Annals of Russian “Cuisine”
Several times already (click the “cuisine” category in our sidebar to see them) we’ve exposed the pathetic charade that is Russian cuisine, a perfect representation of the country itself in that is embodies unreformed yuckiness whilst the benighted population thinks it grand.
But even still, the comments about the latest Russian restaurant to open in America’s eating capital, New York City, in the New York Times by the nation’s leading restaurant critic, Sam Sifton, bear noting:
Vodka may be the best thing about this new Russian restaurant in the space that used to be, years ago, Silver Swan. Main courses ($18 to $27) are less successful. The requisite chicken Kiev is unnecessary, and no one ought to eat beef stroganoff over buckwheat kasha with a lunatic blast of truffle oil over the top. Chilean sea bass with mustardy mashed potatoes? It’s protein and starch, no more. No thanks as well to grandmatronly kotletki, here rendered as bunless hamburgers, cooked down to gray. Pelmeni will always do in a pinch.
The only thing Mr. Sifton found to be edible in the freakishly weird looking establishment were pickles and smoked fish. These are not, of course, dishes prepared by a chef, which the actual point of going to a restaurant. Such dishes, he discovered, simply made him gag. The best thing? The vodka.
To put in the final nail, right next to this review in the print edition was a second about the Trinidadian restaurant Trini-Gul. A glowing love letter to every dish offered by the place, each one more succulent and well-prepared than the last, the piece highlights how the people of Trinidad opened themselves to reform and allowed themselves to be influenced by a wide variety of cuisines from Africa to China.
And so it goes in Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Failure follows failure, which is followed by denial and rationalization and ultimately the murder of anyone who dares find fault. The USSR collapsed from just such ignorance and blindness, and Russia can do no other.