26 Russian American Canned Stew

Russian American Canned Stew

Posted on May 27, 2010 by

American Russian Stew 5

During World War II USA has helped great deal to the armies of the allies in every possible way, including sending the machinery and weapons according the so called “land lease” agreement.

We have today one of the most exotic parts of this cooperation, that was very appreciated by Russian soldiers and was famous long after the war was over.

This exotic American give away was a production of a special canned pork stew designated to Russian troops and prepared according to the Russian traditional recipe. Russian soldiers are not used to those capitalistic foods you might supply us, bring us “The Tushonka”, this might was in minds of Russian generals who asked American government to send this special food to the front lines.

American Russian Stew 6

«Cincinnati, Ohio. Preparing canned pork (Russian: “svinaia tushonka”) for lend-lease shipment to the USSR»

American Russian Stew 7

This shot shows the actual tin packaging and its content, as much as was in one can. It had big dose of fine pork stew packed in some good amount of pork fat. This was done as an extra measure for conservation, as if the tin gets some air leaks the fat around the food itself still protects it from contacting with the air and getting spoiled. It was an old way to preserve stuff way before tin cans were used – putting cover the food with the fat and store. This way only the outer layer of the fat should be removed and then you can eat the rest.

Then they had also a laurel leaf and some pepper and that’s it. The most tasty Soviet meal from the WW2 times. Or an American meal?

Even the can itself was bilingual. It had big Russian title telling on what’s that it but everything else was in English.

American Russian Stew 8American Russian Stew 10American Russian Stew 12American Russian Stew 14

They still have the examples of the tins preserved in the museums. There is a story that one man has brought a piece of tin can of “tushonka” to Soviet army general some forty years after the war was over. He had found it untouched and then the special military commission has opened it and after some tests they declared that it was “a nice meat you can eat today too”. Were the tests actually when someone tasted it?

American Russian Stew 1

Nowadays, this is still a very popular meal in Russia. Different varieties are available from tens of different brands. One is missing – the original American Russian Tushonka from Cincinnati.

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26 Responses to “Russian American Canned Stew”

  1. lithuanian says:

    No warning for jewish and muslim visitors? Pork is not kosher you know.

  2. perristalsis says:

    I thought it was Spam we gave them, just like we gave everyone else who needed rations.

    • Rooskiya says:

      This is fine U.S. propaganda !

      American soldiers ate spam so the capitalists could have the fine meats to lure the Soviets. This is a disappointing moment, comrades.

  3. Musa says:

    Looks nasty to me, but this is interesting stuff, educational too.

  4. Dimok says:

    Tasty tushonka!

  5. DouglasUrantia says:

    Old Civil War [USA) bottled food from 1860 was opened a few years ago and was still fresh. It was fed to some dogs. I guess they liked it. – – Occasionally I like some canned corned beef from Argentina.

  6. Snowlion says:

    The inscription “svinaia tushonka” is written incorrectly. Compare first and last photo.

    • Russian Dude says:

      Wrong. The last, modern picture is actually the one with the spelling mistake. Which is incredibly shameful for modern Russian grammar.

  7. Ike says:

    FYI It’s not “lAnd lease”, it’s “lEnd-lease”. As in “Lend-Lease Act of 1941″. Just sain’…

  8. Zondernaam says:

    Reading the can labels on the first picture suggests that the smaller spoon contains onion paste as the final ingredient.

    “Tushonka” looks much tastier than bully beef!

  9. That’s interesting, because Cincinnati was a major pork-processing city in the U.S. It was also a city with a strong German influence. A lot of German immigrants to the U.S. in the mid-19th century came first to Cincinnati. (As did some of my own ancestors.) Germans and pork and Cincinnati all go together — and helped send pork to Russia, which was fighting the Germans.

  10. are you kidding says:

    So us Americans made it better huh . hehhehehehe

  11. natti says:

    It figures that Porkopolis would create this.

  12. Testicules says:

    Yes! America saved Russia from the Nazis

  13. Snowghost says:

    My grandfather is a WWII veteran, he was an infantryman (pechotinetz) in RA.

    I let him see these pics, and he said he remebers those. He said he saw NKVD officers eating them once or twice. As for himself, he said his unit used to eat boiled rye grain for weeks, if not longer (this was in 1943, before he was wounded)

  14. Ivana Benderova says:

    In days past perhaps…. maybe.. Cincinnati was a big pork producer. As for today, Washington DC produces more pork than the entire planet Earth. So it only serves (nyuk!) to reason that the excess pork can be exported.

  15. Dave says:

    I recently bought some U.S. army rations from 1960 – 50 years old, opened them up and ate them. White bread and peanut butter, while a bit tinny, it tasted ok.

  16. George Semel says:

    Well We did our Best, may not have been perfect, nothing is. And not only the food, but trucks jeeps airplanes and a whole bunch of other stuff besides. All the while keeping the U-Boats at bay, people tend to forget that there is a whole lot of water between New York and Murmansk, had to build the ships to send it all, and then there was the Pacific. Now the Troops get MRE’s they are pretty good. As for America Saving Russia from the NAZIS, you saved yourselves in spite of the poor political leadership of the day. All we did was help out as much as we could, as I said we had a lot of problems to over come, just to get to that second front.

  17. jayman419 says:

    It was the “lend-lease” act. The US gave the Soviets equipment and food and gear, and either a fee was paid for its use or it was considered a loan. There were provisions for the sale of some equipment at the end of the war, but mostly the goods which were leased or loaned were required to be given back.

    But for a lot of it, the cost of transporting it back at the time was more than the goods were worth, so the US supervised the destruction of much of it, some of it was given away, and the rest was left for local authorities to destroy.

    Those meals were custom made for the Russian soldiers, but US and other Allied troops didn’t get anything better. By all accounts, the stuff was terrible even when it was “fresh”, but it did fill the stomach. Vitamins were given less consideration than raw calories, but a lot of the research that went into making these meals is what gives us our daily requirements and food labels, improved dry storage of goods, and a much better product in the can.

    These cans were part of a kit that had things like a razor blade (to shave) sometimes, or cigarettes and matches, a water tablet (to purify water sourced in the field), a chocolate bar or fig cookies, and other little bits.

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