Vladimir Putin: National cuisine enterprises can compete with McDonald’s
“We have wonderful cuisine”, Putin says and notes that it is necessary to establish competitive and high quality industrial production of national food products. At the meeting of Board of Legislators, the president noted that regional and municipal authorities need to support small and medium businesses producing “national fast food” by creating favourable conditions for such enterprises.
It should be noted that McDonald’s has been doing business in Russia for almost a quarter of a century and received more than a warm welcome on its opening day. People were waiting patiently in long queues for a “happy meal” and it was not only about the food, but about the charm of the new and the foreign. Long past are the days of going to McDonald’s for a romantic date, but this fast food giant is always vibrant, especially during lunch hours
A number of other world-known fast food enterprises are holding strong positions on the Russian market – KFC, Burger King, Sbarro etc. However, their local equivalents are starting to spur – “Teremok Russian bliny” and “Kroshka Kartoshka”, but their networks are limited by Moscow and a few major cities.
Other national foods are produced by small businesses or sold by individual entrepreneurs – shaorma wraps – doner kebabs in Armenian style – are very popular. Here and there old grannies are selling pirozhki – cakes with fillings made of cabbage, potatoes or jam. Russian Koreans are selling “Korean style carrot” salad – a local equivalent of khimchi, – as well as crunchy pickled sea weed. The iconic salad “herring under fur coat” was picked up by some industrial producers and now you can find this salad in the shops.
The country has quite abruptly moved from command economy into the market economy and has witnessed with an open mouth the triumph of foreign catering sharks. After all these overwhelming changes and head-over-heels excitement about burgers and chips, people start longing for home-style foods.
Russian cuisine is indeed very rich and diverse, and incorporates culinary heritage of many of its nationalities. Time will show if mass-scale production of such foods can locally beat major fast food companies, but who knows – taste and cultural value associated with national foods are good assets.
Based on materials of RIA Novosti (РИА Новости)