Once you’ve mastered the basics of Russian cuisine, such as kremlyovsky salat and okroshka (see Russian Life July and September issues respectively), you can move on to more sophisticated recipes, like pirozhki (pies).
There’s a Russian saying which goes: “Bread is at the head of everything” (Khleb vsemu golovu). It is thus natural that Russian peasants would come upon the idea of filling their bread with things and making pies, or pirozhki. Meat, cabbage, rice, fish or mushrooms are just a few of the possible fillings for pirozhki.
In spite of the continuing Westernization of Russian eating habits, a real feast is still unthinkable in most households without pirozhki (linguists believe that the word’s etymology is rooted in the word pir — feast). And being the basis of a feast, pirozhki can also be considered the gauge of a family’s prosperity.
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