Russian Food - Russian Seafood Plateau

Russian Plateau de Fruits de Mer

This is one of my recurring ramblings: why do we see so little shellfish in Russian restaurants outside of Russia? Oh sure, you can have seafood fettuccine, lobster bisque, snails in garlic sauce, or softshell crabs at Tatiana or Volna in Brooklyn. Maybe even some shrimp cocktail and mussels vaguely marinières. But only in the lengthy salad section of […]

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Bosnian Ćevapi with Kajmak, Ajvar and Lepinja

Bosnian Ćevapi with Kajmak, Ajvar, and Lepinja

Recent visits to Yugo restaurants like Kafana left me craving more grilled meat. Something slightly different from my usual Caucasian and Central Asian kebab experiments, yet not completely unrelated — after all, the region was part of the Ottoman Empire for centuries. So this summer I decided to skip the trip to Buffalo and just make […]

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Slovak Food - Bryndzové Halušky

Bryndzové Halušky, Slovakia’s National Dish

Bryndzové halušky can be called Slovakia’s national dish without too much debate. This dish of potato spaetzle/gnocchi topped with a sheep’s milk cheese sauce and fried bacon is available in every other Slovak restaurant, if not more. Halušky have their own songs (I’ll let you google them) and their very own festival, Halušky Fest in Turecká. The latter starts in […]

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Russian Food - Trout Broth with Pirozhki

Triple Steelhead Trout Broth with Gravlax and Pirozhki

I’ve said in the past that if you want to avoid crowds, the Monday after Thanksgiving is a good day to fish on the Salmon River. Well, here’s another quiet day to go fishing in the area: Mother’s Day. Real sentimental, those fishermen! Come the second Sunday of May, they leave their fishing rods in the […]

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Duck Breast And Meatballs, Potato Croquettes, Caramelized Onions. and Red Cabbage Purée

Central European Wild Duck, with its Potatoes and Red Cabbage

There are few places where duck is as ubiquitous a culinary staple as in Central Europe, in particular Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Slovakia (the other places would be France, China, and Southeast Asia). Roast duck, served with potatoes and red cabbage, seems to be on the menu of every other restaurant, prepared this or […]

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Latvian Cuisine - Pirags

Piragi, Latvia’s National Dish

The last entry in my series of national dishes was Kazakhstan’s beshbarmak. This time, we’re hopping to the Baltic to try Latvian piragi. Naming a single national dish for a whole country is a very artificial exercise. For Latvia, Wikipedia suggests latke, and sure, Latvians eat potato pancakes, probably tons of them, but… so does the rest […]

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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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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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