Russian cuisine is lively and inventive

In Russian homes, the kitchen is the heart of the home and usually the female realm. Even in a small kitchen there is a place to drink a cup of tea. Comparison of Russian cuisine and Finnish.

When talking about Russian cuisine, many people think of pancakes, pickles and sour cream, and this is not very far from the truth. To this list, Inna Pyykkönen, who moved from Russia to the Finnish region of Kainuu, would add various canned foods, pies and soups, often prepared by her own hands.

“This is probably the basis of Russian cuisine,” concludes Pyykkönen.

Pyykkönen has lived in Finland for almost half her life. For three years she has been the hostess of the cafe-restaurant "Chaika" in the center of the city of Kajaani. She is well acquainted with the cuisine of her eastern neighbor and the cuisine of her current homeland. Comparing the customs of the two neighboring countries, she says that in Russia the kitchen is the kingdom of a woman.

“It is a fact that almost the entire household rests on the shoulders of a woman. Of course, life is changing, but at least in Russia it is not happening so fast,” Pyykkönen reflects.

In Russia, the kitchen is really the heart of the house, no matter how small it may be in a high-rise building. In the kitchen, they cook with pleasure and just spend time together.

“They spend quite a lot of time there: they cook food, communicate, drink tea, celebrate holidays. They love to set the table and invite friends and relatives. It's rare that nothing happens. Every day or once a week they gather at least for tea.

According to Pyyukkönen, holidays play a huge role in Russian food culture. While in Finland they emphasize the abundance of the Christmas table, Russians find an excuse to eat deliciously many times during the year.

“There are many other holidays in Russia that are also celebrated, and food plays a very important role. Of course, communication and occasion are also very important, but food takes center stage.”

Steamers are being used

According to Pyykkönen, Finnish food is simpler and less varied than Russian food. Russia, its eastern neighbor, prefers bright tastes; they put various options for hot dishes and side dishes on the table.

This can also be seen in the kitchen equipment: the home cook enjoys using kitchen appliances that many Finns would consider useless. According to Pyykkönen, kitchen appliances are treated with great enthusiasm, they know how to use them.

“Of course, it depends on the house and its mistress. For example, a double boiler is used in different cases. Wonderful devices sold in TV stores can be found in the most ordinary house.

“Because cooking is easier here, there is no particular need for such appliances,” says Pyykkönen.

As an entrepreneur in the restaurant business, she finds that Finns are rather cautious about trying new things. For example, from herbs, only the well-known dill and parsley are used.

“There is so much tension and rush in Finnish life, especially in family life, that there is no time to try new tastes. Here they eat what they are used to.

Russians are more willing to try something new. Product descriptions are studied more - pure taste and ingredients are very important.

For example, a steamer is used for different purposes

“Different additives are used in Russia. It is very important for an ordinary Russian person to know how this product is grown or made. For example, the Valio company made yogurt without additives for Russia.”

Will Russian gourmets find products suitable for them on the Finnish market? “Definitely they will,” Pyyukkönen says.

“The main vegetables and root crops, of course, will be found. They are very good and often local, which is very important to me. But, for example, it is better to cook pickles and sauerkraut by yourself, because it is difficult to find such a taste as in Russia. I don’t like the sugar and vinegar that Finns add to cucumbers.”

Lapland cheese and liver casserole were disappointing

When Pyyukkönen first came from Russia to Kuhmo to study hotel and restaurant business in the late 1990s, she quickly figured it out in Finnish products and the principles of Finnish cuisine. Some products still surprised her.

“Lapland cheese – it was really weird. I wondered what was there that creaked so hard on my teeth. The liver casserole is also very unusual, they would never offer such a thing in Russia, ”Pyyukkönen laughs.

“But I am an omnivore and like to try everything. And yet, I liked it too. True, I don’t eat meat anymore, ”she adds.

Source: Julia Sieppi (Julia Sieppi)