Food Style

Russian Festival

This past weekend, we were driving over to my mom’s house when we saw a giant Matryoshka cardboard doll on the side of the road, advertising a Russian festival. My husband and I were both very intrigued and quickly decided that we had to go. I loved my visit to Russia a few years ago, and one of my dearest friends lives in Moscow now, so I would go back in a heartbeat. If only visas weren’t such a pain!

We quickly found the festival and were pleased to discover that it was largely centered around food and drink. Polish sausages and socially acceptable vodka drinking at noon? Sign me up! Outdoors, there was a long line for BBQ and other items, while inside there were hot orders being taken at Babushka’s Kitchen.

Mr. Feather and I quickly split up between the two food stations to cover the most ground, and when we converged it looked like this. From the center top, going clockwise: Georgian chicken and rice, traditional zakuski, peach pirog, pelmeni dumplings, and cabbage stuffed pirozhki. Amazing no? I want to say all of this was almost exactly $20.

First up were the zakuski – which were made with rye bread and Moscow salami. I thought zakuski was the name of this specific dish, but Mr. Feather who is fluent in Russian informed me that it simply meant “appetizer”.

Another favorite dish of mine? Pelmeni – boiled dumplings filled with pork and beef with sour cream on the side. I had this in Moscow (with salmon instead) and loved it! I missed it so much I came back the next day for a second helping.

This was peach pirog cake – a very tasty treat that had a custardy peach filling inside.

After eating all of our food we were pretty stuffed, but there were so many other items to try. I had an image lingering in my mind of the Polish sausages I had seen stacked up when we walked into the festival.

So of course we had to get one of these too. With lots of sauerkraut on top. This is after having had eaten our dessert already, while sampling many different kinds of vodka.

By this time, our bellies were FULL! We sat in a food stupor and happily listened to the entertainment – a Balka Balalaika group. Balka Balalaika is a Russian string instrument and as soon as I heard the first few seconds of playing, I recognized it. It’s very unique.

And, this is what I wore (though I had some flats in my bag). It was unseasonably hot last weekend (when we got to the car, the dash thermometer read 100F), and heels in hot weather just drive me crazy after a while!

Gap tee (lovely silk version here)
J.Crew shorts (similar, on sale!)
Banana Republic heels (similar with great reviews)
Hermes bag (similar)

Have you all had Russian food before? Any favorite dishes that you’d recommend?

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  • Lilli
    October 5, 2012 at 8:43 am

    everything looks so delicious and you great!:) xoxo

  • Anouka
    October 5, 2012 at 9:48 am

    This post makes my mouth water. I’ve lived in Moscow for one year and a half and I am familiar with all this delicious food. Pelmeni with smetana are one of my most favourite dishes but unfortunately I rarely get to eat them these days. You’re so lucky! And yes, visas are such a pain – also for European Union citizens…

    LUXESSED

    • Katherine
      October 5, 2012 at 10:40 am

      I didn’t realize they were so much trouble even for EU citizens. I wonder if it’s just as bad as it is for us here in the US

  • New Petite
    October 5, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Ive never tried Russian before but the food looks good! You look lovely and those are some pretty cute shorts!

  • Kira
    October 5, 2012 at 11:15 am

    Kolbaska with a cucumber looks delicisious! Nom!
    Was Mr.Feather born in Russia?

    • Katherine
      October 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      Hi Kira, thanks! No he wasn’t, he’s just is good at languages (unlike me!)

  • Ginta
    October 5, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    It’s a shame they didn’t have vareniki (вареники) it looks almost like pelmeni but usually is filled with (sweet) cottage cheese (творогом) or fruits. And in stead of sour cream you get jam! Love it! And talking about pelmeni – before I became vegetarian my favorites were with lamb. Yummy! Although, of course, traditionally it’s mixed pork and beef. It’s really a Russian fast-food. :))

    I live in the country that borders with Russia and it’s a pain to get visa here, too.

    • Katherine
      October 5, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      I would have LOVED to try that Ginta! I don’t even think I had that in Moscow. I can’t believe it’s such a big trouble for you to get a visa as well, what a pain!

  • Jody Brettkelly
    October 5, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    I love all that Russian food – my best friend growing up in new Zealand was Polish and they had similar perogi, my favourite. You look fab in those shorts!

    • Katherine
      October 5, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      Ah lucky you! I wish I could have more perogi right now 🙂

  • Katherine
    October 5, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Interesting cuisine 🙂 I’ve never had Russian before 🙂 Looks yum

  • audrinajulia
    October 5, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Looks all yummy! I will definitely go for the sausage and vodka! Mouth watering here.:)

    Have a lovely weekend Katherine!

  • Agnecs
    October 6, 2012 at 1:16 am

    he-he, so funny to read about russian food and dishes from you:)))
    I live in Russia, Siberia, Krasnoyarsk, read your blog sometime, and think you write very interesting, bright and fascinating :)))

    • Katherine
      October 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm

      Hi Agnecs, you have lived in some fascinating places, I love Russia! Thanks for your kind words 🙂

  • Marina
    October 6, 2012 at 3:03 am

    Hello from Russia! My absolute favorite is borsch soup (борщ), and my mom makes the best I’ ve ever tried 🙂 never thought Russian visas are such a pain, that’s sad!

    • Katherine
      October 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      Hi Marina! I love borsch soup, especially in the fall and winter. I’m going to go seek out a place here hopefully that serves a decent version!

  • Elle from Parisian Chic Blog
    October 6, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Had to LOL at the socially acceptable to drink vodka at noon bit!

    Great post, Elle x

    http://www.mstylepicturebook.blogspot.co.uk
    Hermes blog

  • Marlene @ chocolatecookiesandcandies
    October 7, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    My mouth watered just looking at the photos. I’ve never tried Russian food but I’d love to some day. I don’t know how you and your husband packed so much in!! That’s a LOT of food.

  • Sue
    October 8, 2012 at 1:25 am

    I don’t think I’ve had Russian food but I’ve had Ukranian food (had a Ukranian boyfriend a long time ago). That all looks yummy and what a lovely day the two of you must have had. I wish I could do something like that – it’s always with the kids or if one of us gets out, the other is babysitting.

  • leyla
    October 8, 2012 at 6:04 am

    what an interesting place to visit. i have to be honest, russia is not on the top of my travel wish list, but i believe that it’s fascinating nonetheless. russian food reminds me of the food back home (i was born in former yugoslavia). it’s very rich and filling. i could get on board with pelmeni, but everything else looks delicious as well.

    leyla.

  • sesy hasan
    December 17, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    It might be late to comment on this article but still I would like to say that I have tried Pelmeni a few months ago at Diplomatic Bazaar and believe me from all food from different countries I tasted on that day, this one was a winner! I love Pelmeni too.I had it beef instead of pork or salmon and the sour cream is true delicious. I just found out it called Pelmeni, Nice to know! Thanks Katherine.

    • Katherine
      December 17, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      Hi sesy, never too late 🙂 And happy to meet another Pelmeni fan!