1920s-30s when the city was still known as Sverdlovsk.

But it had taken it until 2000 to become fully aware of its architectural avant-garde prominence — and a lot of the new heritage had already been lost by then. 

Factory by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Whenever you hear ”Ural”, the first thing that comes to mind is mining.

Here, it started long before Peter the Great, but it was during his reign that Nikita Demidov came to develop local mines before starting a whole dynasty of industrialists.

Ural by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Kama, Chusovaya, Yurzan Rivers

While enjoying the view from an embankment in one of Ural cities, it is hard to really tell how strong these rivers are. The Tura alone is 1030 km long. 

Ural landscape by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Kama, Chusovaya, Pechora, Vishera, Belaya, Yuryuzan, Miass, and Usva are just some of the harsh but stunning Ural rivers. 

Pelmeni by Alexander AverinFederal Agency for Tourism

Top Ural Food Picks

Pelmeni is the Ural top food. The typical local variety is supposed to contain three meat varieties, one of which is bound to be game.

The trendiest mix today is a blend of beef, pork and chicken.

Pelmeni by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Two meats are also an option, while some will opt for offal or mushrooms and potatoes.

What's more important, it is a local custom to make pelmeni together with your family members and freeze them for weeks ahead. 

Berries by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Wild Plants and Mushrooms

Berries and mushrooms are held in high esteem throughout Russia, but in the Urals, these are more important than meat. Wild plants have also been popular with local chefs.

Young shoots of horsetail, also known as wild asparagus, are popular as fillings for pies and dumplings, and a staple for porridge in the Perm Territory.

Ural landscape by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Garlic shoots and May onions are chopped and mixed with salt, resulting in what is known as rublennik, or "Perm adjika". It is kept in the cold and used as soup dressing or seasoning for grilled dishes.

Sorrels, young nettles or burdocks, which may be grated or chopped and mixed with salt to extend their shelf life, serve as the base ingredients for soups and dressings

Dandelion by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Dandelions are used to make jam and honey, while their buds are pickled like olives. Some progressive Ural farmers have even begun making dandelion coffee with varying degrees of roasting.

Berries by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

 Pines, Firs, Resin - do we eat them?

In the Urals and Siberia, conifers are a source of popular products. Everyone has heard of pine nuts, walnut oil, and pine balsams, but there are other kinds of spruces, pines, and firs, and all have resin, buds, and needles.

Pine trees by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Resin flavors honey and infusions, young shoots can be pickled as capers, young cones make excellent jam, and fir needles are a wonderful source for extractions, oil or distillate infusions and marinades, including dried ones. 

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

Tiny Patties 'Posikunchiki' 

These tiny fried patties come from the Perm Territory. 

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

Made of custard dough, they are filled with finely chopped game, lamb, poultry, vegetables, radish, honey, — or just anything juicy. 

Posikunchiki by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Some of the broth they contain is bound to get sprinkled ("sikat") once you take a bite from being so thoroughly stuffed with finely chopped filling. One more possible explanation is that the name originated from "sekat", which is the Russian for "chopping finely".

LIFE Photo Collection

Sosva Herring

This important Russian food brand and a one-of-a-kind product from the north of the Urals is actually called tugun. Biologically, however, it is much closer to salmon than herring.

Herring by Dinara GimaldinovaFederal Agency for Tourism

Its gastronomic name is derived from the Northern Sosva River that flows close to the village of Berezovo in the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District. It is there that tugun was produced on an industrial scale in the Soviet Union. Production has not died out after its collapse.

Possessing a fine fresh flavor and tender meat, the fish does not take well to freezing. Instead, it is lightly salted immediately after being caught so one should eat tugun as quickly as possible. The best way would be travelling to the Urals and taste it as fresh as it gets.

Poppies and Bees (1906) by Paul de LongpréLos Angeles County Museum of Art

Bashkir Products and Dishes

Bashkiria is the southern part of the Ural Mountain range. Even the word "Ural" is Bashkir and means "belt," according to one version.

There is no local cuisine without Bashkir honey. It is a universal sugar substitute and a snack in its own right. A valuable sort is called bortevoi and comes from wild bees.

Belyashi by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

The southern Urals have always enjoyed peremachi, a take on belyash pastry recipe amended to include minced pork. 

Echpochmak by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Ural chefs are fond of typical Bashkir dried meat and poultry, and stock both in their own way.

Fish by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Traditional Smoked Fish

Ural rivers and lakes are rich in catfish, pike, common and crucian carp, burbot, bream, and sabrefish. Tinch salted with nettles or burbot with dill umbels may be original rather than folk recipes, but they reflect the local principle ...

of using the maximum of what nature has given in a given place at a given moment, thus maintaining a fine balance between food and those who eat it. Whatever nature gives is necessary to conserve.

Fish by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Smoking is a popular way of preserving fish in the Urals. Crucian carp ukha is high on locals' wishlists, but rybniki or large fish pies are always at the top of any list and first of any course. 

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

Big Game

In the Urals, meat of wild duck, elk, wild boar, or bear may be served at a restaurant and at home alike, while elk stew and boar cutlets are just a common local food. Bear meat is considered more valuable, tasty and sweet, but also more difficult to cook and rare to come by.

Beaver is one more exotic meat variety for the locals. Especially appreciated are their tails with savoury and dense meat, which is usually stewed.

Credits: Story

Сhief Сonsultant — Ekaterina Drozdova, restaurateur, gastronomic entrepreneur, food and social activist, Contributors — Natalia Savinskaya, Proximity Russia, Denis Yershov, Alexander Averin, Lilia Nizamova, Andrei Bova, Maksim Tupicyn, Rashid Rakhmanov, Vadim Zuykov, Dmitry Zhdannikov, Stepan Nosov

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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