EDITORIAL: Domashnaya Klassika

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Domashnaya Klassika

Anyone who has spent any appreciable time living in Russia knows only too well the haughty contempt Russians express for American convenience foods, especially soups.  Taking (for God knows what reason) great pride in their (often repugnant) home-brewed borschts and shchis, Russians look with condescension upon “poor Americans” who are forced to consume soups out of cans.

Of course, it was easy for them to say when it was impossible to buy canned soup of any quality in Russia.  So it will be quite interesting to see what happens as the Campbell’s Soup Company opens a full-bore marketing offensive in concert with Coca-Cola to find out whether Russians were serious or not about making their own soup (Coke, by the way, another American convenience product supposedly disdained by Russians, has become the largest beverage distrubutor in the entire country, it’s products — and others like Lay’s potoato chips — available on every streetcorner in Russia).  It will give its new product an in-your-face name:  Domashnaya Classica (Classic Homemade).

From the way Russians have lapped up American cheeseburgers from Mickey D’s for more than a decade now, Campbell’s prospects have to be pretty good.  That’s to say nothing of American movies, pop music, blue jeans, chewing gum and every other aspect of American culture that Russians so self-righteously condemn even with their mouths full of Twix candy bars.

16 responses to “EDITORIAL: Domashnaya Klassika

  1. Who doesn’t condemn, loathe and/or hate American culture? :D

    I can see anti-americanism everywhere, even in America itself :].


    Yet but it’d be a bit more polite to do so after finishing the Big Mac rather than while chewing it.

  2. Pavel, don’t confuse superficial American culture which many Americans criticize with America as the model of a successful democracy which few will deny.

    And, we aren’t spared here lefty elements that to advance their own agendas hate capitalism and the First Amendment.

    LR’s point is about the hypocrisy of hardcore America haters.

  3. No Culture in American Canned Soups!?
    Umm! my uncultured American mouth waters, (?) when I remember, fondly (?) years ago on the east coast, when I was invited to a Russian-home to share their homemade famous Russian soup, called: ‘Ooha’ (‘Fish Eye Soup’). The fish were little sunfish caught in a local swampy pond, their heads cut off, then both the bodies (uncleaned and unscaled) and the heads, where thrown, as is, into the big kettle,….and the eyes! were floating on the top of the soup, quite visibly looking at us! …with the cabbage and onions and a few potatoes in the mix. This (stinky) ‘ambrosia’ (as my hosts thought of it!) was then cooked for a few hours, and then the huge kettle was placed on the table, in front of my face/nose. Fortunately for me, also on the table was my genuine favorite, ‘Kasha’ (Roasted Buchwheat Groats…..steamed like rice), and laced with hot oil mixed with burnt onions in it. And too, on the table was a huge mountain of ‘Prostikqwasha’ (homemade Russian style stinky-‘yogurt’, made by setting out at room temperature, in the summer, for ONE whole week, some unpasturized cow’s milk…..and allowing it all to turn into it’s semi-solid mass). Between the stinky….and UNCANNED! Fish-Eye soup and the smelly ‘yogurt’, all I could do was to eat the Kasha, and say, Spasebo! (thanks!)
    The hospitality was quite sincere!….but I would have rather had a nice can of tasty ‘uncultured American’ Campbell’s soup, Chicken Noodle hopefully. I do love, some, Russian soups and cooking! But our various American canned soups are not bad, they encompass many various types of ethnic cooking, after all, as ‘American’ does mean multi-cultures. So to anti-American types who criticise us, I say: LET THEM EAT CAMPBELL’S….and shut up!
    Pass the soup, please!

