10 things to taste in Moscow

The top Russian foods you have to try

Beef Stroganoff
Supposedly named after count Alexander Grigorievich Stroganoff, this Russian dish dates from the mid 19th century and consists of sautéed pieces of beef served in a sauce with smetana (sour cream).

Blini are Russia's version of the thin French crêpe and a staple on most Moscovian menus, typically made with buckwheat for savoury fillings or white flour for sweet toppings. Accompaniments can include smoked salmon and sour cream but for the ultimate indulgence opt for red black sturgeon caviar.

This beet and cabbage soup is served with or without meat, potato, herbs (usually dill) and a dollop of smetana (Russian sour cream) and is sure to warm you up during a Moscow winter.  A staple of Russian cuisine, it would criminal to leave Moscow without sampling this soup at least once.

Muscovites go crazy for Caviar (or ikra as it is also known) which is offers served on dark, crusty bread or with blini. Caviar can be red (obtained from salmon fishes) or black (obtained from sturgeon fishes). Black caviar, the roe of the female sturgeon fish, is one of the world's most prized and expensive food items.

Medovik is Russia's popular honey cake: super sweet, rich in taste and with an interesting story about its historical origins. Legend has it that the first medovik honey cake was created in the 1820s by a personal chef for Empress Elizabeth, the wife of Tzar Alexander I. Try it and you’ll soon see why the Empress was mad about Medovik.

Mushroom Julienne
With a similar taste to stroganoff, but without meat, this creamy mushroom dish is found on almost every menu as a hot appetiser. It’s made with thinly sliced mushrooms, cheese, sour cream and cream and broiled/grilled for a crusty top before being, served in a dainty metal dish. 

Olivier Salad
Known as Russian salad around the world, Olivier is a variation of potato salad invented in the 1860s by Lucien Olivier, a Belgian chef plying his trade at a popular Moscow restaurant. The ultimate comfort food, the Olivier features boiled potatoes, carrots, eggs, peas, pickles, and boiled chicken or beef.

What makes Russian dumplings (pelmeni) so special? That would be the tasty herbs that are added to the meat packed pastry.  Pelmeni can be served several ways: alone, slathered in butter, topped with sour cream, or served in a broth.

Solyanka soup
A hearty soup made from thick chunks of beef and/or pork, cooked for hours over a low flame with garlic, tomatoes, peppers and carrots.

Tula Gingerbread
Tula Gingerbread is a very Russian take on the classic gingerbread recipe. Expect spicy gingerbread made from honey and filled with jam or condensed milk. It is customary to imprint the bread with intricate designs and engravings.