Blog about Russian traditions, superstitions, rituals, folk medicine and many other
The traditions of Russian feast
Every nation has its own way of life, customs, and their unique songs, dances and tales. In each country there are favorite dishes, special tradition in the decoration of table and cooking. Many of them are purposeful, historically conditioned, appropriate to national tastes, lifestyles, climatic conditions. For thousands of years formed this way of life, and these habits, they gathered the collective experiences of our ancestors.
Cooking recipes, formed over the years as a result of centuries of evolution, many of them are fine examples of the right combination of foods to taste, but from a physiological point of view - the content of nutrients.
Life is composed of people under the influence of many factors - natural, historical, social, etc. To some extent, affect him, and cultural exchanges with other nations, but never someone else's tradition, not mechanically borrowed, and acquire a new basis of the local cultural identity.
Ever since the Middle Ages of antiquity in this country are grown rye, oats, wheat, barley, millet, long time, our ancestors borrowed the skills of making flour, captured the "secrets" of various baking products from fermented dough. That's why the food of our ancestors are essential cakes, pies, pancakes, cakes, pie, muffins, pancakes, etc. Many of these products have long been traditional for the holiday table: Kurniki - at weddings, cakes, pancakes - on Carnival, "larks "out of the test - in the spring holidays, etc.
No less typical of the traditional Russian cuisine dishes of all kinds of cereals: a variety of cereals, Krupenik, pancakes, oatmeal jelly, casseroles, dishes based on peas and lentils.
In more northern regions of our country are of particular importance dishes made from wheat. That tradition has deep historical roots. Once among the Eastern Slavs, who came to these lands in the VI century BC and lived mainly in forest areas, millet treated as the main crop.
Millet served as raw material for flour, cereals, cooking, beer, kvass, soups and desserts. This folk tradition is preserved in the present. Note, however, that the wheat in its nutritive value inferior to other cereals. It should therefore be to prepare the milk, cheese, liver, pumpkin and other products.
Not only crops cultivated by our ancestors. From ancient times through the centuries have survived, and became the principal at our garden crops such ancient Rome, HOW TO kapucta, beets and turnips. The most widely used in Russia, sauerkraut, which it was possible to keep until the next harvest. Cabbage is an indispensable snack seasoning to the boiled potatoes and other dishes.
Soup of the various types of cabbage are deservedly proud of our national cuisine, although they are trained in ancient Rome, where specially grown a lot of cabbage. Simply, many plants and vegetable recipes "migrated" from ancient Rome through Byzantium to Russia after the adoption of Christianity in Russia. The Greeks created a Russia not only writing, but passed much of their culture.
In our time, especially the cabbage is widely used in cooking of northern and central regions of Russia, the Urals and Siberia.
Turnips in Russia until the end of XVIII - early XIX centuries. had a value as it is today potatoes. Turnips used everywhere and a lot of turnips cooked dishes, stuffed, boiled, steamed. Turnips were used as filling for pies, prepared the brew out of it. Gradually, from the beginning to the middle of the XIX century it was supplanted by a much more fruitful, but much less useful potatoes (in practice, it is an empty starch). But the turnip contains in its composition and very valuable biochemical compounds of sulfur, which are in regular use in the food excellent immunostimulators. Who was the turnip on the Russian table, and a rare product of MMA - on sale at her and did not determine the price per kilogram, and the piece.
After switching to potatoes Russian cuisine is considerably lost its quality. As well as practical after the failure of the Russian table horseradish, which is also an indispensable tool for health, but retains its useful properties are not more than 12-18 hours after preparation, ie requiring cooking just before serving. Because modern shop "fuck in jars" no such properties, or taste not properly possess. So if you are in Russia, Russian dining horseradish and served to the family table, it is only on great holidays.
