48 Soviet Food

Soviet Food

Posted on June 12, 2010 by team


Food in the USSR was actually more than food. After starving post-war years, this opportunity – not only to find food but to please a family and guests with something tasty and creative – turned home cooking into art. Yes, it’s true that range of products choice was scanty. But in USSR was something that hardly can be explained to those who live in the world of abundance – “art to find scarce goods”.

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All those who were in trade, public catering, food industry carried out so much that it was enough for their family, all friends and relatives. A so-called “backscratching” principle was rather popular between factories and  collective farms. So they preserved different vegetables for winter.

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There were stores for disabled people where usually traded abled ones.

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Russian salad, usually called “Olivye”, occupied its place on a Russian table for good and all.

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48 Responses to “Soviet Food”

  1. yummy says:

    I totally don’t miss those times, but yeah, food was really good. Today most of the stuff in shops taste like nothing compared to the food 20 years ago.

    • Kirov says:

      Since mayonaise is main ingredient in Russian food [well, many food->look at pictures of Olivier Salad, Herring in fur coat etc...]
      I think it is because quality of mayonaise dropped very much !!

  2. JZ says:

    Ah, the nostalgia…

  3. Openeyed says:

    What are those rings that the little girl is hanging?

  4. kbr says:

    yeah.. but you forget the lack of food, the long lines just to get something to eat. Food was food, if you had it.

    • Anandamk says:

      Don’t tell lies! When I was there, i never line up for food. (1984-1989)I still miss them.people were healthy & they were happy there.Many had monies saved in the bank. cost of living also very law. but some people were dreaming about Capitalism is good. but they get nothing today. i feel sad of new generation. please note i was living there as a foreigner.

  5. DougW says:

    Blood candy? erm. YUCK!

  6. The Stegosaur says:

    For avoiding a heart attack before turning 50?

  7. RussianeedsObama says:

    I think this Thanksgiving I will be thankful for not eating Russian food.

  8. SSSR says:

    Now Russian shops are well stocked with food and everything else you need.Pull some rubles out of the touch screen ATM and buy whatever you need.I walked into a shop that had Las Vegas wallpaper on every wall.I was looking down on the strip.Russian shops also have CCCP items like shirts and watches and ice cream bars.Also Russian food is very good.Well most of it is.

  9. Otis R. Needleman says:

    As much as I like Russia, I’ll stick with food here in the USA.

  10. knoxblox says:

    Mmmmmm, Olivye! I love that salad!

    My first taste was New Year’s Eve of 2005, in my friend’s home in Chisinau, along with other good things including a very fine sparkling wine from Cricova.

  11. Mr. Anti-Semite says:

    Looks better than gefilte fish, barely.

  12. RussianeedsObama says:

    in soviet russia food eats you

  13. Dmitriy says:

    Napaleon IS NOT a salad. It is a cake.

  14. Boogerman says:

    Of course in Soviet Union people lived not so good as now. But it was our trouble and own safty. Many of families had own garden where they grown vegetables, fruits and berries. It was hard time, but we had got almost 100% healthy food. When our country bacame “free” with pseudodemocracy political system, TV and promotion told us that their syntethic food is good, cheap, healthy… and other pseudomedicals told us same from the TV screen. Now we have weak, poor descent juniors, which doesnt want work, develop…Thanks to west technologies of food industry. Dallas’s plan are working.

  15. Eh says:

    “As much as I like Russia, I’ll stick with food here in the USA.”

    Continue getting fat :D

    • Carlo says:

      You wish !
      Caveat: I- live in the US. Tasty food labeled “organic” is prohibitively expensive. Still it falls short compared to locally produced food in some Ukrainian village. The reason is very simple, food produced for sale in mass quantities using hitech technology will never be as good as grown using traditional methods.

      • Neal says:

        I live in Texas. “Organic” simply means “Cost you more”, and is no better than the local produce. Most food found in stores here, is locally grown, and delicious. Russian foods, prepared with American grown ingredients are wonderful! I learned how to make Pelmini from a Russian friend. I make mine with locally grown mushrooms,onions, potatoes, or canna lily roots,locally grown pork, and make my own dumpling dough. They are a REAL treat, eaten with good,local, sour cream, with a beet salad!

        Dang it, Now I’m hungry!

    • knoxblox says:

      By quality of food here in the U.S.A., do you mean the pesticides, lack of texture, and overabundance of synthetic flavorings and/or high fructose corn syrup?

      • Neal says:

        You must be eating food grown on the west coast. Stuff’s locally grown in most places in the U.S. Don’t like synthetic flavorings, or high fructose corn syrup?

        May I recommend REAL maple, or agave syrup, Molasses, and honey, and make your OWN sweet dishes and deserts.

        When it comes to food, a lot of Americans are just, plain, LAZY. However, rural Americans still have gardens, can, grow their own meat, process their OWN food. 90% of the fat Americans, live in, or near the cities, and are lazy.

        I have a small garden, I hunt, I fish, and I forage the woodlands here for bamboo shoots, stinging nettle, docks, amaranth, canna lily, winecups, etc.

        Rural Americans are just as hearty as any other rural inhabitant, from Russia, or anywhere else.

        Here’s one for you, I have a hand built firepit in my yard, and a granite cooking stone on it, where I prepare MOST of our meals. I have a dutch oven, a way to cold, or hot smoke foods, and a wonderful, outdoor kitchen! All built by me.

    • Amitiel says:

      Why American get fat too ?

      • Neal says:

        Not true. I’m American, I’m not fat. I pick food out of the wilderness, hunt, fish, drink clean water.

        I only buy milk, eggs, and flour from the store, which is very, high quality here.

  16. mad1982 says:

    look yummy , useful than the new foods…

    • Neal says:

      My favorite Russian foods that I found in a Russian deli, in the U.S.:

      HUGE jars of pickled tomatoes! These were the BEST!. Russian sausage, dried (ROCK hard) sardines…. YUM!
      And of course… Russian beer, which, BTW, is the best in the world, bar NONE! Germans and Americans BOTH need to go to Russia to learn how to make good beer!

  17. Darya says:

    my mother still makes every single one of those dishes on a year to year basis. best food ever. ill def learn how to make them just as good as she does and pass it on with generations. cant be forgotten. EVER.

  18. thio says:

    WTH is a hematogen bar??

    • Alex says:

      Hematogen – a medicine against an anaemia. In the USSR it was issued in the form of chocolate and children bought also its fur-trees instead of chocolate because it was very cheap.

  19. travis says:

    yummmm Napoleon

  20. mayday* says:

    haha i love that guy’s WTF look. The one who’s surrounded by girls

  21. audreyLh says:

    why the hospital picture?

  22. Musa says:

    Damn, I’m hungry now!

  23. exUSSR says:

    It was pure food without any chemicals
    and it tasted alot of better then here in the usa that food is full with chemicals and no taste at all…
    eh soviet union food was better

    • Stuchlova says:

      I find the Eastern European dishes to smell rich but have no taste. Smokers must not be able to taste anything at all.

  24. sumgai says:

    Food was simple but good. During the 90s all western canned foods were considered cool but now homemade canned foods are making a comeback. Food nowadays is full of chemicals, pesticides, gene mutated foods here and there, everything seems to be processed…then again, because of this the pharmaceutical industry is thriving :)
    Of course the long queues were nasty – I remember being in a bread queue for mom for something like 2 hours (just bread). The queue was LONG. This is from a small ex USSR country.

  25. Russian says:

    Hematogen (the one that instead of chocolate) made with blood

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