102 Top 15 Russian Appetizers

Top 15 Russian Appetizers

Posted on May 20, 2009 by

russian cuisine: russian starters 4

Fermented or sour cabbage is number three. It's almost as popular as pickled cucumbers, and every old school Russian party has it. Kids are being told stories that eating this cabbage would let them grow tall and strong. Many Russians especially like drinking it's juice on hangover, together with the pickled cucumbers brine.

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russian cuisine: russian starters 5

Russian meat jelly or aspic. One of the most favourite cold meat dishes from Russia. It takes a lot of meat first boiled and then left in cold place to the jelly appear, then is served with some toppings or just in this way. Almost any Russian would tell you he ate it alot in childhood when family gathered to celebrate some New Year party or something other.

russian cuisine: russian starters 6

Potatoes. Almost every Russian family eats potatoes daily, and on parties the potatoes is a must too.

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102 Responses to “Top 15 Russian Appetizers”

    • Miss India says:

      OMG it looks delicious! I love vodka! :)

      • Batyana says:

        The fat in the first picture (Topic picture) is very tastey. It is expensive though! In orphanage we don’t get such good foods but now I can afford the caviar

    • Miss India says:

      OMG Russian foods looks so cheap and nasty. I prefer my delicious Big Mac any day, then again it cost their daily wage to buy a big Mac in Russia :(

      • BNDQ8 says:

        Shame on you Miss India for spoiling indian’s name!!Get a life…

      • Miss Russia says:

        Honestly, Big Mac is not that good at all, and definitely, it is not tasty. Red caviar is much more expensive than Big Mac, Russians eat caviar a lot. Also, in America, Big Mac is for poor peasants who abuse government help. ;))

    • Mico says:

      I’m Bulgarian and I eat this stuff pretty much every day.

      It’s Delicious

  1. Kozak says:

    First of all, Borsh and SALO are not Russian but Ukrainian traditional dishes…

    • antius says:

      хахлы сасут

    • Yelena says:

      Haha, thank you!

    • tsuki says:

      don’t cry kozak. you’ll become ataman soon

      • Kozak says:

        Kozaks never cry! ;P Don’t worry about me. I’m just pointing out the difference, but nevermind.
        PS. I’m already an attoman :D

    • @kozak
      Some of them are popular everywhere between Russia and Germany. For example aspic – you can eat it in Russia, it’s very popular in Poland and also in Brandenburg in Germany.

      Different example – fermented cabbage sauce – it’s popular in Russia, you can buy it in Germany (Sauerkrautsanft) but I’ve never seen it in any shop in Poland.

      Potatos – we all eat them – Russians, Ukrainians, Poles, Germans (i very like some sorts of Kartofellsalat).

      @Pacific NW
      Yum? What exactly is the jelly?

      It’s gelatin boiled out from the bones ;-]

      • Real CZenda, not the impostor says:

        Sauerkraut is popular all over Central Europe. Quite tasty and relatively healthy dish is “sauerkraut perkelt”, a dish locally called “Szegedin goulash” after the Hungarian town. Nobody is able to explain the name – the same perkelt is surely prepared in Budapest or Szekesfehervar :-D
        I buy (occasionally) quite good canned aspic made by a German “Dreistern” company and available in local Lidl for silly money.
        There is no doubt that Mediterranean cuisine rocks, but the local peasant recipes based on what grows in the colder parts of Europe should not be forgotten. Less cheap pork, more vegetables – what you get is a dish ready for the 21th century!

    • russoturisto says:

      Yes, you may have Salo and Borsh in Ukraine, but that does not make it “only Ukrainian.” Ty navernoe kakoi-to tupoi zapadenec

      • Mixas says:

        Their food like their people is all over the world now… And that is after they got their independence from the last empire they were under.

      • hi hi says:

        russoturisto , poxozhe chto tak ono i est` :(
        Russians eat borsh` evreyday :)

    • Kirov says:

      Yes. We like fat and mayonnaise and food without vitamins !! It gives us our remarkable blue-ish white complexion, chubby-ness and out notorious bad breath ! The pickles are nice.

