With NBC nixing a live-stream of the Opening Ceremony for a replay during primetime on Friday even, there’s even more reason to gather all your friends around the TV for a viewing party. Here are eight traditional Russian foods you should be serving at your killer Russian-themed Olympics party.
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Basically just pickles, you’ll find these on every Russian table before the start of a meal. They’re a common appetizer, and tradition even dictates you should drink pickle juice if you’re looking for an effective hangover cure.
A yeast-based bun with a variety of stuffings, these little pies make great finger foods. Traditional stuffings include boiled meat and sauteed onions, boiled eggs with dill, fish and hard boiled eggs, sauteed cabbage or sauteed mushrooms with onions and carrots.
This party favourite is like a Russian potato salad. It includes boiled potatoes, hardboiled eggs, dill pickles, peas and mayonnaise. Depending on your taste, you can also add wurst or chicken breast.
These thin pancakes are super versatile. You can stuff them with anything from cheese to chocolate and fruit. If you fry them in oil, they cross over into blintze territory. They’re readily available in the frozen foods section for reheating in a pan or the microwave, making them an easy addition to your party menu.
White Russian cupcakes
While White Russian cocktails have no origin in Russia, they do require a hearty dose of vodka. To make an edible version of this drink, you can add an ounce of vanilla vodka and an ounce of Kahlua to regular cupcake batter. Also, add four teaspoons of Kahlua to butter cream icing to finish off the dessert.
Tea culture is huge in Russia, ever since a 17th century Tsar received tea leaves as a diplomatic gift. If you want traditional Russian tea, prepare concentrated black tea and boiling water in a samovar (heated metal container that sort of looks like an urn or a trophy) and stir in some strawberry jam.
Beer only just received a classification as alcohol in Russia at the beginning of 2013, but Kvass, a fermented beverage made from rye bread, is one of the earliest forerunners of beer. It only contains 1.2% alcohol, so if you’re looking for a stronger brew, try Russian imperial stouts (historically British-brewed for export to Russia as a competitor to hard liquor) at 8.5% to 15% alcohol by volume. Klinskoye Svetloe, Zhigulevskoye and Sibirskaya Korona are also awesome authentic Russian beers, but they’re hard to come by in the States.
As the signature drink of Russia, you must have vodka at your Olympics party. You’ll want to serve it neat, un-chilled with no ice or water. If you’re in the mood for authentic Russian vodka, try Russian Standard, based on the formula of Dmitri Mendeleev, the creator of the periodic table.
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