When you hear the words “Russian food,” what springs to mind? I would venture a guess that for many it would be either borshch or pelmeni. But borshch is an object of an ongoing culinary custody battle with Ukraine, which considers the soup its own. And pelmeni – well, they are all over the world in some way or form. From Italy to China, every nation has its dumplings.
Meanwhile, the pirog (not to be confused with pierogi, borrowed from Polish and referring to dumplings), is quite capable of holding the flag as the most important dish in Russian cuisine.
The best-known Russian pirogi are kulebyaka and kurnik, but the regional varieties are far more diverse. And a Russian pirog is not an affair for the faint-hearted, as it requires yeast dough, and can’t be thrown together in 30 minutes. But it is a filling, generous, and hearty meal, containing all the major food groups (vegetables, animal protein, grains, and bread) rolled up in one.
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Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.
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