    • I wonder what exactly is their beef (pardon the pun) with Campbell soups. I myself would prefer Progresso’s but Campbell’s cream of mushroom or especially clam chowder are great. Have been eating them for as long as I can remember

      • To RV, Why not can, in Russia, for Russian consumption, Fish-Eye Soup, floating eyes and all? At least then, no one there can complain of weirdo American influences in their indigenous pure-Russian food supplies. To each his own, as they say. Bon apetite! (I do make my own borscht,….the only real purpose on this earth for the otherwise useless inedible/disgusting lowly beet! however,…. from fresh ingredients, the raw beets especially. Canned-borscht?…..maybe in a severe pinch!…at least it normally does not have floating fish eyes in it.
        On the subject of food, the old French saying comes to mind: “But, hunger is the best sauce!”.
        That, sauce, many Russians know well.

        • American canned soups are fairly bland in flavor, all that is needed is a few squirts of your favorite hot sauce, and things liven up quite nicely.

          As for the beet, they don’t keep well after pulling, so you must cook them in the skin right after pulling from the garden, peel them after there tender, add a little butter, salt and pepper, and you will no longer think beets are a nasty vegee, but rather your favorite garden treat. My problem is the rabbits love them first, which leaves me with nothing. Also beet pickles are a favorite.

          • To obamayomama, About the lowly beet:
            Each of us have different food experiences, mainly from our formative years. In my ‘Anglo-Saxon’
            American childhood, the only time I saw beets on the table, were when they were boiled unpalatable little reddish things, that I came to…detest. But, yes, they had been grown in my grandfather’s garden, and were fresh. That Englishman grandfather, liked boiled beet leaves, with bacon grease and vinegar over them, for breakfast! (Yuk)
            It was not untill I was about 17 and was around Russians, and first tasted borscht, that I said to myself: ‘AAH! now! I know why God made beets!
            To me, it is the ONLY good use for that vegetable….but to each his own. Yes, my Polish grandmother, also made her ‘borts’, but I only ate that one time.As far as, wishing Russians in Russia to buy and eat and like, ‘American’ canned soups (of any brand!) or any other American ‘convenience’-food products, I personally couldn’t care less. However, if in any foreign countries, the locals do buy and consume ANY imported food products, ….WHY? do they buy and also eat
            those products, IF they also complain about them??? In the case of (many but not all) Russians, it seems to be an ingrained integral part of their very culture, to COMPLAIN, often and loudly.
            Just my thoughts………….
            An American complainer, but mostly about American things I don’t like….

            • psalomschik,
              I am also an American of Anglo-Saxon decent, and also detested many vegee’s growing up. Didn’t learn to appreciate the beet until well into my middle age. I’ve checked many Russian recipes online, and find most to be labor intensive, many steps, so haven’t tried making anything. Each to his own, take care.

    • Just a couple of remarks.

      The cabbage in Fish Eye Soup? It’s a very unusual recipe!

      Also… making stinky yogurt takes not a week but a couple of days. It’s usually stored in погреб, a relatively cold place, and a small amount of sour cream is added to accelerate the fermentation. In fact, in the end the thing on top is the sour cream. BTW, it’s impossible to repeat the trick if you try to use standard American supermarket milk. It will not turn into a stinky yogurt even after a whole week. Guess why?

