Food & Drink

'Americans Try Bizarre Russian Foods' And The Results Are Hilarious

Eating new foods is always an experience -- sometimes it goes really well, and other times it does not. Such is the case with Buzzfeed's latest video, called "Americans Try Bizarre Russian Foods For The First Time."

The taste-testers in the video tried an array of dishes, including one called "herring under fur coat." Described as "weird as hell" and "fish with purple mayonnaise on top," we probably won't sample that delicacy any time soon. Surprisingly, the one dish that got positive reviews was called salo, which is raw pig fat atop rye toast. Maybe it tasted like bacon?

Their Insides Are Basically Pickled
Flickr: AlphaTangoBravo / Adam Baker
Because summers pass by in the blink of an eye and winters drag on forever, pickling is an important part of Russian cuisine. In order to preserve the harvest of the summer, Russians pickle everything they can -- from cabbage to mushrooms to apples to whole tomatoes. And often times they serve these pickled vegetables to accompany vodka drinking, which we think is a great idea.
They Aren't Scared Of A Little Jell-O With Their Meat
Flickr: Metal Chris
We can barely even handle the fact that Jell-O salads exist, let alone accept and celebrate meat Jell-O as a rich part of our cuisine.
Flickr: max yuyshin
Vodka has been interwoven with the history of Russia since the 15th century. During that time, it was sometimes referred to as burning wine (which seems terribly appropriate). Russians drink an average of 38 pints of pure alcohol per year -- if you convert that into bottles of vodka, the quantity is almost beyond human comprehension.
They Know That Pancakes Shouldn't Be Restricted To Breakfast
Flickr: Ewan-M
Russians enjoy more than one kind of pancake. They have olady, blini and syrniki, just to name a few. Blini -- tiny round Russian pancakes -- are served with caviar, jam or sour cream and can be eaten any time of day. (They were traditionally served to celebrate the end of winter.) And syrniki, a sweet quark pancake, are normally enjoyed for breakfast. So many excuses to eat pancakes -- it's great.
Two Words: Dressed Herring (Shuba)
Flickr: mipi 5
Dressed herring is a layered salad composed of diced salted herring covered with layers of grated boiled vegetables, chopped onions, and it's all covered with beet root and mayonnaise which gives it that striking purple color. INTENSE.
They Eat Straight Up Fat, And Don't Even Think Twice
Wikimedia Commons
You are looking at cured slabs of backfat. This. Is. Serious. Salo is sometimes eaten straight up, along with a (much needed) shot of vodka. Other times it's fried and used to top soups (of course). It's a whole lot of pork fat -- and sometimes a little skin.
Dude, Caviar
Flickr: jcunwired
Russia borders part of the Caspian Sea, where beluga sturgeon -- which produces the costliest and rarest caviar -- swim. Enough said.
They Aren't Scared Of Sour Cream
Flickr: elsie.hui
While we're replacing sour cream with Greek yogurt to be more health conscious, the Russians are still liberally adding it to just about everything. Russians use sour cream to garnish soups, to mix into sauces, and of course, on top of pancakes. They get that it's an instant upgrade to all foods and they aren't scared to use it.
Their Russian Salad Puts Our Potato Salad To Shame
Flickr: La.Catholique
Known as the Olivier salad over there, Russian salad is like US potato salad on steroids. They don't stop at the potatoes, but add pickles (of course), hard-boiled egg and peas. And that's just the base for many, many variations.
They Eat Soup Like It's Their Job
Flickr: moonlightbulb
Maybe it's because so many parts of Russia are ice cold or maybe it's because they just know that soup warms the soul like no other dish can, but Russians eat A LOT of soup. They even make a fruit soup for dessert known as kissel.