    • Laser Beam says:

      First of all, Ukraine is one of Russian regions. Even though is was temporarily disconnected from the rest of Russia, it does not change the fact, that Ukrainian culture is just local subversion of Russian culture.

      • Het'man says:

        You don’t know what you’re talking about. Russia’s ancestry started on Ukrainian soil – Kyivs’ka Rus’ – Ukraine is NOT a Russian territory. If anything, Russia’s culture comes from Ukrainian roots. Slava Ukrayiny!

        • from_Rasha_w_luv says:

          If anything Ukraine was considered the outskirt throughout the history, and when “kievskaya rus” originated there were no ukrainians nor russians, rather tribes that were close to vikings. Next time read a history book that is not written by a Ukrainian nationalist

  2. Ivan says:

    Olivje description reminds me of a fav dish here in Croatia, we call it “French Salad”, and it’s mate of potatoes, carrots, green peas and mayonaise. From there anything goes, some put ham, some apples. Win-win at parties :)

    • Vladmir Nabob says:

      Interesting. In Germany and Austria, they prefer fatty mayonnaise salads and they consider leafy green salads “French” salads. I’m American and prefer the typical leafy “French” salad. Too much mayonnaise makes me sick! I’m not very familiar with these Russian foods, but I do like caviar and pickled herring. And vodka!

      BTW: I have traveled in Croatia and like it very much. Sretno!

  3. Miett says:

    Mmm. Most of that seems like it would be tasty, though I’m not sure how much I’d like the meat aspic–I’d certainly try it though…

  4. Pacific NW says:

    “and then left in cold place to the jelly appear” – Yum? What exactly is the jelly?

    • Kirov says:

      you can also buy it in the west, i’ve seen it in Berlin as well. It is not very healthy, though. Also, now you know why there are no vegetarians in Russia. On the streets, that is, because to be a vegetarian is considered a mental disease.

  5. aha says:

    good article.

    jellatine comes from cow’s bones.

  6. hobbitofny says:

    Beet soup is common to the eastern slavic language nations that I have visited. Each claims it and many of the same dishs as its own. I try to order Borsh in each city I visit. It is never made the same. Ya, the list of items used is mostly the same but the taste is always different.

    I have enjoyed all those listed but the pickled tomatoes. I will make a point of trying them on my next visit.

    If you have not gone, go visit and eat, eat, eat. Russians know how to cook. Enjoy the food!

    • Kozak says:

      of course that they are common for slavs and very popular in the west. But here I was talking about origin. In Russia, the dish that is close to “Borsh” calls “SHI” and it’s not red. That is their main difference let alone the taste.

  7. mikey says:

    aspic and šašlõk (shashlik) are the best of the bunch. most of the dishes are also commonly served in estonia as well. And don’t be put off by the look of the aspic – it’s actually very tasty although here in estonia we have about 1/6 jelly/meat ratio.

    • Russianlynxy says:

      aspic is great, here we call it “Holodetz” (meaning “dish served cold”). Dunno how it is in Estonia but almost all families make it, and mostly around New Years.

      “Shashlik” is definately one of my favorites as well. It’s not just fried meat as it says in the description. It has to be marinated in for at least 24 hours. My family experiments with different marinades and sauces but it’s pretty much the same concept. The dish itself is of Souther Russian/Caucasian/Turkish origin.

      goes to say that most of Russia’s cuisine is very diverse and influenced by alot of different cultures. Salo and Borscht are Ukrainian but alot of people love it here and have adopted it.

  8. Delta says:

    Like in most northen countries foods are primarily nutrious. Tasty and diverse foods can be more found in the south-european cousine.

  9. Jason says:

    MMMM good food,my wife barbecued shish kebabs at her parents dacha.

    I don’t like the jello food.

    Butered bread with meat and cheese and tea or coffee,Offered to you any time of the day.Russian hospitality is the best.

