I was so excited Bill send me a Listicle this week. Him and his wife Irina are like a better looking, funny and younger version of Husband and I. Their blog Smells like Borscht is hilarious. Even better if you follow them both on Twitter. Trust me, it is like reality TV, but funny. Would you like to get to know them? Follow @smellsofborscht and ask him if you can follow his wife too. Yep, Russian style. And please do yourself a favor and have their blog delivered to your email. Click HERE to do so.
I would love to post your list of top 10 something, so feel free to SEND me one. Without further ado, Bill’s
TOP 10 FOODS INTRODUCED BY HIS WIFE
Every culture has its cuisine. The Italians have mastered comfort food. The Mexicans have mastered the late-night munchies. And the French have mastered fancy ways to put butter into everything.
But the Russians?
They’ve mastered a few culinary realms, not the least mentionable among them is the realm of the barbecue (and don’t forget the dessert tray). But there are some that, while wildly popular in post USSR countries, wouldn’t exactly catch on in the US.
What follows is a list of extreme foods I’ve discovered and painstakingly attempted to digest in order to report accurately on their edibility. The list starts with the least offensive, and ends with WTF.
1. Kvas – This is a very famous and popular soda in Russian culture. It is essentially non-alcoholic bread-beer. Sort of like the Vikings have Mead, the Russians have Kvas. It’s about as delicious as it sounds: like drinking soggy bread. Mmmm.
2. Black Caviar – OK, I understand that many, many people eat this. But you have to think for a second about what exactly this is. People went around tasting the different eggs of different fish until they found the most delicious fish eggs possible, that of the Caspian Something-or-other fish. Its undeveloped babies are definitely the tastiest.
3. Pickled herring “Seledka” – I understand that raw fish is cute in small portions when you dress it up with rice and wasabi. But Seledka is basically raw herring with vinegar poured on top with a garnish of raw onions. And that’s all that’s on your plate. A big slice of cold gross fish and onions.
4. Cow Tongue – In Russian cuisine, cow tongue is EVERYWHERE. It’s considered a fancy shmancy delicacy, but really – come on, it’s a big slimy tongue. It’s like they have a kind of fetish for sitting around getting their bovine-licking on, but can’t because they think people might judge them. So instead, they eat the tongue. As for taste – if you had NO idea what it was that you were eating, it’s actually not bad. But it’s the thought that you’re French kissing Betsy that makes this dish the most disgusting.
5. Pickled grapes/watermelon/tomatoes – Russians will pickle anything. If the Herring wasn’t weird enough, they’ll pickle any kind of fruit or vegetable. Pickled tomatoes might actually be good, you say? Perhaps. But I assure you, pickled watermelon is not.
6. Salo – you know how you go to the store and buy one of those huge pork tenderloins, they always come with three inches of fat that you have to carve off in order for the pork to be truly edible? The Russians (actually it’s more of a Ukranian thing) take that fat and cure it with salt, pepper, and garlic (it’s common to use paprika too) and Yummmy! Them’s good eats! It’s about as delicious as it sounds.
7. Snotty mushrooms – These are essentially marinated and then pickled mushrooms, which sounds like it could be delicious. However, the marinade that’s used is about the same consistency as those boogers you can’t flick off your finger. It blows my mind that anyone eats these. Probably the same kids that ate their boogers in kindergarten.
8. Organs – Liver, hearts, kidneys, intestines, brain. Fried, pickled, baked, grilled, sautéed. Really? Is that something we’re doing? We’re only at #8? How gross is this list going to get?
9. Testicles – I don’t think I need to explain why this is gross. Testicles in your mouth = Not sexy
10. Fish heads. No – I’m not kidding. They cut off the head of a cod and fry it. Eyeballs and everything. My wife tries to convince me that it’s the cheeks that have the most delicious meat. I’ll take my chances by not eating something’s face. WTF.
So there you go. 10 of the most outrageous and extreme foods brought to you from Russia with Love. And boogers. Recipes available upon request.
This guest post was linked to Lovelinks #12.