Swede reason in the ancient sources do not mention, probably because they had not distinguished from the swede turnip. These once-widespread roots in Russia currently hold in vegetable relatively small proportion. They could not stand the competition with potatoes and other crops. However, the peculiar taste and smell, the ability of various culinary use, portability, storage stability suggest that refuse to turnips and rutabagas are currently not follow, as they give a very special flavor to many dishes of Russian national cuisine.
Of the vegetables, which appeared later in Russia, we can not include potatoes. At the beginning of the XIX century. Potatoes made a real revolution in the tradition of Russian table, dishes of potatoes have gained wide popularity. In the propagation of the potato and its promotion of much of the credit belongs to the famous artists of the XVIII century. AT Bolotov, who not only developed the Growing potatoes, but also suggested a number of technology to prepare meals.
Products of animal origin have not changed. For centuries, our ancestors ate the meat of cattle ("govyadno"), pigs, goats and sheep, and poultry - chickens, geese and ducks.
Prior to the XII century. was used as horse meat, but in the XIII century. she almost fell into disuse because "Excess" horses were selected from the population of the Mongol-Tatars, whom the horses were most needed. In the manuscripts of the XVI-XVII centuries. ("Domostroy", "painting the king's food") are mentioned only a few delicacies from the horse (horse lips of jelly, boiled horse's head). In the future, with the development of dairy farming is increasingly used in milk and products derived therefrom.
Wood crafts are a great and important addition to the economy of our ancestors. In the annals of XI-XII centuries. refers to the hunting grounds - "Goshawk" in later writings referred to grouse, wild ducks, rabbits, geese and other fowl. Although there is no reason to believe that they are not eating and had since ancient times.
Forests cover a huge area of our country, especially in the northern Urals and Siberia. The use of forest products - one of the characteristic features of Russian cuisine. In ancient times an important role in the diet played hazelnuts. Walnut oil was one of the most common fats. Pounded kernels, add a little boiling water, wrapped in a cloth and put under the yoke. The oil slowly trickled down into the bowl. Walnut cake is also used in the food - was added to the porridge, eaten with milk, with cream cheese. Crushed nuts used for the preparation of various dishes and stuffings.
Wood was also a source of honey (bee-keeping). Honey prepared the various sweet dishes and drinks - Medcom. At present, only in some places in Siberia (especially Altai from local non-Russian peoples) remained how to prepare these delicious drinks.
However, from the earliest times to the appearance of mass production was the main sugar honey sweet to all nations, and on its basis in ancient Egypt, ancient Greece and Rome were preparing a variety of soft drinks, dishes and desserts. Also, not only Russian, but all the people who had in his possession a fish for ages and ate caviar.
The very first artificially cultivated fruit tree in Russia was the cherry. When Yuri Dolgoruky in Moscow, only to grow cherries.
The character of Russian folk cuisine is largely influenced by the geographical features of our country - an abundance of rivers, lakes and seas. This is due to geographical location and the number of various kinds of fish dishes. The diet was enough to spread a lot of river fish species, as well as the lake. Although much more different fish dishes were in ancient Greece, and especially in ancient Rome - the creator of the foundations of modern European cuisine wealth. What is worth only one culinary imagination of Lucullus! (Unfortunately, his numerous recordings have been lost recipes.)
In Russian cuisine for cooking, too, used a wide range of products. However, not much variety of products determines the specificity of the national Russian cuisine (the same products were available and the Europeans), but how they handle themselves, cooking technology. To a large extent conditioned by the peculiarity of this popular dishes features the Russian stove.
There is reason to believe that the design of a traditional Russian stove was not borrowed. It appeared in Eastern Europe as a local type of the original fireplace. This is indicated by the fact that the peoples of Siberia, Central Asia, the Caucasus, the main types of furnaces were open seats, as well as outdoor bread oven, or tandoor for baking cakes. Finally, it provides direct evidence of this archeology. During the excavation Tripolye settlements in the Ukraine (the third millennium BC) were found not only the remains of furnaces, but the clay model of the furnace, which allowed them to restore the look and feel of the device. These clay ovens can be considered a prototype for the later ovens, including the Russian stove.