  10. Jaan says:

    I think the “Beer without vodka is waste of money” is the correct version of the saying!!

  11. Tomala2 says:

    There is similar to aspic dish in Poland called “legs in gelatin” – usually chicken or pork legs in gelatin… as awfull as aspic:)

  12. Ms. Petrovna says:

    what the hell, didn’t even mention shuba? That should be on the list.

    but the rest of the list, I agree.

  13. tron2112 says:

    I ate something similar to that home made jelly on a train from Moscow to Ekaterinburg, but it had fish on it, it was really tasty, a nice russian guy called Alexander offered it to us, and we invited him to spanish “jamón ibérico”, great dinner! But I can’t stand russian bread, it’s too dry, you need vodka to just swallow it! But who can say no to a glass of great russian vodka??

  14. Balazs says:

    We have many of these meals in Hungary too (pickled cucumbers are a big favourite, bacon, cabbage, aspic, saslik also).

    I’ve never heard of “Szegedin goulash” before, we don’t use that name in Hungary. The Hungarian name is “Székely káposzta” (Székely cabbage, named after a guy called Székely).

  15. scot says:

    All look good to me!

  16. drov says:

    I like it

  17. Pyruslav says:

    I must point that the Olivje salad is actually called RUSSIAN SALAD in Spain, but adding some tuna to it instead of any meat (ham, saussage, whatever…)

  18. Oleg says:

    About Olivje: nobody mentioned that this salad must contain a choped sausage or meat. And if you add some “kvas” (Russian traditional soft drink), it will turn into “okroshka” – Russian cold soup.

  19. 1337cshacker says:

    Rofl, it is all basic stuff, on bread. Excellent warrior nutrition though. Potato’s EVERY day? Wow… Wish I could do that. Instead of fitting out I would prolly just become one.

  20. Audrey says:

    Do Russians eat salty snacks such as potato chips or peanuts? In a bar with vodka would Russians eat some sort of snack?

  21. Cossack says:

    If we drink we will die,
    If we don’t drink we will die.
    So we might as well say, “What the hell!”
    And let our glasses clink.

    Whatever your name,
    You’ll be dying just the same.
    So as long as we are going to die,
    It’s better if we drink.

    Hey!

    Pass the pickles around, and I’ll have another bottle of vodka.

  22. Koo says:

    “Do Russians eat salty snacks such as potato chips or peanuts? In a bar with vodka would Russians eat some sort of snack?”

    Yes-yes! Russians love salty snacks with their beer.
    Most common salty delight is…”vobla” – dry salted fish.
    Dry salted calamari and octopus have also gained their popularity among the Russians.

  23. UKR says:

    Hm… I didn’t saw any russian food here.

  24. tiavita says:

    If haven’t ever tried that dishes you shouldn’t talk about that it is nasty… you don’t even imagine how delicious it is..

  25. Szuja says:

    Zajebiaszczo. Typowe kacapy :P

  26. loge says:

    many of them are very popular in Poland too. except tomatoes (you may find sometimes green ones, sliced and pickled, but it’s not very popular), salo, in Poland called “słonina” (it’s all fat, no meat!) is quite hard to obtain now, because lot of us gone crazy about “healthy food”.
    we don’t eat much caviare, simply because we have to import it, and it’s quite expensive, considered as “luxury”.
    someone said that hasn’t seen sour cabbage in Poland. Mistake! It’s as popular as cucumbers, however little different prepared, thus looks different. but juice alone is rare, i don’t know why – but it’s very easy to make your own ;)
    salad is known simply “vegetable salad”, has more ingredients, and no meat – we have it on any family meeting
    fish soup is very little popular, but known, and beer and vodka are common :)

  27. Volodymyr says:

    The author knows about Russian Appetizers as much as I about nano technologies….

    Half of the list is UKRAINIAN dishes…

    If you like to know, most russians prefare ukrainian Nemiroff, becouse russian vodka is no so good? same with pickled cucumbers.