      • Perhaps, there was no cabbage……….
        To boba, Well, you no doubt have a point or two. It was way back in the summer of 1962, so my memory is a bit hazy now, and while I was visiting the Russian Orthodox Monastery (St. Tikhon’s) in South Canaan, Pa. in the Pocono Mountains in Eastern Pa…..that is the ‘Russian-home’, I was refering to (I was trying to simplify the location and the people involved). Yes, I did not see cabbage put in it, I assumed it was. As in my other experiences with Russian soups, they often put in either sour-kraut or fresh cabbage….or both together. And too, we are speaking about monastic-Russian-cooking, where it is not considered proper, to take a lot of fancy preparation when cooking ANYTHING, as to make it overly ‘too-tasty’ is basically…sinful. (Food is necessary for life, but! we should NOT enjoy it too much!) The little fish were caught in their monastery little 2 swampy ‘lakes’, by aged, huge white-bearded Fr. Afanasy, (his snow-white beard went down to his knees), they were not cleaned whatsoever, as I watched him do it, (i.e. guts and all, with the cut-off heads… were all thrown unceremoneously into the kettle), with ‘Slava Bogu!’ (Glory to God!), and the rest was as I have described.
        That ‘yogurt’ was made from whole-milk which old Fr. Mavriki personally milked with his own hands, from their one monastery cow, and then in a triumphant air, carried the bucket of it (with a few dead flies floating on top, and a few pieces of straw) up the hill to the monastery kitchen, where it was left….about…..a week, to sit on a table there. It was, again, MONASTIC-style (i.e. sloppy?), Russian cooking, …that I admit. No woman helped to make it. These were all, old, after all, bachelors.
        When this (stinky) ‘yogurt’, a huge mountain of it on a big platter, was proudly placed on the trapeza-table for the church-festal meal ( and too, this food was an unusual TREAT for the old monks, not their usual fare), Fr. Panteleimon smiled widely at me, to see my (frowning) apprehensive facial expression, and he mockingly said to me: “UUM! Ice Cream!”. I could barely refrain from fleeing the table! from the smell.
        So, yes, this meal was not in a Russian HOME indeed, but in a Russian monastery. However, I was told that the fish eyes were supposed to be floating on top,….that was essential to the soup.

        So, why not can this? It could be labeled: “Old
        Father Afanasy’s Real Russian Ooha-Monastery Style (For More Holiness).”
        But yes, any of us only ‘know’ what we have personally experienced in our individual lives.
        These were my experiences of ,some, Russian-soup.
        Other home-made Russian cooking (in general), usually prepared by women, was better than that, true!
        As with Russian-style borscht, as you must know, virtually every cook who makes it, puts in different ingredients. One Russian rule I heard was:
        “There are two basic types of borscht, one which is thin so that if you put a spoon standing up, in the middle of it, the spoon falls down into the soup, the other thick-style, is when you put the spoon in, and it…stands up on it’s own”.
        Of course too, ‘Ookrop” (Dill Weed) goes into most Russian soups.

  4. Having lived through “Zavtrak Turista” (“Tourist’s breakfast” – 20 per cent canned spam, 80 per cent pure lard) Campbell soup tastes like gourmet cooking.

    As always, can’t say better than Latynina: it is very popular to say that the core of Western civilization is profit, while the core of Russian civilization is spiritual. Which is verbatim what Hitler wrote in My Kampf: Germany lost the war; we are in a ditch – but our spirituality is second to none.

  5. “So it will be quite interesting to see what happens as the Campbell’s Soup Company opens a full-bore marketing offensive in concert with Coca-Cola to find out whether Russians were serious or not about making their own soup…”

    Normally, any home-made soup is definitely *better*, than any canned (hmm) production.
    Not any body have skill and time for cooking they own soup, so they must resort to buy some ready-to-eat one.
    And, yes, there’s already a lot of already prepared canned soups, including ready to eat borsch, and shchi, and eastern exotic, like harcho, and much more.
    I’m afraid, La Russophobe just never heard about it.

    (Coke, by the way, another American convenience product supposedly disdained by Russians, has become the largest beverage distrubutor in the entire country, it’s products — and others like Lay’s potoato chips — available on every streetcorner in Russia).

    Let’s make a little more accurate statement:
    really, there’s a booths on (almost) every streetcorner in Moscow, for example.
    Where you can buy coca-cola… as well as pepsi-cola, and *lots* of soft-drinks made in Russia (from Chernogolovka, for example), and kvass, and mineral water, and much more.
    Welcome to reality.

    • Mind your words. You’ve said, ‘welcome to reality’. The reality of this trolling project blog is that everything Russian is inferior, as far as the Russians don’t beliong to the human race.
      So, posting any real fact there makes no sense, the only reasponse you get is just a pungent stench.
      By the way I’m in a process of considering suing the owners of the blog. I know it’s protected by the 1st Amendment, but it will reveal the real names of the owners to the public.

  6. Paul A. Kachur

    The feud between the Campbells and the McDonalds stretches back centuries into Scottish history.

    Interesting to see it continued on Russian soil…

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