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Save Room for Delicious Russian Desserts

28. November 2012 by Masha 0 Comments

One of the best things about traveling to different countries is experiencing different cultures, especially the local eats.

 

Russian and Ukrainian cuisine has such a long history that many of the recipes used today were the same ones used centuries ago. 

 

Whether your favorite Russian girl makes it with love, or you dine at an authentic Russian or Ukrainian restaurant, here are four famous desserts you must try during your visit. 

 

Kissel

Perhaps the most ancient dessert known to the Slavs, kissel became popular during the 9th and 10th centuries and still is today. It's prepared from oats by carefully baking them over time, just so the natural malts are released for a strong sweet taste. The dessert is then sweetened further by the addition of honey, red wine, or fresh or dried fruits. It's often served over pancakes, with ice cream, or simply as a fruit soup. 

 

In Russia, the most popular flavors are cranberry, cherry, and red currant.

 

There's an old tale that kissel saved a Russian city besieged by nomadic Pechenegs in 997. When food became scarce, the residents followed advice of one old man, who told them to make kissel from the remnants of grain, and a sweet drink from the last mead they could find. They filled two wooden containers with the kissel and the mead drink, put them into holes in the ground, and made two fake wells over them.

 

When the Pechenegian ambassadors came into the city, they saw how the Russians took the food from those "wells" and the Pechenegs were even offered a taste. Impressed, they decided to lift the siege and flee, having concluded that the Russians were mysteriously fed from the earth itself.

 

Pryanik

Traditionally prepared as bread and later as cookies, pyranik appeared in Russia around the same time as kissel. It's made with rye flour, honey, and berry juice. During the 12th century, spices from India found their way to Russia and became major ingredients such as ginger, citrus, pepper, nutmeg, mint, and anise. 

 

Pryanik cookies are usually painted with white, rose or chocolate icing or are decorated with berries, nuts or candied citrus peel. They are always served with tea and coffee and they have that wonderful spiciness of a gingerbread cookie, perfect for when the weather is getting colder.

 

Pastilla

It was during the 14th century when pastilla appeared on Russian tables. It's a candy made from baked apples and honey. Sugar was later used to substitute for honey and beaten egg whites were added to aid with shape. Pastillas are like marshmallows although their texture is much softer and they have a little tarter taste.

 

Napoleon, The Russian Cake

Napoleon

While Napoleon Cake originated in France, Russians adopted and adapted the dessert to make it their own. It's made up of as many as 12 to 15 very thin layers of sweet dough and a delectable vanilla custard filling.

 

It was incredibly popular during the Soviet era and can still be found in every Russian pastry shop today.

 

If you have some baking skills yourself, perhaps you'd like to surprise your favorite Russian or Ukrainian bride by making her one of these desserts. You could even shop for the ingredients together and make a date out of it. Thousands of recipes can be found online, but your lady may have a traditional one to try! 

 

Source: FamousWonders.com