    And what about SALO, dear author, every russian prove that it’s ukrainian food. Same with tomatoes, borsch….

    Fell the difference.
    It’s like you will say american on a british

    • Laser Beam says:

      Volodya, you are crazy ukro-nazi. You are disease, and Ukraine should be cleaned from nationalists like you.

    • Pro says:

      Crazy Ukro-nazi indeed. Yes, rus say SALO is ukranian, but SALO is being eaten all over Russia from Moscow to Vladivostok, while its originated in ukraine territory – it became truly russian. Well, from childhood i always regarded my favorite borsh as russian, and i still do.

      I mean, Ukraine is part of Russia from ancient times. Russians and Ukraines are the same, they share one history, one life. What RUssians like, the same like urkainians. Tomatoes are ukrainian??? WTF. – it sounds as crazy as ukro-ultra-nazi’s claim that proto-ukros invented math, astrology, geometry, and dig up black sea, lol, seriously, that what they say.

      You Ukro-nazis are really went mad with your fuked up nationalism, trying to be something you are not.

  28. Limadito says:

    The olivje is also eaten in Argentina, where is called… Russian Salad. Instead of wusrt, carrots are used (diced and boiled). Is a perfect sidedish for a roasted baby pig (lechon asado).

  29. rontz says:

    “Miss India says:
    May 21, 2009 at 7:50 am
    OMG Russian foods looks so cheap and nasty. I prefer my delicious Big Mac any day, then again it cost their daily wage to buy a big Mac in Russia”

    *LOOOOOL* cheap and nasty…yeah..sure… tasty is what i’d say… but hey… what could you expect from someone who thinks McDonalds’ food is DELICIOUS? *LOL* I guess it’s looking so “cheap and nasty” because it’s selfmade and not bought in a box and every dish has its own taste and not everything’s tasting the same… ^^

    i eat pretty much of that stuff regularely, i guess many of it is pretty international:D
    what’s cool to know and new to me is that “shashlik” is from russia:)
    greetz from germany

  30. Solomon says:

    Tupie YANKI

  31. Solomon says:

    Roshin good

  32. Semaj says:

    Great photos!

  33. Caleb says:

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    ►~MEH~◄
    █▄▄▲▄▄█

  34. LUbo says:

    Salo and Borsh is Ukraine 100%

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  36. foo says:

    “OMG Russian foods looks so cheap and nasty. I prefer my delicious Big Mac any day, then again it cost their daily wage to buy a big Mac in Russia”

    Lol, you fail at eating, and life. Where I’m from, only the underclasses eat this swill. And it’s the one of the reasons Scotland is one of the most unhealthy, fat nations in the world, just after the US

    McDonalds is the worst, processed trash food it’s ever been my misfortune to eat. It’s disgusting.

    The food in this article looks excellent. I’ve only had caviar and herring, but I’ll be pestering my eastern European friends to see if they have any similar dishes. In Scotland we have some quite similar food though.

  37. Monxy says:

    In Poland people eat shashliks too(In polish “szaszłyk”)

  38. Laser Beam says:

    Nationalists from Ukraine are quite annoying in their attempts to privatize our common culture and our common history. There is a cliche that borsch and fat are Ukrainian dishes, but they are equally popular and widespread in Russia as in Ukraine.

    • Igor says:

      I would say russian nationalists have no “limits”, it like old days THIS is mine and that is mine. EVERYTHING is mine….
      I would say my grandmother told me story about “moskali” (russian soldiers) in 1939 when they got to western Ukraine when were asking her for cucumbers told her give a ripe ones (I would say yellow). And here I could sea great green ones
      I do assume they learned.

