I’ve caught myself complaining about food in Moscow. Restaurants are expensive (a cappuccino, for example goes for about $7), and you can never be sure about kiosks and even some grocery stores. I’ve been sold overpriced moldy fruit and bad eggs on more than one occasion here.
Coming back from a trip to Italy and France this summer, the food situation became something of a crisis. I remember thinking that I was ready to move to Europe just for the amazing grocery stores – fresh baguettes, and especially all the delicious cheeses.
Last week, however, a friend unknowingly helped remedy my pessimistic outlook on Moscow food by inviting me over for a Belorussian cheese party. Belarus (at least in Russia, and according to this guy) is famed for its quality dairy products. Russia may not be known for its gnocchi and parmesan, but you can definitely find all sorts of delicious food specialties from around the CIS. Moldovan wine, Ukrainian bread, Uzbek melons, Georgian khachapuri and Russian pickles – the list goes on!
Thus, economist husband and I had our first ever CIS cheese plate night on Sunday! We had kishmish grapes, Armenian bread, rossissky cheese, and adigeisky cheese. It was delicious!!! And we got it all from the tiny stores near our metro stop.
I’m looking forward to tasting more fun local food….I saw a “Lithuanian Parmesan” for sale at our neighborhood shop, and I think we’re definitely trying that out next time!
What’s the local specialty where you live? Have you ever ‘discovered’ something special about your neighborhood that you never knew existed?? Do you have any favorite cheeses from the CIS that you recommend we try?
P.S. Check out this BBC video about an American guy that makes cheese on his farm in Moscow region AND check out these pictures taken by a Russian blogger in the factory where it appears our particular brand of adigeisky cheese came from: