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November 18, 2009 12:57 PM   Subscribe

Russian food porn.

Gorgeous photography of Russian snacks and the alcohol they accompany.
posted by TheWhiteSkull (59 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
The lack of kholodets (aspic) is striking. I don't remember attending a single Russian family dinner that didn't have at least one kind. It's even the centerpiece of the inside cover of my mom's old standard-issue Soviet cookbook.
posted by griphus at 1:01 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm sensing a theme.
posted by rusty at 1:02 PM on November 18, 2009


Several years ago after a particularly bad breakup, I thought I was depressed because I couldn't eat very much and I was drinking a lot and there was no food in the house so I basically ate pickles and drank vodka for about a month. Turns out I was just being Russian.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:06 PM on November 18, 2009 [15 favorites]


A plug for a friend's book: A Year of Russian Feasts.
posted by ericb at 1:07 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, the sushi is hilarious. My friends tend to be shocked at the ubiquity of low-priced, independent sushi restaurants in southern Brooklyn until I explain that sushi is pretty much the default let's-go-out-to-eat food for the Russian population.
posted by griphus at 1:07 PM on November 18, 2009


With the Second Front secure, the Soviet delegates shed their inhibitions. Stalin refused the offer of cocktails, for which he had an unexplained distrust, but attacked the whisky, and then a great deal of champagne, which he was less used to drinking. Churchill decreed that the party would adopt the Russian habit of endless toasts and speeches. He toasted 'Stalin the Great' with more than a touch of irony, and 'Roosevelt the Man'. ... By the end of the evening, the sour note was drowned out. Stalin was unusually intoxicated, moving from one guest to another and clinking glasses, and then forcing the disconcerted waiters to drink with him too. - Richard Overy, Why The Allies Won
posted by Joe Beese at 1:09 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


drooooooooooooooooooool
posted by Seamus at 1:09 PM on November 18, 2009


I can attest that snacktime with Russians is very tasty and will get you fucked up. Pickles, dried fish, cheeses, and vodka vodka vodka.
posted by not_on_display at 1:10 PM on November 18, 2009


Judging from these pictures, Russia certainly has a varied and fascinanting culture and cuisine, but I would really, really, really not want to make out with it.
posted by Diablevert at 1:14 PM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


Hmmmm...why do a lot of those look more like your last meal to eat while Sergei gets gas for the chainsaw?
posted by Thorzdad at 1:15 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


posted by Thorzdad:
"Hmmmm...why do a lot of those look more like your last meal to eat while Sergei gets gas for the chainsaw?"

Haw haw haw, that is humor joke, da? Let's toast to funny!
posted by not_on_display at 1:18 PM on November 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


I appreciate all the pickles that are pre-forked. Who has time to pick up a fork and stick it in a pickle themselves?
posted by brain_drain at 1:19 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'll have a pickle and a bottle of vodka on a newspaper please.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:20 PM on November 18, 2009 [11 favorites]


IN SOVIET RUSSIA FOOD PHOTOGRAPHS YOU.

I'm not sorry.
posted by cavalier at 1:25 PM on November 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


And mood lighting. Don't forget the mood lighting. That's what makes it extra pr0ny, нет?
posted by heyho at 1:32 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


The photography is so bad it makes me want to gouge out my eyes. The only thing interesting about these - every dish is paired with alcohol. Almost as if they made a Soviet-era counterpart to Food & Wine, but called it Brine & Vodka.

The blog just did a Google image search for 'Russian Cuisine' and stole the images from there, and from this site as well. Pretty lame. Here are some great recipes with pretty pictures.
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 1:36 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm happy to see that there are some vegetarian choices.
posted by tellurian at 1:47 PM on November 18, 2009


I couldn't help but be reminded of the classic Onion Story Russian Television Scores Hit With New Game Show Who Wants To Eat A Meal?
MOSCOW–The program has only been on the air for three weeks, but Russian citizens from Voronezh to Srednekolymsk are already swept up in the thrill of the nation's biggest runaway-hit game show, Who Wants To Eat A Meal?

Hosted by popular Russian TV personality Anatoly Ivaskevich, Who Wants To Eat A Meal? gives hungry contestants the chance to answer general-knowledge questions to win food items. Since its Oct. 26 premiere, it has quickly become the nation's most popular program, drawing even more viewers than the top-rated Let's Look At Food, in which images of food are displayed on screen.
posted by Kattullus at 1:48 PM on November 18, 2009


You know, I don't think I drink that much water with my meals, let alone vodka.
posted by scrutiny at 1:53 PM on November 18, 2009


> I can attest that snacktime with Russians is very tasty and will get you fucked up. Pickles, dried fish, cheeses, and vodka vodka vodka.