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  40. I love the borsh, it’s easy to prepare and very healthy too. Else there were to much pickled things on the list for my taste:)

  41. Sherry says:

    SALMON ROE/ikura caviar!!! I luv ikura :D :D :D I havent had it for a few months D: it’s so pricey in the states and I like eating straight ikura. xD I also love a lot of that food xD it must be my Russian blood haha :D

  42. Simon says:

    UKHA…is very similar with Korean fish soup. Only thing different is Korean soup is very, very…hellish spicy. And fishes are basically hosts of parasite worms. You can find cooked parasite worms in Korean fish soup. For someone who have never studied biology, those worms in soup look like parts of flexible fish bones…:)

  43. Nora says:

    omg i love “OLIVJE” its soo good…

  44. GREAT RECIPE!!!!! THEY WERE SO EASY TO MAKE! THANKS! I have a cooking recipe site as well and Id like to exchange links with you. Let me know if this is possible. Thanks.

  45. Svetlana says:

    Oh, I agree with some of the appetizers on this list, though their availability vary from region to region. For example, Shashlik is mostly eaten in hotter regions or in some of the Baltic republics, whereas in the Ural region, Shashlik isn’t so popular. And concerning the appetizers (as well as their description) that I don’t agree with:
    -Potatoes. We, Russians, don’t eat potatoes “practically daily”. You know why not? Because we have tastier, richer and healthier grains that we can eat instead. Potatoes are rather poor vegetables.
    – Beer. Again, we do not drink beer as an appetizer, unlike, let’s say, Germans, because we have better drinks such as Kvas. And if beer is drunk, it’s drunk not as for starters during a meal.
    – Caviar. I agree with Caviar being a rather prevalent appetizer in Russian Cuisine. My mom and myself have caviar on buttered black bread as hors d’œuvre on many festive occasions. “Also because of its usually high price and non-availability in Soviet times it’s not in the first five.”
    My mother was born and raised in the Soviet Union. After the destruction of the USSR and during the Czars’ times, caviar became nearly non-available, not during the Soviet times. During the USSR, caviar was at a respectably low price and in good amounts in many shops, including supermarkets. *sigh* English Russia, stop pretending your Russian. I already bumped into this site before, expecting a pro-Russian website in English and unfortunately found this…stuff…instead.
    Leave Russian cuisine, lifestyle and traditions to us, the real Russians. *facepalm*

    • Quiss says:

      What are you talking about? Shashlik isn’t so popular? Everyone cook it at picnic, especially in forest. It’s originally dish from Caucasus, but we eat it even in Murmansk, one of the most northern towns in Russia.

  46. Russia is not The USSR says:

    1.- WTF SALO? this is Ukrainian and non Russian does it
    2.- Jelly meat? yeah right, probably in the former republic, again no a Russian thing even if there are people who eat it
    3.- Marinated herring ? more like Scandinavian mate, yes you would eat herring in Russia but the cooking process is a lot different
    4.- “OLIVJE” salad is a jewish thing, once again no Russian now I agree that Potato Russian Salad is well consumed but not an appetizer.
    and
    5.- Shashlik!!!!??? yes maybe in the Baltic states but again, HEY! no everyone in the Russian territory with a Russian passport is Russian, there are a large amount of ethnicities out there but they are not Russian.

  47. Ania says:

    @ miasto-maßa-maszynabut “I’ve never seen it in any shop in Poland.” – in regards to pickled cabbage.

    Have you ever BEEN to Poland?
    How would we make bigos without pickled cabbage?
    It is in EVERY shop.

    I love most of these starters we have them in Poland too.
    (:

  48. Ania says:

    @Pyruslav “I must point that the Olivje salad is actually called RUSSIAN SALAD in Spain, but adding some tuna to it instead of any meat (ham, saussage, whatever…)”

    Sałata jarzynowa in Poland (:

  49. finfinfin says:

    Borsh is great =D

  50. Jenni says:

    LMAO WHO EVER WROTE THIS. is a true russian ! keep up the good work !

  51. Look good.
    Thanks for posting.

    Soendoro Soetanto

  52. O´Slow. says:

    Delicious.. Greetings from Estonia, Salut!

  53. Ton Press says:

    Hi,

    What a great list. I am always on the look for top lists, and your list is great starting point. Lists are very useful.

