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The Semi-Regular Newsletter

Travels in Russia

KLM Rocks Across Europe!
Santa Claus in Moscow
Television Is a Time Suck
The Reality of Irrelevance
Salute Mayor Luzhkov
Impeachment Happens
I Am Not The Only One...
I'm Back! Did Ya Miss Me?
Chechnya Burning
Weddings in Winter
The Jews Are Here!
Gailyn Goes to Town
Is There a Central Bank?
Santa Barbara is Real
Nick's Thanksgiving in Russia
Den' Rozhdeniya = Birthdays
Those Crazy Expats
It's Just a Few Drops of Vodka...
Elections Are Always Rigged
The Blind Leading the Blind
Good Russian Grooms
You Say 'Boris Berezovskiy' Fast
Too Cold to Care!
Russian Oil Towns
Sneaky Siberian Tigers
Which Way is St Peterburg?
Where am I again? Oh, yeah...
I Love Me Some Vodka
It's a Gosorg Halloween
Hunger Comes to Us All
Why Don't They Just Learn English?!
Post-Crisis, Life Goes On
Is Yeltsin 'The Man'?
Murmansk - Brrrr!
Taganka Hides Her Secrects
These are Communists
It's a Power Vaccum
The Commies are Back
Propaganda is Good for You
You Better Buy Russian!
Sex Ed Soviet Style
Party over, oops outta time!
Russian Healthcare in Moscow
What Russian Financial Crisis?
YE Prices in Russia
The Hungry Duck
Russian Caviar Mafia
Magical Mushrooms
Shhhh! We're Bear Hunting
Soviet Street Scams
Bez Dollarov
A Koshka Konspiracy
On The Dacha
The Banking Implosion
Surviving Army Life
Shashleek is Steak on Steroids
Dacha Thinking
Beach Weekend
Dos Vedanya
Hello from Vladivostok
Equality Means Only She Works
Jogging is an Extreme Sport
Russians Have Reunions Too
My Folks in Massive Moscow
Better than Fireworks
Miners Are Real Men
The Russian Mafia is the Roof
No One Smiles in the CIS
One Year Anniversary
Russian Brides Rock
Laura is My St Pete Connection
Change is in the Wind
Chuck Norris' Beverly Hills Casino
The Expat Woman's Predicament
Spring Flowers Make June Leavers
The Provinces Are Provincial
Ever Take an Elektrichka?
The English Invasion
Nuttin Like New Money
Rules Are Made to Break
All Black is Russian Fashion
Easter Memories = Easter Dinner
Politics, Russian Style
Theresa Tries to Russify
I Go to Gay Clubs Worldwide
I Hide on Women's Day
New & Shiny: Nizhny Novgorod
Psst! Wanna job in Moscow?
Fili Park Has All the Bootlegs
Web Page Reactions
Take a Break at Dom Odaha
Expat Living in Moscow is Swank
Why Are You Remonting?
They Look Like Telephones...
In Need of a Decent Hairstylist
Smashing Bottles in Red Square


Russia, May 19, 1998

Street Food is Yummy!

The one sure way to quite a growling stomach in the CIS

Its late afternoon on a Sunday and you've been walking all day. Your hungry, but you used up all your play money the night before. What is there for a hungry Kyivian to eat on the street? If you want to go the local way, you have three options: hot dogs, peroshki, or dried fish.

Now, hot dogs are not a Ukrainian dish, per see, though most Ukrainians will claim the sausage in the middle to be. I've tasted a few, and I'm sure that these are really the Western variety of hot dogs, not the Ukrainian sasiski. You can also have the usual condiments on your snack, though none will ease those horrid hot dog burps that come later.

Fake Cheeze Balls are always an option in Moscow

To avoid such gastronomic situations, you can opt for the tasty peroshki, those meat/potato/cabbage filled breads sold by the babushki at every metro stop. If there are more than one lady selling peroshki at a certain stop, you can ask who specializes in a certain type (my favorite is the rare potato & mushroom), though each lady will say that her cooking is the best. Also, if you can be polite about it, ask when they were cooked, for sometimes the ladies will be hawking day-old peroshki.

They taste better than they look!You can be sure that the dried fish are more than a day old, with my supplier swearing hers are less than a week from the sea. With the fish, there are several tricks to having a good meal. First, choose a female fish with red roe. Ask the seller to cut open the belly of the fish and show you, she will be more than happy if you actually intend to buy one. Usually the larger, more expensive fish are tastier and less salted than the small ones. Then, after you've chosen a fish, have her cut it into sections before you leave her stand. Once you're ready to eat, tear of the top fin, and then pull off the skin from the top of the section towards the belly. It should come off in one long section, so you don't have to get messy trying to scale it.

Now that you have your food, you need something to wash it down with. If you're getting a hot dog, you can drink anything from water, to cola, to beer, with Coke being the favorite with the customers of the stand by my building. If you've got a few peroshki in your hand, then go with kvas, the original Ukrainian drink.

While I was knocking back a glass, I chatted with one of the sellers at the ubiquitous blue and yellow kvas barrels around town. She said that my kvas was cool on that warm sunny day because it was actually a double barrel, with thick insulation between the inner and outer barrels. Her location, right at the exit of a popular metro, kept her working the entire time we chatted, and was why she went through an entire barrel every two days. She didn't own the barrel, only worked hourly for the company, and surprised me when she couldn't remember when they last cleaned the inside!

If you went with the fish, or you'd rater have a little more punch with your meal, and it not be bacterial contamination, beer is your obvious choice. Unlike my home country, you can drink beer on the streets of Ukraine. Odd as it may seem to my Puritan background, I love the practice! In fact, I try and partake of it daily, much to my parents' dismay.

Unfortunately, we don't have Baltica, a superb brew from St Petersburg, in Ukraine, but the local Slavutich makes a decent showing. Along with Obolon, both are sold in several varieties, with the alcohol content (from four to seven percent) shown on the label. When your done with the brew, don't forget the my page on the collectors, and hand your empty bottle to Anna Petrovna, she'll be waiting.

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