You can hear the word “yadrenyj” in Russia sometimes. The word is very hard to translate, because there are no words with the exact same meaning in English language. We will try to provide you with the definition. Yadrenyj – means food with very strong sour, bitter or spicy taste. But, if some a dish is very sweet, then it will never be called “yadrenyj”.
If shchi are frozen, then its sour taste will become stronger after defrosting. That is why this soup is called “yadrenye” in case of defrosted.
In the old Russia in the winter time, shchi were often frozen. If somebody departed for a long voyage in winter, then it would be a good idea to take this frozen soup.
Many of foodstuffs were stored in a frozen condition in winter. Can you imagine the situation you are chopping a soup with an axe? It was common in the old Russia.
Name of the dish shchi
The word “shchi” is plural because it ends with “i:” sound. For example, pelmeni, vareniki or syrniki end with “i:”. But, let us think, what a word is singular? Is it “shch”? There is no such word in the Russian language; it is the single Russian letter. The word “shchi” is able to be only plural.
The letter “shch” (Rus. “Щ”) and this sound is rare in the world, and it often have no similar sounds in other European languages. If you want to learn to articulate this sound, it will be easy. The first sound in the English word "sugar" is almost the same as Russian sound "shch".
Some Russian people call shchi made of sour cabbage as “sour shchi”, but it is not correct. Sour shchi is a beverage very close to kvass, not a soup at all.
The beverage is already gone into history, but heritage left. There is the expression “Professor of sour shchi” in the modern Russian language. If some person tries to show himself an expert, but, in fact, he is not competent, we will call him with this phrase.
How and where to taste original Russian shchi
The better way is to visit a restaurant with Russian cuisine; shchi must be in the menu in such place. You may taste it in some national fast-foods, but this dish is not available all the time in such places. These fast-foods change its list of dishes very often.
In ancient Russia, all the people ate shchi mostly every day. Everybody - from poor peasant to landlord. The tradition is the same outside a large city nowadays. In Moscow and Sankt-Petersburg, people usually eat this soup one or two times in a month. Do not amaze if you will not find this dish in a delicatessen department of a supermarket.
How to bring shchi from Russia
Unfortunately, canned shchi are not available, and we do not know the reason. If your desire to take the soup from Russia is strong, then we will recommend to bring sour cabbage and cook shchi by yourself, it is easier.
Food companies try to introduce the frozen shchi to the market, but we do not remember any successful experience. These products appear on the shelves and disappear after one or two weeks of low sales. If you find this product while you travel to Russia, you will feel yourself as a fortunate person. If so, you can take it, and do not worry about defrosting, nothing bad will not happen.
We hope Russians soup will give you a bright experience. Try our other articles about Russia and its cuisine (list of links may be found below and on the left from the main text).