Baklava

Signature Dish: Food Perestroika’s Baklava

I love baklava. The thin, nutty layers saturated with fragrant syrup take me back to a warm night in a caravanserai in Baku’s Old City, drinking herbal tea and dark Azerbaijani cognac. Or to the mountains of northern Azerbaijan, where locals make their unique Quban baklava, paper-thin latticed layers finished with in bright red. Or to […]

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Green Market - HAlmaty Green Market - Horse Meatorse Meat

Kazakh Adventures, Part 2: Impressions from Almaty

Just as I did for beshbarmak, I’d like to interrupt my Tajik Adventures series to give a little bit of background about my recent horse steak post. So let’s head to Almaty, the former capital of the former Kazakhstan Social Socialist Republic. And let’s start with a former Soviet landmark, Café Ldinka. I say former, because it burned […]

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Croatian Cuisine - Brodet

Brodet, Croatian Fish Stew

In most people’s consciousness, Eastern Europe does not evoke delicious seafood dishes. Apart from caviar or smoked fish (which most people actually eat rarely), the images that come to mind tend to be of thick brown meat stews and starchy dishes, or perhaps of various grilled meats and greasy sausages, washed down with a profusion of beer and other alcoholic beverages. And yet, […]

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East Village - Kafana

Restaurant Review: Kafana

A note about my restaurant reviews: New York City counts many Eastern European restaurants scattered across the five boroughs, most of them ignored by restaurant critics and diners alike. I intend to visit as many as I can and report! It’s hard to believe that Kafana has been serving Serbian food in the East Village for […]

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Kazakh Cuisine - Almaty-Style Horse Steak, with Markovka and Khychin

Almaty-Style Horse Steak, with Khychin and Morkovka

While there are many countries where horse meat is available and consumed occasionally (sometimes unbeknownst to the consumers), Kazakhstan is one of the few places where it’s one of the major meats in the butcher’s display. Its use goes beyond the traditional kazy and beshbarmak, and at some restaurants in the larger cities, you can enjoy a […]

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Khujand - Panjshanbe Bazaar

Tajik Adventures, Part 3: Khujand’s Panjshanbe Bazaar

In my previous Tajik Adventures post, we looked at the more pedestrian attractions of Khujand, Tajikistan’s second largest city: decrepit hotel Leninabad, the ill-fated Lenin statue, and Café Rashvan. So far, none of these features really justify a journey to that remote part of an already remote country. Enter Panjshanbe Bazaar, regularly mentioned on lists […]

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Buckwheat Blini with Trout, Cabbage Sauce and Honey-Glazed Turnips

Buckwheat Blini with Trout and Chanterelles, Cabbage Sauce and Honey-Glazed Turnips

Steelhead season on the Salmon River was rather slow this year. A little bit like deer season, come to think of it, a consequence of two consecutive cold winters. Considering that I grouped my hunting and fishing outings into a single trip around Thanksgiving, it made for an uneventful and often frustrating ten days (except for the […]

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Manoir Hovey - Le Hatley Restaurant

Red Alert: Le Hatley in the Eastern Townships, Quebec

Red Alert! Random Eastern European dishes are invading our streets and restaurants! Should you duck and cover, or welcome the enemy? Quebec is particularly well-suited for Red Alerts. First, the latitude and climate aren’t that different from those of many places in Eastern Europe, which means that at least some of the flora and fauna […]

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Kazakh Lamb's Head

Kazakh Boiled Sheep’s Head

When I published my beshbarmak recipe, I promised that I would soon write another post about its indispensable complement on any successful Kazakh festive dinner table: a boiled sheep’s head, to be served to the most honored guest. Well, even after several attempts at perfecting the unlikely delicacy, I must say that I still find this to be a […]

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Khojand - Lenin Statue

Tajik Adventures, Part 2: Khujand, Where Lenin Is Bad

Once upon a time, there was a country named Soviet Union. It was known, among other things, for its adoration of the great Vladimir Ilyich Lenin; its peculiar conception of art, known as socialist realism, and its insistence on making such art omnipresent in the lives of its citizens; its obsession with WW2 and its slightly distorted historical […]

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