First weekend in St. Petersburg: discovering the delicacies
First weekend in St. Petersburg by Eloise Penman
Vsem privet! Hi everyone! So, I’ve successfully landed, remembered where I live and even navigated the metro by myself. Clever me. However, this blog isn’t about me, but about Russian cuisine, specifically that of Saint Petersburg!As someone who loves to cook (and, let’s be fair, to eat!), it is difficult to dislike the city. There are so many different types of cuisine and delicacies to try, from Georgian khachapuri, Ukrainian pampushki, Russian pelmeni to the more outlandish Thai, African and Japanese. (Nevskiy Prospect has it all!) I believe this is a true sign of how internationally-minded the city, affectionately called ‘Piter’, is!
So far, having only finished feeling proud of myself for remembering where I live and that I shouldn’t step on manholes, I’ve not done a lot of eating out in the city’s restaurants. However, I have, with my classmates, discovered a wonderful place called ‘Chainaya Lojka’ or ‘teaspoon’! Here, my friends, is where a hungry language student finds salvation from the somewhat overwhelming city, for one can eat a deliciously creamy mushroom soup (literally just ‘Soup s gribami’ or ‘gribnoi soup’), blini with chicken and ‘Selyodka pod shuboi’ (layered herring salad) and drink a teapot of any choice of tea for under £4.
Furthermore, if you, like me, have an incurable sweet tooth, there are plenty of patisseries/bakeries, ‘konditerskaya’, where there is always a huge range of different cakes and biscuits on offer, from Mango Cheesecake to Poppy Seed Cake!
I also highly recommend, homemade borscht (don’t buy it in the supermarket, but, if you do, check the expiry date!), ‘kotleti’, and ‘charlottka’ (Apple Charlotte). From what I have already experienced it seems my initial impressions of Russian food as stodgy and fatty might be correct.
However, I am not ready to bow down to the stereotype quite yet! It must be said that there are a huge number of salads on the menu of most restaurants (I once counted 20 on one menu) and numerous small street vendors who sell all sorts of fruits from their dachas.
But, if I haven’t yet managed to tempt you with all the different delights of Saint Petersburg, it is still possible to get a taste of home, for ‘Heinz Beanz’, ‘Nescafé’ coffee and your standard apple pie are all readily available here, such is the cosmopolitan focus of Piter! (But, be warned, you will get looked at with great disdain if you ask for milk with you tea. It seems the Russians, too, are immovably decided on how one takes their tea.)
Having not yet succumbed to the desire to crack open the tin of beans, I am, much to the delight of my Ukrainian-born landlady, going to try out the highly recommended Ukrainian restaurant ‘Shinok’ to see just how the Russians in Piter do Ukrainian food.
Do skorovo! Until next time!