LearnRussianwith Us!Start Learning!
Whether a result of past and present food shortages or a clever way of preserving items, canned foods (консе́рвы) are a staple of the average Russian’s diet. Let us look at four common items you will find in many shopping baskets.
Sweetened condensed milk, officially called сгущённое молоко́ but better known as сгущёнка, is a favorite with many Russians. It often comes in a recognizable blue can and may be used in desserts (десе́рт), added to your tea (в чай), similar to how Americans put creamer in their coffee, or simply eaten out of the can by the spoonful (ло́жкой)!
You may know капу́ста as cabbage, but what is морска́я капу́ста—”sea cabbage”? Well, it is actually a popular side dish/salad made of pickled laminaria, or basically kelp/seaweed! It comes in short round cans in Russia, which contain shredded seaweed in oil. Other ingredients, like the sesame seed in the picture above, are not normally included.
Паштет is roughly equivalent to pâté and is basically minced liver meat (печёночный фарш) with fat (жир). A popular, if less fancy variation comes in a can. This savory ingredient is often used as a spread to be put on bread for an open-face sandwich (бутербро́д). Yum!
Шпро́ты is a name of certain species of sprats, which are commonly consumed in the countries of the former USSR as a canned food. They come in oil (ма́сло) and have a smoky, salty taste. Many people like to have them on brown bread as an open-face sandwich, although you can also eat them straight out of the can with a fork!
Have you tried any of these foods? Are they available where you live?
For more language learning advice, free resources, and information about how we can help you reach your language goals, select the most relevant newsletter(s) for you and sign up below.