While in Russia I tended to eat a heavier lunch with my colleagues during the day and then eat simply (fruit, maybe a small salad or sandwich… and some candy) at night. Several times we made pelmeni, the little meat-stuffed dumplings that I adore. At home I usually pan-fry them but my colleague gave me some tips for boiling them: add salt, a bit of oil and a touch of plain white vinegar to the cooking water. It gives the dumpling casing a little extra flavor! And in general the pelmeni were very good there. While the filling in Estonian pelmeni is sometimes weirdly squishy, the Russian ones were always satisfying and meaty.
There was also a nearby market with a Korean stand that sold all different kinds of kimchi plus these amazing Russian eggplant rolls (I don’t have a picture of my own but they looked like this, photo courtesy of the previous link):
Hm… a lot of the other local goods I tasted were sweets or beer.
My colleague recommended these cute walnut-shaped cookies (oreshki) to me. At first I didn’t love them, since the outer shell isn’t crispy, just sort of crumbly and bland. But the plain exterior combined with the caramel-like condensed milk filling was strangely addictive. I was a little embarrassed when I finished off the bag… and realized I had only purchased it the previous day. Oops.
On Sunday when I was walking around I escaped from the cold for a while with a latte and a slice of medovik honey cake. I like the Estonian version of this cake, but this particular slice was so sweet. I actually felt ill after finishing it. In general, I believe, the Russians like things very sweet. I encountered it with some of the chocolate candies I bought as well– some were so tooth-achingly sugary that after sampling one (or two…) I put the rest aside to bring home to J.
This last picture is for my friend who is learning Russian and requested more pictures of Russian text for her to decipher. Let me know how you do with this one!