    I found your blog from google. Really Great post.

    Will visit again.
    Thanks

  54. J.B. says:

    Almost identical to appetisers in Poland. My wife’s family are from Warsaw and I always make sure I eat lots of delicious treats like this when I am there, although range of Polish food in UK supermarkets is improving. Polish also make a classic soup called “Barszcz Ukraiński” so perhaps it did originate in the Ukraine.

    Słonina is particularly tasty as is Śledzie and wash it all down with nice cold wódka!!!

  55. Kay says:

    I’ve traveled to Russia twice and have to say I generally don’t like their food, the best things probably being bread (nice and firm) and fish/herring. The pickled herring is delicious with vodka. However, Russian food really isn’t that nutritious at all; unlike American food, dairy isn’t pasteurized and so goes bad very quickly, and their food generally isn’t ‘vitamin’ fortified like American stuff is. Many of the women I traveled with lost their hair due to vitamin deficiencies, because they were so used to the vitamin overload you get from American foods. I was lucky and lived next to a Tajik rynok that had fresh fruit, meat and veggies brought in, so I didn’t have to live solely on Russian cuisine.

    Russian cuisine is also generally pretty fatty and salty; it’s got almost a bitter bite to it in some cases which most Americans disagree with. Perhaps it’s one reason why Russians have always had such a low life span (about 65 years). If you look at cuisine popular in America, outside of fast food, it tends to be the ‘favorites’ of other cultures; the good stuff immigrants bring in sticks around, the less appetizing stuff goes away… that’s why there is an Italian restaurant in every town instead of a Russian one! It’s also why you can find caviar throughout the U.S., but schi or pickled tomatoes are a little bit harder to come by. Caviar just appeals to more palates.

    Of course much of it is what you’re brought up with. Russians, for example, eat far more sweets and candy than Americans. We eat a lot more dairy. That’s just culture!

    • Misha says:

      “Russian cuisine is also generally pretty fatty and salty”

      american cuisine too, dear.

      “Russians, for example,eat far more sweets and candy than Americans”

      lol

  56. David Levy says:

    Can we get miss India banned from this site please. She’s not intrested in cultural exchange.

  57. james jones says:

    looks delicious. nothing there too different than things we eat in the american south, except for the aspic. mississippi river sturgeon have delicious black caviar.
    I really enjoy this site, and encourage close east-west friendship and relations. As much as we each accomplished seperately during the cold war, imagine how much we could accomplish TOGETHER, TODAY! OH! AND GOD BLESS YURI ON 50TH ANNIVERSERY OF HIS SPACEFLIGHT! THE WORLD MISSES HIM!

  58. mark says:

    ive noticed most russian cuisine has to be raw.. or if not, has to be pickled and femented.. plus they dont eat lots of food with salt, theyve got unique taste buds..

  59. mark says:

    ive noticed most russian cuisine has to be raw.. or if not, has to be pickled and fermented.. plus they dont eat lots of food with salt, theyve got unique taste buds..

  60. Harry says:

    what about weed its healthy for u guys

  61. Saladista says:

    On “Olivje” Salad… By Lucien Olivier… get it?

    “The original version of the salad was invented in the 1860s by Belgian Lucien Olivier, the chef of the Hermitage, one of Moscow’s most celebrated restaurants. Olivier’s salad quickly became immensely popular with Hermitage regulars, and became the restaurant’s signature dish.

    The exact recipe — particularly that of the dressing — was a jealously guarded secret, but it is known that the salad contained grouse, veal tongue, caviar, lettuce, crayfish tails, capers, and smoked duck, although it is possible that the recipe was varied seasonally.

    The original Olivier dressing was a type of mayonnaise, made with French wine vinegar, mustard, and Provençal olive oil; its exact recipe, however, remains unknown.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olivier_salad

  62. Anders Hansen says:

    I think i will move to Russia

  63. kate says:

    what! salo it ukrainian kitchen

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