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Traditional Russian Table for the New Year

Traditional Russian Table for the New Year

Always preparing for the New Year, we not only anticipate the wonderful atmosphere and prepare gifts for friends and family, but also think through our New Year's menu.

Nowadays, when we can afford absolute fusion, that is, mixing, in cuisine. We try to bring variety to our daily menu, supplementing the usual diet with dishes from different countries, but the New Year's table is a special case, because there are dishes without which this holiday is simply impossible to imagine.

Of course, every family has its own traditions, but in this article, we’ll talk on the most popular and favorite, which are the same mandatory and traditional things of the holiday, as the chimes.

If you look back at the history in noble houses, the original roast "Empress" was especially popular, which in the second half of the XVIII century the French court cook served to the New Year's Royal table and dedicated to Catherine II.

The dish was incredibly expensive, because it required not only a complex set of ingredients, but also the skill of the cook. It took a whole day to cook, which was no wonder: a hundred olives were stripped of their seeds by hand and stuffed with anchovy slices. Then these olives were filled with gutted lark, that put in a duck, and a duck - in a pig. All this was baked until cooked. Cooking skills of our ancestors can only be envied, and today not every chef of extra class can decide on such an experiment.

In the 19th century, beliefs were given less importance, but the cuisine was no less diverse. Simple dishes could coexist with complex and on the table of both ordinary people and nobles. So, mushrooms, radish salad and pickles stood next to boiled trout in wine, veal fricassee, grapes and oranges.

In the second half of the 19th century, the New Year's menu was modified: smelt, caviar, salmon and cheeses, watermelons and cod appeared on the tables. At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, it became fashionable to drink cognac and soft drinks, eat ice cream. Sparkling wines from Germany, Italy, Spain and France were popular. Vodka, however, remained popular.

Russia is a big country. And the traditions of Christmas and New Year celebrations differed around the country. There is, of course, a national aspect. After all, the Orthodox celebration was celebrated on a much larger scale in the European regions of the country. Now culinary traditions roughly coincide in all regions of our country.

Moreover, if to look through the dishes popular nowadays it can be mentioned several of them.

It will take a whole year to miss it again

Let's start, perhaps, with the most traditional New Year's dish — salad “Olivier”. Even though initially this salad consisted of completely different ingredients, now we like to cook it this way. This is not just a salad, but the symbol of the New Year. "Olivier" is prepared in such quantity that is enough to fall face.

And this is the salad everyone eats the whole week after the New Year. Here we seem to begin to understand why this dish is considered New Year's: it will take a whole year to miss it again. Instead of ham you can use also chicken or – to make it more exotic – shrimps. Thus, still majority of people prefer the traditional way of cooking.

Another very popular salad that is sure to appear on our festive tables, especially in winter on the eve of New Year and Christmas, is “Herring under a fur coat”. The name of the salad may seem funny, as the fish is covered on all sides with different ingredients, as if with a fur coat.

Also, among the cold appetizers may be present Eggs stuffed with red caviar. Red caviar is an indispensable attribute of any holiday table, especially New Year's. Of course, you can just eat it with bread, but an appetizer of eggs stuffed with red caviar is tastier and more original. In addition, this dish will look better on the holiday table.

Meat jelly?

Jelly (Holodets), as well as aspic fish, can lead you to amazement. Meat jelly? But once you try a strange dish, you immediately fall in love with it. This nutritious and healthy snack is very long prepared, but also stored for a long time. And flavored with mustard or horseradish, jelly becomes even tastier.

On each table there are always a lot of tangerines. This is the fruit of the New Year and everyone always gorges on them during this period.

Nowadays, there is no specific list of the hot dishes; it all depends on the preferences of the family. You can bake something in the oven, fish meat, anything. On your choice.

Of course, we must not forget about the traditional drink, champagne. It is what all we drink and shout happy New Year; some even burn notes and throw them into the drink, trying to have time to finish his glass, while ringing 12 chimes.

Lastly, New Year is always something special. Some dishes have remained traditional for many decades, changing the ingredients only, some appeared not so long ago, but already all deeply loved. The main thing is to buy in advance all the necessary products, as before the New Year on the street and in stores begins chaos. Now you can find all the recipes easily on the Internet, so the main thing is the desire and right Christmas mood. Good luck with setting the holiday table and happy New Year!

Text by
Ekaterina Borisova