My friend Anne sent me a link to the website “Stuff White People Like” a few years ago. It’s a pretty funny blog dedicated to, not surprisingly, stuff that North American white people really like. The stereotypes are hilarious – it made me laugh, cringe a little and nod in agreement.
Entries include things like camping, moleskine notebooks, scarves, appearing to enjoy classical music, coffee, threatening to move to Canada, and breakfast places. So true! I love those things! Take a look for yourself – come on, white people, don’t you totally like those things??
The question begs to be asked – what do Russian people like?? A quick Google search reveals that there are a few blogs already dedicated to the subject like the one here, for example. But I think I can expand on the subject. Obviously I’m not Russian, so my soul won’t ever leap in quite the same way as it does when the discussion turns to moleskin notebooks and breakfast places, but I’m starting to develop a taste and an eye for some of the stuff that Russian people like.
1. Stuff That Can Be Gathered in the Woods
Berries, mushrooms, wild flowers, birch bark, water springs, herbs, wild sorrel – need I say more? Come on, Russian people love this stuff! They love to gather the seasonal bounty from their country’s vast forests and meadows.
Russians know way more about stuff that grows in the woods than Americans do. Their wild berry, fruit and mushroom vocabulary is extensively more expansive than the American vocabulary. Seriously, how many Americans out there have ever eaten a gooseberry, huckleberry, cloudberry, or red currant berry? Do you know what they look like? Do you know when they’re in season? Can you identify the bush in the woods? I’m pretty convinced that the only berries a majority Americans really acknowledge are raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.
Not so in Russia! Berries receive their due appreciation here. The same goes for mushrooms. In my experience, most Americans only know about champignon and portabello mushrooms. Russians can name not only a much longer list, they know how to find, identify, and cook said fungi.
Wouldn’t you agree? Russian people go nuts about stuff that can be gathered in the woods.
I’ve been berry picking before, but I really want a Russian to teach me how to find and pick and cook (non-poisonous!) mushrooms….