Ayran is a refreshing fermented dairy drink made of yoghurt substance. This slightly fizzy sourish drink is a great thirst quencher. It has made its way to Russia either from Turkic countries such as Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan or from the North Caucasus countries such as Armenia, where this drink is also very popular.
Ayran can give you an energy boost and revive you on a sweltering day. Try it and discover for yourself!
Tan is a similar drink.
And what is your favorite drink for hot weather? Share in comments!
Kukuruznye palochki (corn pops) are puffy and foamy sweet sticks, slightly powdered with a sweet coating. This tea time treat melts in your mouth and children in Russia treat this food as a delicacy (and so do some adults). Beware: these sweet bites are very addictive, when you open the pack you’ll finish them in a blink of an eye (except Self control is your second name). This product is also very popular in Baltic countries.
Borodinsky bread is one of the most popular bread in Russia and some former USSR countries. This dark brown sourdough rye bread has soft and moist texture, and is characterized by its distinctive flavour. Molasses, rye malt and coriander used in baking give the loaf its rich aroma and herby taste with slightly sweet notes.
The name of the bread has a reference to Borodino – a village around which a battle took place between Napoleon and the Russian army in 19 century. Despite the fact that baking of this bread on a production scale started in 1933, urban legends still try to connect the origin of the bread with this battle of Borodino.
So there is a story the widow of General Alexandr Tuchkov who perished in the battle, established a convent. Mourning for her beloved husband she was finding a relief in baking, and together with the convent nuns she created the recipe of the bread. The coriander seeds were thus a symbol of grapeshot.
The recipe of bread with coriander seeds can indeed be found in 19 century, but since the production and the name of the bread appeared in the 20 century, the above romantic story can be perhaps discarded as a case of folk etymology.
Borodinsky bread can be enjoyed on its own or with some butter, and is a great compliment for soups. It can also accompany meals that use eggs – sunny side up fried eggs or various sandwiches with eggs and salmon. Another interesting combination is having a piece of Borodinsky bread with herring butter.
Ryazhenka is a Russian-Ukrainian dairy drink similar to yoghurt. It has creamy color and characteristic taste with a caramel twist. Because of its health benefits and lovely taste it is a great drink for children and it is loved by healthy eaters as a dietary product.
Ryazhenka has almost the same nutritional properties as milk but they are better absorbed and digested by human body, especially protein. Rich in calcium and phosphor, this Russian dairy product is more delicate in taste than kefir but higher in calories.
Ryazhenka is cooked from baked milk by adding special souring ferments. Baked milk (топленое молоко) is drink which has a long tradition. It was cooked in Russian villages by leaving a jug of boiled milk in an oven for a day or over night until it is coated with a brown crust. The milk changes its color and taste and gets thicker consistency.
Today, both baked milk and fermented ryazhenka are produced on an industrial scale. However, those who like to experiment can try to cook baked milk at home by pouring the milk that has just boiled into a thermos flask (which is washed with hot boiled water) and leaving for 4-6 hours.
Semolina groat is a flour-like product made from wheat during the milling process. It has small white grains and it is used to make porridges or sweet dishes.
This product is very popular in Russia and semolina porridge is often given to children for their breakfast. It goes great with a piece of butter and jam or fresh berries for example blueberries, raspberries or strawberries. All you need to do is to boil it with milk, adding some sugar and a pinch of salt, and mixing throughout the cooking process to prevent lumps as it gets thicker. Serve your semolina porridge with a piece of butter and jam or berries of your choice. You can also check our more detail recipe of Semolina porridge.
It is often used in baking – for cakes or to powder baking forms. Semolina can also be used instead of breadcrumbs- mix some semolina with salt and seasoning and dredge a piece of meat or fish the way you do it with the breadcrumbs. You will get a juicy meal with a crunchy crust.