Tea Time Treats
Read about Russian tea time treats. All these sweets, cookies, desserts are a great company to a cup of tea – the drink which is much more popular than coffee in Russia.
Russian tea is either milky tea or a tea with a circle of lemon, additionally squeezed with a spoon for extra juice, and a few teaspoons of honey, stirred well. Such tea is full of goodness and is great to boost your immune system.
Explore what can be a great company for such cups of tea or and be a bliss for a sweet tooth!
On the menu: halva, sushki, curd snack, gingerbreads, zefir, kukuruznye palochki, condensed milk, oatmeal cookies.
Curd snack (Rus. “glazirovannyi syrok”, literally coated cheese) is a compact size dairy snack made of sweet pressed mass of curd or quark cheese and coated with chocolate or icing.
Curd snacks can have a filing of poppy seeds, condensed milk or jam.
This tiny treat is a great tea-time dessert. Even if you are not a fan of dairy products, you’re going to love this snack.
Gingerbread is very popular in Russia and you can find a lot of varieties with different fillings or without. This popularity is reflected in many idioms mentioning this confectionery, for instance: ”Even gingerbread won’t entice him/her to do something” (meaning a person will not get tempted to do something no matter what is offered in exchange); and a “carrot and stick approach” in Russian is called “a gingerbread and whip” approach.
The most famous of all Russian gingerbreads is an imprinted Tula gingerbread from the city of Tula. Modern Tula gingerbreads typically contain jam or condensed milk, while traditionally they were made with honey. It has a rectangular and flat shape, and the imprinting is made with a help of a special printing form.
By the way, another traditional mascot is associated with the city of Tula, which is a Tula samovar. It is because this city used to be a capital of samovar production. And an idiom “Going to Tula with your own samovar” means “bringing something of your own to a place where this same thing is in abundance and of much better quality”.
Anyway Tula gingerbreads that are nowadays produced in compact-sized packages and along with other gingerbreads, are one of the most favourite tea-time treats in Russia.
Halva is a brick of sweet paste which can be made from nuts, beans and even lentils. Many countries have their variation of this confectionery which can significantly vary in taste, texture and look.
Halva popular in Russia and some other Eastern European countries is made from sunflower seeds paste. The texture of this halva is at shortbread-like and buttery and its taste remotely resembles peanut butter.
Goes well with a lovely cup of milky tea. Yum!
Zefir is Russian sweets made from fruit and berry puree with added sugar and egg white. This excellent tea-time desert has a fruity taste and its spongy texture is similar to marshmallow.
Another very popular variation of this confectionery is “zevir-v-shokolade” – chocholate-coated zefir.
Traditional Russian tea treat sushki are small and crunchy bread rings. These chewy snacks are sometimes topped with poppy seeds or salt crystals.
Chelnochok sushka is a variation of this snack. It has an elongated shape and vanilla flavour.
Who said that tea treats should be sweet? Sushki are quite plain and yet they make a perfect match for a nice brew.
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
Sweetened condensed milk (Rus. сгущенное молоко) is a thick sweet substance made by vaporizing water from milk. It is usually produced in tin cans that can last for years (unopened and in refrigerators).
Condensed milk is popular around the world in many desserts dishes and treats. In Russia condensed milk is produced in a tin with a well recognized design: dark and light blue background and white letters.
It is very popular to drink tea or coffee with a spoon (or two) of condensed milk, or spread it over a toast like jam. It is also very popular in desserts such as pirozhnoe Kartoshka or as a filling of various pastries. It’s also loved by many home chefs as an ingedient for an easy delicious cream for cakes – just beating condensed milk up with softened butter, it can’t be any easier.
During Soviet times some people would additionally boil a tin of condensed milk in a pan filled with water. The result is so called boiled condensed milk which has a caramel flavor and colour. Nowadays you can buy this product in the shops.
Russian oatmeal cookies (ovsyanoe pechenie, Rus. овсяное печенье) is a rustic and cozy tea time treat. The beauty of this oatmeal cookie lies in its simplicity – nothing fancy, just simple earnest flavour and crispy texture.
The main ingredients of ovsyanoe pechenie is oatmeal, flour, butter, eggs, vanilla and cinnamon. The cookies are then formed and baked. Traditional oatmeal cookies are very popular in Russia and they are always found in confectionery deparments or at the food markets.[/ezcol_2third_end]
You can crunch these oatmeal cookies out loud, or you can dip in a cup of tea. Sooo comforting.