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Traverse the Sprawling Landscape

The world's largest country merits a good deal of exploration to appreciate its vastness and distinct culture. Iconic adventures await intrepid travelers, including a ride on the famed Trans-Siberian Railway; visits to Moscow's Red Square; and a chance to witness St. Petersburg's ʺWhite Nights.ʺ

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Vareniki
Vareniki

Vareniki

A Ukrainian contribution to Russian cuisine, vareniki are square- or crescent-shaped dumplings filled with mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, cheese, cabbage, meat or hard-boiled egg, or a combination of those ingredients. They're typically served smothered with butter and fried onions. What could be better? 960 1280

Katie Hards  

Pickled Vegetables

Pickled Vegetables

Russians know that pickled vegetables are good for the gut, so an assortment of them, known as soleniya, is a typical appetizer served at lunch or dinner. This plate contains a whole pickled tomato, cabbage and cucumber. 960 1280

Katie Hards  

Piroshki

Piroshki

Piroshki are small, baked or fried buns eaten as a snack or appetizer. Common savory fillings include cabbage, mushrooms, beef or potatoes; sweet fillings may include fresh fruits, jam or cheeses. 960 1280

Katie Hards  

Taranka

Taranka

Taranka, a salted and dried fish, is a popular snack in Russia. It's often eaten with beer to balance the saltiness. 960 1280

Katie Hards  

Khachapuri

Khachapuri

Khachapuri, a salty, cheese-filled bread from neighboring Georgia, is a popular savory snack throughout Russia as well. 960 1280

Katie Hards  

Russian Appetizers

Russian Appetizers

Traditional appetizers found on the Russian dining table include (clockwise from top): blini with red caviar; a variety of smoked fish, including salmon, butterfish and paddlefish; and Olivier salad. Moscow’s Ermitage Hotel is the birthplace of the famous Olivier salad, which is made of boiled potatoes with some combination of pickles, capers, peas, carrots, celery, egg, chicken, fish or ham, and sometimes caviar. The tang and crunch of the salad is embraced by a smooth mayonnaise dressing, adding a creamy texture. 960 1280

Katie Hards  

Borscht

Borscht

Served either hot or cold, borscht is a popular and hearty beet soup that also happens to come in a vibrant color. 960 1280

Katie Hards  

Kotletki

Kotletki

Russians often argue about whose mother makes the best kotletki, a small cutlet of minced meats, such as chicken, pork, beef and fish. Typical accompaniments to this lightly pan-fried patty include hearty sides including potatoes and buckwheat kasha. 960 1280

Katie Hards  

Russian Cakes

Russian Cakes

Which of these 3 Russian cakes will soothe your sweet tooth the most? Will it be (clockwise from bottom) medovnik, a traditional Russian honey cake; a spongy cake with vanilla cream, apricots, prunes, raisins and nuts; or Napoleon cake, which layers flaky puff pastry with cream and nuts? 960 1280

Katie Hards  

Russian Entrees

Russian Entrees

Dinner may include entrees such as (clockwise from top) stuffed cabbage (golubtsi); traditional chicken Kiev; and beef stroganoff with buckwheat kasha. 960 1280

Katie Hards  

Russian Pastries

Russian Pastries

Breakfast, dessert and special holidays call for pastries in Russia. Among the popular varieties are (clockwise from top) traditional poppy-seed rolls; sochnik, a puff pastry filled with sweet cheese and raisins; and tiny pechenie cookies with fruit filling. 960 1280

Katie Hards  

Pelmeni

Pelmeni

These small, minced-meat-filled dumplings are a staple of Russian cuisine. Sometimes served in a broth, pelmeni are also eaten plain with sour cream or melted butter on top. Fillings include veal, pork, lamb or Siberian meat (a combination of veal and pork). Their thin shells set them apart from other Russian dumplings, as do their always-savory fillings. 960 1280

Katie Hards  

Smoked Meats

Smoked Meats

What meat lover wouldn’t want to try this? Kolbasa, or Russian sausage, comes in a variety of forms, including smoked, cured, boiled and fresh, and is made of beef, pork or veal. Kolbasa is often eaten as a snack, sometimes with a piece of hearty, dark rye bread. 960 1280

Katie Hards  

Russian Vodka

Russian Vodka

What would Russian culture be without vodka? This strong, clear beverage is distilled from potatoes and grain and is widely consumed throughout Russia. Vodka is commonly enjoyed cold from small, stemless wineglasses, usually during a meal. 960 1280

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Matryoshka Doll

Matryoshka Doll

A traditional matryoshka doll covering warms a dish of pelmeni at Mari Vanna, a Russian restaurant in New York City. 960 1280

Katie Hards  

Taste of Russia  15 Photos

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