But the design was borrowed from Russian samovar from Persians, who in turn took it from the Arabs. (By the way, and Russian nesting dolls are borrowed from the Japanese in 1893, the 1892nd has been adjusted to mass production.)
But we should not try to artificially "cleaned" by our table once borrowed from other peoples food, has long become accustomed to us. These include, for example, pancakes (taken in the IX century the Vikings out of the kitchen, along with compote of dried fruits and broths), burgers, meat balls, splints, steaks, scallops, mousse, jelly, mustard, mayonnaise (borrowed from European cuisine), barbecue and Kebab (borrowed from the Crimean Tatars), pelmeni (taken in the XII century, the Mongols), soup (it's the national dish of ancient Rome, came to Russia, along with Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Greeks), ketchup (the invention of the English navy chefs), and others.
Many of the dishes that have become now, traditional Russian, was invented by French chefs, restaurateurs, who worked in the XIX century in Russia and created the foundations of modern Russian cuisine (Lucien Olivier, Hp, etc.).
In the process of historical development varied diet, there were new products, improved methods for their treatment. More recently, Russia appeared in potatoes and tomatoes, have become commonplace, many ocean fish, and without them is impossible to imagine our table. Attempts to divide the Russian cuisine at the original ancient and modern is very conventional. It all depends on the availability of affordable products to the people. And who was going to say that the dishes with potatoes or tomatoes may not be the Russian national?
It is interesting culinary use of pineapples in the reign of Catherine II and Prince Potemkin (lover of cabbage stalks, from which he never parted, and gnawed continually). Pineapples are then shredded and kvass in barrels, as the cabbage. It was one of the favorite snacks of Potemkin with vodka.
Our country is vast, and each region has its own local dishes. In the north, like soup, and in the south - borscht, in Siberia and the Urals, there is no shaneg holiday table, and in Vologda - without Rybnikov, the Don's ear is prepared with tomatoes, etc. However, there are many common foods for all areas of our country and many common methods of cooking.
All that was formed at the initial stage of Russian culinary tradition remains unchanged to this day. The main components of the traditional Russian table: black rye bread, which remains a favorite to this day, a variety of soups and porridge cooked almost every day, but it was not for the same prescription that many years ago (for which the need is a Russian stove, and even ability to manage it), pies and countless other products from dough, without which no cost, no fun, pancakes, as well as our traditional drinks - honey kvass and vodka (although they, too, borrowing, in particular, kvass prepared and in ancient Rome).
In addition, with the advent of the Byzantine Orthodox Church in Russia has formed a table lent.
The main advantage of Russian cuisine - the ability to absorb and creatively to refine, develop the best dishes of all the nations with which the Russian people had to communicate on a long historical track. That is what has made Russian cuisine richest cuisine in the world. And now none of the people do not have decent food, that would not have analogues in Russian cuisine, but in a much better performance.
In the seventeenth century, each self-respecting citizen, and especially if it is to the same wealthy could not do without a holiday feasts, it's part of their lifestyle. Prepare for the holiday feast began long before the solemn day - particularly thoroughly cleaned out and tidied the house and yard, to the arrival of guests all had to be perfect, everything must shine like never before. Extracted from the trunks ceremonial cloths, dishes, towels, which are so carefully preserved for that day.
A place of honor the head of this important process, as well as for the purchase and preparation of the festivities, watching the hostess.
At the same master lay no less important duty - to invite guests to a feast. Moreover, depending on the status of the guest, the host or sending them an invitation to a servant, or he went. And in fact the event itself ironed something like the guests to come out in holiday attire, and the hostess greeted them, bowing from the waist, and the guests responded to her prostration, and behind it followed the ceremony of kissing: the landlord offered to guests of honor mistress kiss.