I too can attest to this. These images make me hungry and thirsty and remind me of my 31st birthday, when I was dragged blindfolded to a Russian restaurant and forced to consume large quantities of vodka and foodstuffs (many of them pickled, as I soon became). They also make me want to reread one of the best Russian novels ever, Venedikt Erofeev's Moskva-Petushki (available in different translations as Moscow to the End of the Line and [said to be better] Moscow Circles). It's right up there with Under the Volcano as an ode to sheer fucked-up alcoholic drunkityness.
posted by languagehat at 1:58 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


The blog just did a Google image search for 'Russian Cuisine' and stole the images from there, and from this site as well. Pretty lame.

This is pretty much all Englishrussia does usually. I half expected this to get deleted because it's kinda frowned on to link to such blogs. This one is really popular though.
posted by dead cousin ted at 1:59 PM on November 18, 2009


From what I know about history, I'm pretty sure Finnish vodka doesn't get Russians turned on.
posted by Dia Nomou Nomo Apethanon at 2:03 PM on November 18, 2009


So they really like pickles. OMG my daughter must be Russian
posted by nola at 2:03 PM on November 18, 2009


mmm..... salo.
posted by Kabanos at 2:08 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I worked with a Russian who would get a wistful, far-away look in his eyes when he talked about the pickles back home.
posted by peeedro at 2:10 PM on November 18, 2009


Oh lordy, I could really go for a plate of pickled herring, onions, and that brown bread, to go with my vodka. Followed by one of those tantalizing cigarettes and another vodka or three. Oh yes. No one would want to be within 100 yards of me after that, but that's OK.
posted by medeine at 2:21 PM on November 18, 2009


Sorry, I didn't realize that about Englishrussia's m.o. Mostly the pictures made me really want some vodka and smoked fish.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:31 PM on November 18, 2009


Kvas for me thanks.
posted by stbalbach at 2:32 PM on November 18, 2009


In the sixth picture from the top, what brand cigarette/vodka is that? I'm surprised I've never seen a booze company make cigarettes as well (or vice versa).

actually that would be a good name for the vodka/cig combo pack- "vice versa"
posted by Challahtronix at 2:42 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


> In the sixth picture from the top, what brand cigarette/vodka is that?

That's Belomorkanal, named for one of the first of the Soviet Union's glorious slave-labor projects (an estimated 100,000 people died in its construction).
posted by languagehat at 2:57 PM on November 18, 2009


I had a pack brought back as a souvenir from Russia ("Why do you want a pack of the cigarettes that killed your father?" mom asked.) Even when I had no money and totally out of smokes, I couldn't bring myself to smoke them. It is as if they swept the floor of a reputable cigarette company and stuffed said sweepings into a paper cylinder. I love the fact that the cigarettes most needing a filter never came with one.

However, I've been told that they are perfect for emptying out and stuffing with grass.
posted by griphus at 3:04 PM on November 18, 2009


Oh lord. This reminds me of many a drunken weekend morning at Russ & Daughters.
posted by elizardbits at 3:15 PM on November 18, 2009


Most of these pictures are of zakuskis, not regular meals. Zakuskis are specifically consumed with vodka to help you stay sober.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:18 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is... this is horrible. Just... awful.
posted by odinsdream at 3:25 PM on November 18, 2009


I like the pictures where, amongst the prominent vodka and smokes, it took me a second to figure out where the food was.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:34 PM on November 18, 2009


If a pickle, a slice of rancid cheese, and a bottle of fermented potato juice are what constitutes "food porn" in Russia, they should probably just stick to the regular porn.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:35 PM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Dosvedanya!
posted by Ron Thanagar at 3:48 PM on November 18, 2009


PICKLES AND VODKA AMIRITE
posted by idiopath at 3:50 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


No one says, "Mmmmmm, bacon," when said bacon is raw.

What the fuck?
posted by leftcoastbob at 4:11 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Moar for me!

(No, seriously. I think this looks great. I don't know what's wrong with all of you people, but vodka! potatoes! cheese! bread! CAVIAR! I'm in heaven!)
posted by Space Kitty at 4:14 PM on November 18, 2009


I was just describing the contents of each picture to my husband and felt like I was in some weird transcultural Monty Python skit.

Pickles and vodka.
Fish, green onions, bread, pickles and vodka.
Salami, cheese, bread, pickles and vodka.
Something gelatinous in a can, bread, pickles and vodka.

posted by Sublimity at 4:51 PM on November 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


I DON'T LIKE VODKA!!!
posted by Sys Rq at 4:59 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


> I DON'T LIKE VODKA!!!

