The kitchen is the favorite or central spot of the home in many cultures. Russiais not the exception, even more likely a demonstrative example. Russian kitchen is the heart of Russian home which smells and dainties create a special, stirring up the best feelings, atmosphere. It is the place where families gather for having meal, friends get together for chatting over a cup of tea and the guests are welcomed to feel the warmth of the national hospitality.
Usually, there are three meals of the day.
But, depending on the place of living, they are organized and offered in different ways. To most Europeans and Americans, the principal meals are breakfast, lunch and dinner (supper). Russians, such as every nationality, start the day with breakfast – zavtrak. It is a very hearty meal, though. A breakfast in Russian way includes eggs, sausages, cold cuts and cheese that are accompanied by bread slices with butter. Tea or coffee is a must on the morning table. Various hot cereals are popular as well, particularly with mothers and kids. Russian children are supposed to get their first shot of energy from a hot bowl of oatmeal. Perhaps they do, but they resist to this healthy energy with all their childish rigidity.
Lunch is nonexistent in Russia. In fact, this term was generally not understood until the early 1990’s. The second meal of the day is taken about around 2 o’clock p.m. and called obed (dinner). Russian obed is the main meal of the day. Zakuski (appetizers) highlight the meal. Such delights as caviar , pickles, smoked fish, and various vegetable salads can easily serve a rich meal. However, everyday zakuski are composed of light salads and pickles. Then goes soup (pervoe – first course). Soup, mouth watering, with meat pieces in delectable transparent broth, is the first step of the long satiation process. The main course – vtoroye is usually of meat or fish. The main dish is usually accompanied by a garnish: potatoes, rice, noodles and vegetables. Finally, comes the dessert! Tretye might be a piece of cake, fruits or chocolates.
After that, if people don’t work, they and kids enjoy a mid-afternoon nap followed by a snack. Like English 5 o’clock tea, Russian poldnik makes the day brighter – a cup of tea, milk for kids, with biscuits or patties. Everyone, young and old, enjoys a nice cup of tea. Tea is offered after every meal.
The evening meal is served around 7 o’clock p.m. or later. It is called uzhin in Russian. Russian uzhin is similar to dinner but without soup and dessert – just some appetizers and main course from meat or fish with garnish.
And the long day is left behind or … Maybe another cup of tea?