The guests in turn approached the hostess and kissed her, and at the same time according to the canons of etiquette, holding his hands behind his back, after she bowed again and took from her hands a glass of vodka. When the owner was directed to a special women's desk, it served as a signal to all sit down and start the meal. Typically, the ceremonial table was fixed in the "red corner" that is under the icons near the motionless fastened to the wall benches to sit on which, incidentally, at the time, was considered more honorable than the Extra.
Meal itself started from the fact that the owner of the house snapped and gave each invited guest of a loaf of bread with salt, to symbolize hospitality and the hospitality of this house, by the way, and today's hospitable traditions originate from that time. In a sign of special respect and affection to one of his guests himself master of ceremonies could put any dish with a special dish, specially installed from beside him, and, with the help of his servant, to send special guest of honor, as if emphasizing more attention given to him.
Although the tradition of welcome guests with bread and salt, came to us from that time, but the order of serving dishes in those days was markedly different from that which is familiar to us today: first, eating pies, after a meal of meat, poultry and fish, and only at the end of the meal mistaken for soups.
The order of serving dishes
When all parties to the meal sat in their places, the owner cut the bread into small pieces with salt and handed to each guest individually. By this action once again emphasized the hospitality of his home and a deep respect for all those present.
On these festive feasts were always one more thing - the owner was put in front of the so-called oprichnina dish and a meal with his boss personally shifted into shallow containers (flat dishes) and passed over the servants of special guests as a sign of absolute attention to them. And when the servant is a kind of gastronomic passed a message from his master, as a rule saying: "To you, sir, to eat healthy."
If we were, what a miracle it was possible to move in time, and be in the seventeenth century, and why not, happen, and a second miracle, we would be invited to this celebration, we would not be a little surprised by the order of serving dishes to the table. Here judge for yourself, for us now is normal that at first we eat a snack, after the soup, but after this second course and dessert, but in those days, first served pies, then meat, poultry and fish ("hot"), and then at the end of lunch - soups ("the ear"). After a rest after the soup, a dessert eating a variety of sweet snacks.
How to drink in Russia
Tradition of drinking in Russia saved and handed down to us, have their roots in ancient times, and in many homes today, as in the past to give up eating and drinking mean to offend the hosts. It also came to us and universally practiced tradition of drinking vodka, not in small sips, as it is for example in European countries, and a volley at once.
The truth is now changed their attitude to drink, if today it means getting drunk, he deflected the accepted norms of decency, then at that time Boyars of Russia, when it was considered mandatory, and not napivshiysya guest was such at least pretend to. Although should not get drunk quickly, and keep up with all the participants of this feast and fast drunk at a party it was considered indecent.
Thanks to the many extant ancient manuscripts, we are well aware of the everyday and the festive table, the king and the boyars. And thanks to punctuality and precision performance of their duties of court officials.
The number of various dishes for the royal feasts and banquets of the rich boyars came to a hundred, and in special cases could reach the floor, and thousands, and rushed to the table by turns, one at a time, and precious gold and silver dishes with other foods were kept in their hands standing around the table servants.
The Peasants Feast
But the tradition of feasting and trapeznichat were not as wealthy strata of society, and were not just the rich and noble members of society.
Representatives of almost all segments of the population was considered necessary to meet the banquet table about all important events in life, be it weddings, christenings, birthdays, meetings, off, wake, national and religious holidays ...
And of course this tradition come down to us virtually no change.
On the Russian hospitality is well known to all and always has been. (However, what people say about himself that he is not friendly! Georgians? Armenians? French? Chukchi? Italians or Greeks? And the list goes on ...)
And as for food, if the house of the Russian people come to visit and caught seven for dinner, you will certainly be invited to the table and seated behind him, and the guest will hardly be able to refuse it. (Although other nations, too, the guest is not forced to stand in the corner until the afternoon. But as they say, do not praise myself ...)
Gala dinners and feasts in honor of the reception of foreign guests were arranged with great breadth and scope, they were meant to demonstrate not only the physical features of the royal hosts (cleaned fleecing their own people), but also the breadth and hospitality of the Russian soul.