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Buckwheat as side dish

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Desserts

Zefir - light dessert

Varenie - main Russian dessert

Beverages

Kvass - Russian drink #1

Kefir - sour milk drink

Mors - berry drink

Kissel - dense drink

Kompot - fruit or berry

Fast-foods

McDonalds in Russia

Kissel - Russian national dense and sweet drink


Contents

1 Introduction

2 Some features of kissel

3 How and where to taste kissel in Russia

4 Most famous brands

5 Kissel in Russian culture

Introduction

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There are three dishes in the world that is called "kissel". The first is an old Russian dish made of oats. This kissel is not interesting for us, because it was forgotten many years ago. The second is a modern dessert of Scandinavia and Eastern Europe countries. This recipe is not widespread in Russia.

The third is a beverage popular in Russia. This article is about this kissel.

Some features of kissel

Russian kissel is a dense beverage. It is cooked of four components: juice, sugar, water and potato starch. Corn starch is also can be used, but rarely.

In the wiki you can find information the arrowroot can be used. To tell the truth, we Russians would use arrowroot with pleasure, if we knew that is it. Not many of us know that is arrowroot, in this way, it is not used in Russian kissel.

As base ingredient, we usually use cherry, strawberry, cranberry and peach juices. It is possible to cook kissel from any fruit or berry juice, and the result will be delicious. Vegetable juice is also suitable. Carrot and beet kissels are popular in some regions of Russia.

This mix is boiling for 10-20 minutes, and kissel is ready for consuming. The cooking technology is close to Russian dessert varenye or kompot drink. We usually drink it cold or warm.

Hot kissel is very dangerous, please be careful! Kissel is rather dense and sticky; its density like olive or sunflower oil. Imagine, if you drank hot kissel beverage, and you understood it is too hot, then you would not spit it out. It is very painful.

The word "kissel" originates from the Russian word "kisliy"; it means "sour". But, this drink is sweet and not sour. The name of the modern drink is the heritage of ancient Russian kissel, and the old dish was sour. In result, we have dissonance of the name and contents.

Kissel beverage became popular in the Soviet Union after World War II. Medical scientists found this drink very healthy, and it was recommended for children gardens and schools. All of Russians more than 30 years old drank kissel when were kids. From the time of childhood, some of us love kissel, some hate it.

Kissel is nourishing. The energy value of 100 grams of this beverage is about 60 kilocalories. For example, juices have about 40 kilocalories, Coca-Cola has 44, another Russian national drink kvass has 27 kilocalories. If you keep fit, then we recommend to quench your thirst with other drinks.

This large energy value is the consequence of using potato starch. Eating a lot of calories is good for children, because they need energy, but it is too much for adults.



How and where to taste kissel in Russia

There are few ways. It is almost impossible to find kissel in fast-foods or restaurants. We do not know why. The drink is not available even in national fast-foods like "Kroshka Kartoshka" or "Teremok". If you want to taste this beverage, then will be better to visit a supermarket.

The first way is to buy dry powder in small bags. Please see photo on the right. The cooking is easy; just rain the powder into hot water and stir it. You wait when kissel become not so hot, and you can safely drink. Fast and easy.

Unfortunately, this powder kissel is not healthy. If you read the sticker, you will find this strawberry kissel do not have any strawberry inside. Food dye, flavor enhancer, preservers, and food additives - you will find all of this inside. We advise not to drink it.

It is a better idea to purchase a special dry powder designed for children. This kissel is more healthy, but more expensive and harder to find.

In the photo on the right, you can see such powder with the pictures of popular Russian cartoon characters called "Smeshariki". This round shaped animals are extremely popular. Russian children love them, and a picture of them guarantees highest sales of any product.

The next type of kissel you can buy in a supermarket is a solid type.

The preparation of this type is harder and longer. You should put the briquette in warm water and completely dissolve it. After, you should add hot water and boil for 10-20 minutes. The beverage should cool down after boiling.

This type of kissel is much more healthy and delicious. If you want to bring kissel back to motherland, then it we strongly recommend to choose this type. You will receive 3 liters of drink with the price that less than 1 USD.

These briquettes are hard to find inside a supermarket sometimes, because it is unclear in what part of a trading hall you should search for it. We advise to look at the shelf with yeasts and spices or at the shelf with fast-cooking noodles.

The liquid kissel is hard to find too. Most of tourists try to find it on the shelves with juices and soft drinks, but fail.

The liquid kissels can be stored not so long time; it is only one week usually. This product should be stored in refrigerators. You should search for it on the shelves with milk, kefir, butter and cheese.

It is easy to locate, because kissel has a red color in most cases. See the photo on the right

Most famous brands

In the photo on the left you can see the most widespread and popular brand of Russian liquid kissel. It is "RosAgroExport".

This drink is healthy and high quality. If to store it at the temperature of 64-68 F (18-20 C), then the shelf life will be about 14 days. If to store it in a fridge, then the expiration date will retreat to 60 days.

Foodstuffs with RosAgroExport brand can be found in most of supermarkets in Moscow. If you want to taste kissel, then this brand will be the best choice.

Kissel in Russian culture

Kissel left a large print in Russian culture. The family name "Kiselev" is one of the most widespread in Russia. Nowadays, Dmitry Kiselev is one of the most well-known journalists in Russia.

When we Russians talk about one of our relative, but we do not know the exact relation degree, then we say: "This man for me is seventh water on kissel". This phrase now is rarely used.

In Russian fairy tales you can find the phrase: "milk rivers with kissel coasts". It means a far country with rich nature and easy life for its inhabitants. Of course, not a modern beverage is meant in this phrase, but an old Russian dish.

We hope you will like kissel. You should read our other articles about Russia (links are on the left column of this page and below).



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