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National food

Buckwheat as side dish

Black rye bread

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Natonal soups

Borscht - famous red soup

Shchi - cabbage soup

Okroshka - soup with kvass

Solyanka - salted soup


Zefir - light dessert

Varenie - main Russian dessert


Kvass - Russian drink #1

Kefir - sour milk drink

Mors - berry drink

Kissel - dense drink

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McDonalds in Russia

Okroshka – Russian summer cold soup
made of kvass


1 Introduction

2 Classic okroshka

3 Everyday okroshka

4 Where and how to taste okroshka in Russia

5 How to bring okroshka home from Russia

6 Something interesting about okroshka and Russians


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Okroshka is a cold soup cooked with meat, vegetables and Russian national beverage kvass. This dish is unique; there are no similar dishes in the world. Only Spanish gazpacho is a little bit like Russian okroshka, but the list of ingredients is strongly different.

We often call Okroshka as “summer soup”, because it is good in Summer. Sometimes in Russia, we add pieces of ice to keep it cold. This dish will refresh you in the hot weather.

The name “okroshka” originates from the Russian verb “kroshit” translates as "to crumble" that means to separate something into little pieces. The dish was always a way of utilizing any foodstuff left from other dishes, especially meat. If you have a few pieces of meat, then the best idea to use it somehow will be cooking okroshka. It is delicious, easy and fast to prepare.

Classic okroshka

We separate the classical recipe and everyday okroshka. In the first case, the list of ingredients is strict and the technology is more difficult.

Okroshka is a simple dish. It is a mix of boiled or fried meat, vegetables, boiled egg and seasonings flooded by kvass. Any type of meat is allowed. The list of vegetables should contain cucumber, green onion, fennel and radish. All the vegetables should be chopped into small pieces.

Just before repast this mix should be flooded by special type of kvass. Such sort of kvass is light colored and have a special taste. It is designed especially for cooking okroshka.

This dish was invented in the old Russia by people called “burlaks”. These people pulled ships along the river. It is hard to explain it to foreigners, because everybody asks, “Why you Russians have not employed horses for this job?”

Human labor was cheaper than feeding horses. Unfortunately, human's life never was valuable in Russia. Most of burlaks died during their first year on this job giving the bloody incomes to their employers. In the picture above, you may see the famous painting by Ilya Repin “Burlaks at Volga river”. You may visit The Russian Museum in Saint-Petersburg and enjoy with this painting personally.

The common lunch for burlaks was kvass and dried fish. They soaked the fish in kvass and added any vegetables they could find. This way okroshka has appeared. There were other similar dishes in Russia before, but the first classical recipe formed by these poor people.

Classical okroshka should be made of kvass only. In addition, it should be a special type, and usual kvass you can purchase in a supermarket is not admitted. In a supermarket in Russia you can find this special kvass, but not in the liquid form, but in the dry form. You will need to prepare this kvass.

Everyday okroshka

When we cook okroshka at home, we usually not follow the classic recipe. We usually use usual kvass bought in a supermarket. There is another popular beverage for okroshka in Russia. It is kefir. Only these two types of the soup are widespread in Russia.

Of course, there are many other recipes – with beer, whey, tomato juice and even mineral water. You are free to prepare okroshka with any beverage you like, there are even recipes with Coca-Cola, Fanta or Pepsi. But all these recipes may be called as exotic.

The list of vegetables for everyday soup consists of any vegetables you have inside your refrigerator. We use meat products like sausage or kolbasa sometimes.

Where and how to taste okroshka in Russia

The best way is to visit a Russian cuisine restaurant. Some national fast-foods also will offer this soup in Summer; the most well-known of these fast-foods are “Teremok” and “Mu-Mu”. The second place is hard to call as fast-food; it is something middle between fast-food and restaurant.

Sometimes you can find the mix for okroshka in a supermarket, you just need to flood it with kvass to receive a soup. But, this mix is rare, do not seriously hope to find it.

How to bring okroshka home from Russia

We think it is not a good idea. We already told above okroshka should flooded by kvass just before serving up. One hour after flooding vegetables will become soft and the dish will lose its good taste. In fact, there is no way to bring it from Russia.

If you are pleased with okroshka in Russia, then will be better to bring kvass. The mix is easy to prepare by yourself, and kvass is the only ingredient you will not find at homeland.

Something interesting about okroshka and Russians

Okroshka is the most incomprehensible dish of Russian cuisine for foreigners. Nobody understands the dish made of soft drink.

Some of us prefer to eat this soup with sour cream, and it is the second reason why foreigners do not understand this dish. The usual question is, "Kvass has a sour taste, why to add another sour product to the soup?" In case of kefir, okroshka seems nonsense, when one sour dairy product added to another. But nobody is amazing about it in Russia. Some of us eat wheat flour noodles with wheat flour bread.

Outside a large city Russian people eat okroshka at least one time in a week. In Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Novosibirsk and other large cities this soup is not an everyday dish.

We hope you will like Russian okroshka. Read other articles about Russian cuisine at our website (you may watch for links below and at the left from main article).

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I love Okroshka in summer, but hope to find some with real dried fish in it, and no bits of sausage.

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