Breakfasts differ. Some prefer their bacon and eggs, some like to dip croissants into hot cocoa. But for Soviet-bred people, typical breakfast looks something like this.
The “Booterbrod” sandwich
The Soviet version of a sandwich is a Booterbrod: a slice of bread, a spread of butter and 2-3 pieces of cheese, salami or other sausage of choice. Most Soviet retrogrades would disapprove of mixing cheese and sausage on a booterbrod, but hey—it’s delicious.
The Milk-Pastry Duo
Russian pastry is unlike any pastry in the world, since unlike the rest of the world, Russians have no idea how to make good pastry. It’s bready, it’s all-dough, it’s hardly sweet and the filling is scarcer than the Russian smile. Pretzels were a gastronomic epiphany when they arrived in Moscow.
Russians are big on dairy, from sour cream to condensed milk. And kefir is a thing Eastern Europe should be proud of. It’s a sour drink made of milk and organic kefir grains—home of fermenting bacteria. It is allegedly good for your digestion, it is quite nutritious, and you can really get to love its taste after a few tries. Kefir is usually served separately, but it can also go with pastry and bread. Hell, there is even a song about it, by Russia’s Chayf—a pop-rock-reggae band from Sverdlovsk. The song is about a guy who stayed in for the day with half a loaf of bread and a bottle of kefir. The greatest weekend treat of the late 1980-s.
Russians love tea. They have tea with honey and lemon, tea with jam and tea with lots and lots of sugar. They also have plain tea and coffee. When asked for tea in the evening, you are most likely to have a piece of cake with it, or some pastry. Breakfast tea usually comes with sugar.
Russians nowadays do drink coffee, of course, and some of them even prefer coffee to tea. And by coffee we mean that hot liquid you get after mixing water and instant coffee powder. There is of course real coffee, and there are even coffee bars in Moscow, but hey—the USSR style, remember?
Of course, there was no Nescafe in the Soviet times. There was this cheap Indian coffee in tin cans. But since Nescafe now has factories in Russia, it is way easier for a regular Russian to get his hands on the locally powdered brew.
All of the images from the awesome gallery above, and some more, in all shapes and sizes, are here to make your mouths water while you are on your computers, phones and tablets. This is a treat, comrades, so gather around and have a bite!