Well, there's your problem. Have some vodka, you'll get over it.
posted by languagehat at 5:00 PM on November 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


ericb: I have that book and I like it very much. It's not so much the recipes but the stories behind and around each one. Please tell your friend that I'm waiting for "Another Year of Russian Feasts" and would she please hurry up. :)
posted by ninazer0 at 5:04 PM on November 18, 2009


Well, there's your problem. Have some vodka, you'll get over it.

In Soviet Russia, joke gets you!
posted by Sys Rq at 5:10 PM on November 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


The food looks delicious, but what do they drink with it?
posted by Edgewise at 5:21 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Most of these pictures are of zakuskis

And a very limited selection, at that. Where are the pelmeni, blini, piroshki, vareniki, borscht, shchi, shashlyk (oh man, the shashlyk!), korean carrots, and amazing smoked sausages (my favorite being еврейская колбаса; watch out, though, a couple of those pictures are on hate-group websites; the name means "Jewish sausage"). There's also a surprising lack of sour cream in those pictures (though I won't complain). And while vodka is standard, a snack without some juice or kompot, is not snack. And don't forget the kvas (so nasty).

This English Russia site always bothers me. While it usually works as a nice nostalgia trip, it presents a pretty strange and stereotyped view of Russia to those who've never been there. Here's a better look at Russian food.
posted by msbrauer at 5:24 PM on November 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


And as for pickles, if it can be eaten, it's been pickled in Russia. Sometimes, even if something can't be eaten, it's been pickled to make it edible, as in the case of watermelon rinds. Also, sauerkraut in Russia is much easier to stomach than anything I've ever had in Germany.
posted by msbrauer at 5:26 PM on November 18, 2009


Now I'm totally craving sausage, pickles, and cheese. MMMMMM
posted by TooFewShoes at 5:49 PM on November 18, 2009


PICKLES AND VODKA AMIRITE

You had me at "pickles."
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:52 PM on November 18, 2009


Even the lobster is like "ahhh, fuck this"
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:13 PM on November 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


edgewise, yes: The joke in Soviet Russia gets you, but the question is where?
posted by gregb1007 at 6:15 PM on November 18, 2009


Epilogue: I initially laughed at the developing-nation-y flavor of the photos, and the completely foreign--to me--grouping of pickles, smoked fish, Serious Northern Europe Bread, and vodka.

I was wrong. As the day wore on, it grew on me, and this evening, I procured a bottle of some dangerously drinkable vodka and some locally made Humorless German Rye and some smoked trout, and, of course, some small pickles. Holy shit. I am converted. And somewhat aglow.

Thank you, TheWhiteSkull, and you, for the Nth fucking time, Metafilter.
posted by everichon at 8:27 PM on November 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


Sys Rq: I DON'T LIKE VODKA!!!

Try Ruski Standard. If you still don't like vodka after experiencing the silky pleasantness that is having a shot of Ruski Standard then, gentle drinker, you can truly say that you don't like vodka. Until then you can only say that you don't like sub par vodka.
posted by Kattullus at 8:44 PM on November 18, 2009


Looks like dinner one night last week. Well, aside from the vodka (I prefer scotch).
posted by me3dia at 11:01 PM on November 18, 2009


Russian food is excellent. These photos are only good as reminders of the excellence of the food, but not as representations.

I also found it quite amusing to see photos with Finlandia and Koskenkorva, two quintessentially Finnish vodkas, prominently featured. Neither of which are actually very nice, at least compared to their Russian counterparts.

Pickles and honey and vodka and bread and borsch and vodka and blinis and smetana and roe and tea and jam and vodka... I think it's time for me to revisit the unimaginatively named 'Rasputin' restaurant here in Madrid.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:55 AM on November 19, 2009


Oh, tortured memories of vobla! I consider my self pretty adventurous, but vobla takes the cake: dried whole freshwater fish, you rip them apart and drink them with beer or vodka, and eat them much as you would chips in the states. Usually a perch-like fish, but you also find dried whole pike and carp. Big ones, too. Big bony ones. Think of it as Russian sushi. Never got used to it.
posted by zaelic at 3:04 AM on November 19, 2009


Vobla are fantastic. These images bring up all the food-memories that msbrauer mentions above. I am now heartsick for Russia, not to mention hungry.
posted by fake at 9:49 AM on November 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, I do enjoy a midafternoon snack of log every now and again. It goes especially well with lamp oil.
posted by ook at 1:37 PM on November 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


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