It’s 5 o’clock, and you’re leaving the office in search of some post-work libations and snacks before dinner. You could go the traditional happy hour route — where you’re limited to a few drinks and small bites within a short window of time — or you could up the ante and visit a Japanese izakaya.
After Stalin’s death, people in the Soviet Union could begin to debate politics again without fear of repression. This “thawing” took place in private kitchens, where music and art flourished, too.
In the Soviet Union’s communal kitchens, many families jockeyed for one stove. Apartments were crowded, food was scarce and government informants were everywhere. Still, some found joy and connection.
The soft drink giant is one of the few big U.S. firms with major investments in Russia. And the reasons why say a lot about why the U.S. has less leverage in Russia than it might like.
Zakuski are like Russian tapas. More than a delicious snack, these dishes also tell the story of Russia. From “Herring Under a Fur Coat” to pickled everything, zakuski teach us about harsh winters and state-sponsored products in the Soviet era.
Athletes and spectators are giving the food in Sochi rave reviews. But what are they eating, exactly? It’s a mashup of Soviet-era Russian faves, punctuated with foods of the Caucasus that have long been special treats for people visiting the Russian Riviera.
Russians have been drinking kvas, a barely alcoholic fermented grain drink, for centuries. But the kvas sold commercially in the U.S.? It’s largely just a wimpy, watered-down, sugary version, say aficionados. Now some new kvas makers are hoping Americans will embrace traditional, hard core versions of the drink and its tangy, sour goodness.
Some U.S. meat producers add an obscure chemical called ractopamine to the feed that they give to their pigs, cattle or turkeys. But Russian safety officials haven’t approved it, and they’ve stopped U.S. meat imports – worth a half-billion-dollars a year – until those imports are ractopamine-free.