Russians really, really, REALLY love their cucumbers. Fresh or pickled they are almost omnipresent in Russian recipes. It's a fundamental ingredient in the famous Olivier salad (also known as Russian salad in other countries, but not in Russia!) and the "snack" of choice to much on when drinking a shot (or two) of vodka. During the summer months especially cucumber water and cucumber lemonade have been popular drinks in Russia for a long time.
On January the 31th, 1990, the first McDonald's opened in the Soviet Union, less than two years before that country actually ceased to exist. The road to that historic opening had been long, with some people saying that the talks with Soviet officials had started as far back as 1976, almost a quarter of a century. Many people saw this opening as a sign of distension in the international relations between the USSR and the USA and on both sides of the Ocean, the interest was really high. This was, in fact, going to be the first ever foreign restaurant in the Soviet Union and for McDonald this was, at the time, their largest restaurant ever, a venue with 900 seats.
Sixty operates both as a restaurant and as a cafè. That is one of the greatest features of the place and a truly fantastic opportunity not to miss if you want to enjoy one of Moscow's most spectacular views on a budget! You can actually go to this establishment pretty much at any time during opening hours and, provided it is not already full, you can then just enjoy a cup of coffee (or tea, if you are feeling very Russian or very British) and no one will even raise an eyebrow because you are not raking up a substancial bill.
Pizza with figs in Murmansk - Gordon Ramsay approves. As mentioned in the title, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay explicitly approves figs on a pizza, as this tweet from last October clearly demonstrates. I doubt, on the other hand, that he would approve the underlying pizza, with semi-melted mozzarella(?) shreds and some sad, sad looking salad leaves in the middle!
The Aviapark is the largest shopping mall in the whole of Europe and it is located, of course, in Moscow. The numbers are mind-boggling: 329 store (three-hundred and twenty nine!) under the same roof, with a huge supermarket and pretty much everything you might ever look for.
I really do believe that Eataly Moscow has become the best place where to enjoy an authentic Italian pizza in the Russian's capital. The pizza Margherita (the most classic one) costs just shy of 500 Rubles, which at the time of writing, thanks to a favourable exchange rate for foreigners, makes it even a bit less expensive (around 7,5 Euros, 8 USDs or thereabout) than the same Pizza in Eataly Torino!
I know this can seem silly to a lot of you, but for me finding a mango flavoured Bounty candy bar was a real shock. Let me tell you why. If you grew up in Europe in the 1970s, 80s and or 90s pretty much everything changed around you. We changed habits, went from being... Continue Reading →
Yesterday I wrote about the importance of words. Today's post is, in some way, about the same thing. I was undecided wether to put this in the "culture shock" category or not, as this is not a "Russia specific" issue, but it is a shock for me, nonetheless, and it has to do with culture.... Continue Reading →
The first time a friend of mine ordered a cappuccino, I just HAD TO take a picture. Now, aesthetically, this is wonderful. But as an Italian I find it wrong on sooooo many levels! 😉 I have travelled to enough countries to know that, as soon as you cross Italy's borders, the cappuccinos start to... Continue Reading →