Historian of Russian cuisine Pavel Syutkin surprised by plans for the introduction of standards on Russian cuisine in restaurants. What is considered Russian? American tomatoes and potatoes? Georgian shashlik, Uzbek plov? German sausage and French chops? Or should we now all ban, as a non-Russian?
“Look Russian”, “Russian wear” inevitably leads to the slogan “eat Russian”. But here we are waiting for surprises, writes in his LiveJournal Pavel Syutkin. – What ideas are forthcoming on this score in the country! Planning is the destruction of thousands of tons of the “enemy” of food, artfully break into the Russian expanse. There were plans of introduction of standards on Russian cuisine in restaurants. Characterized by spirituality, courage and appetite Cossacks sent raids on the shops, looking for sedition.
But increasingly, we are faced with a simple question: how do we define “Russianness” of a product or food? And, most importantly, who and how will do that? Here, for example, salad with crab is a Russian dish? – No? And actually, why? Crabs in our seas there are, and the leaves of herbs have long been grown.
And mashed potatoes with cutlet? Because, clearly alien. Potatoes – American, and the word chicken even sounds not in Russian. Not to mention the fact that by the end of the XVIII century (before the arrival of the German and French chefs) chopped cutlets have not been used.
Or tomatoes, drizzled with vegetable oil? By the way, tomatoes are all very intricate. It is clear that the origin of America has in itself makes them alien and suspicious. However, how then to deal with our usual soup or gobies in tomato sauce – is unclear. And actually, if you look back, this product is perfect exotic for our kitchen even in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Here read the magazine “Russkoye Slovo” in 1859. “Yesterday gave me something red floating in olive oil. “What is it? I asked. – Tomato, monsieur, an Apple love. The Apple of love I really liked in the very name and also for its sour taste.” And today gathered on their six acres and lovingly rolled in the jar these tomatoes did not cause the Russians have no allergies from his foreign origin.
The idea of using local products is quite common. This is one of the trends of the modern kitchen, which won international fame many chefs and restaurateurs. But to absolutize it. Still the climate is not Mediterranean. In the blessed Soviet times, even ordinary onions just disappeared from the market from January until may-June when the new crop filled the shelves.
And if we’re talking about the Soviet Union, what Soviet culinary classics? All of these barbecue in Karski ASE tartare, soup kyufta, Hungarian goulash, salad “Tashkent”, etc in light of current initiatives as considered to be?
We are sure that Russian cuisine was enriched from the interaction with foreign. And we also believe that our national cuisine is not only the peasant form of domestic meals. But exquisite cuisine of XVIII-XIX century. But how, for example, the sturgeon galantine or the mayonnaise of game will fit into today’s political reality is unclear to me. Yes, there is mayonnaise! The familiar from childhood chicken Kiev is spiritual or not?
In the meantime, the desire to “have a domestic” sometimes leads to comical results. Inventing a new “Patriotic” names for famous dishes. For example, a “Salad from Peter I” or “Chopped steak recipe Malyuta Skuratov”. In short, exactly the same as we had in 1920-ies, memorable home cooks in addition to other things is also a dish “Gnocchi proletarian”.
What about today with all this on restaurant menus – is unclear. Will the exam on “russkost” salad with tomatoes and cucumbers (too suspicious, even by name, derived from the Greek ἄγουρος). Or restaurateurs will be forced shamefully to get him to the end, putting at first place “a radish in treacle” and “turnips, cinenow pagename the mushrooms?”
“Commercials can get to the wheat and rye with their Mesopotamian origin,” writes avb1.
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