Whole-foods shopping in Russia Posted by on Jan 4, 2021 in advice for first-time travelers, language, online resources, Russian food, vegan, vocabulary, when in Russia

Whether your New Year’s resolution was to eat healthier and try new foods or your diet is already rich in plant-based meals, this collection of Russian words will come in handy for your next grocery outing. And one certainly doesn’t have to be a vegetarian (вегетериа́нец/вегетериа́нка), vegan (ве́ган/вега́нка), or rawtarian (сырое́д) to stock up their pantry with food items from this list. But, if you are one, look no further. This is a handy “whole-foods” guide so that you can shop at ease.

almond milk

Image by Melanie Rodriguez from Pixabay

What to look for in a grocery store?

Фру́кты и О́вощи (Fruits and Vegetables) is the aisle where you’re likely to start loading up on leafy greens and juicy fruits.

Бакале́я (Dry Goods)

Заморо́женные проду́кты (Frozen Foods)

Моло́чные Проду́кты (Dairy Products) – even though this refrigerated section is heavy on dairy products, you might find alternative milk, various dips, vegan cheeses, and such here.

Some stores will have a “health-food aisle” and each may differ in their variety and size, but it helps to look out for signs that say ЭКО, БИО, or ВЕГАН (ECO, BIO, VEGAN) as well as “БЕЗ ГЛЮТЕНА” (Gluten-free).

Plant milk (Растительное Молоко)

Soy milk – со́евое молоко́

Almond milk – минда́льное молоко́

Rice milk – ри́совое молоко́

Oat milk – овсяное молоко́

Hemp milk – конопля́ное молоко́ / молоко́ из семя́н конопли́

Coconut milk – коко́совое молоко́

Buckwheat milk – гре́чневое молоко́


Image by AquaSpiritLens from Pixabay

Grains (Крупы)

Buckwheat – гре́чка

Barley – перло́вка

Corn – кукуру́за

Oats – овёс

Quinoa – киноа

Rice – рис

Rye – рожь

Wheat – пшено́

Millet – про́со

Pantry (Сухи́е Проду́кты)

Pasta – макаро́ны

Gluten-free pasta – макаро́ны без глютена

Dried and canned beans – сухи́е и консерви́рованные бобы́

Lentils – Чечеви́ца

Chickpeas – нут

coconut oil

Image by moho01 from Pixabay

Nuts and seeds (Оре́хи и Семена́)

The most popular nuts in Russian stores include the following:

Almond – минда́ль

Cashew – кешью

Pistachios – фиста́шки

Walnut – гре́цкий оре́х

Pine nut – кедро́вый оре́х

Hazelnut – фунду́к

Peanut – ара́хис

Sunflower seeds – семена́ подсо́лнуха (“се́мечки”)

Poppy seeds – ма́ковые семена́

The following  seeds and nuts are less common:

Chestnut – кашта́н

Brazil nut – брази́льский оре́х

Macadamia nut – оре́х макадамия/австрали́йский оре́х

Pecan – оре́х пека́н

Chia seeds – семена́ чиа

Pumpkin seeds – ты́квенные се́мечки

Flaxseeds – семена́ льна

Sesame seeds – кунжу́тные семена́

The desired nut butter will be easy to locate as long as you know the name of the nut. So, peanut butter would be ара́хисовое ма́сло and almond butter would be минда́льное ма́сло, etc.

Sweets (Сла́дости)

Fruit and berries leather – Пастила́

Sweetened Condensed Soy Milk – Сгущёнка со́евая


Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay


Hummus – хумус

Baba Ghanoush – Ба́ба Гануш (Ба́ба Ганудж), which is a kind of dip made of grilled or roasted eggplant.

Note: A wide variety of similar dips is very common in Russian stores and goes by the names of кабачко́вая икра́ (lit. squash caviar) and баклажановая икра́ (lit. eggplant caviar). They consist of chopped up (sometimes pureed) cooked vegetables with garlic, oil, and spices.

Tofu – тофу

Tempeh – те́мпе

Tahini – тахини/кунжу́тная па́ста

Kombucha – комбуча

shopping list

Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Stay curious about healthy eating and keep on learning new Russian words!

Also, if you have a Telegram app, I recommend a vegan channel “evidence-based vegan” by Аня Сахарова (Anna Sakharova). She has very helpful posts about being a vegan in Russia and following her channel might be a great addition to your reading-in-Russian menu.

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