C&I Newsletter, August 2016

Summer time - long sunny days, short nights - the most relaxing time of the year! Cold "okroshka" soup is just what one needs on hot summer day. Please find other Russian cuisine dishes that are very popular here in our new section - "Taste of Russia". Please find the news of St Peterburg as well as option of evening program in one of its palaces.

Helen Isaeva

Taste of Russia

Russian cuisine is traditionally nutritious, delicious and diverse. You probably have already tried Bliny (pancakes) with caviar or Pelmeni, but there are many more things to try in Russia. Russia is the country where each of the four seasons of the year is different to the following one. So, seasonality in cuisine is also present.

In the summertime one of the most popular dishes is Okroshka. Okroshka is a cold soup, made of diced raw vegetables and boiled meat, traditionally served with Kvas - a Russian fermented drink made of black rye, and sour cream. Most probably the origin of the soup goes back to medieval times.

Borsh is a very popular soup in many East European countries. You can recognize it by its reddish color and sour-sweet taste. In Russia Borsh is known for hundreds of years. Borsh was the favourite soup of the emperors Catherine the Great and Alexander II. It was loved by the writer Gogol. Even ballerina Anna Pavlova was fond of this high-calorie soup. Among many different recipes, the main ingredient of this soup are beets. Traditional borscht is cooked with meat or possibly poultry, but you can also find vegetarian versions of this soup. The other vegetables include cabbage, carrots, potatoes, onions and tomatoes. Borscht is traditionally spiced with herbs and sour cream.

Another interesting option to try is Sirniki. It is a popular dish in Russian cuisine. These small and thick pancakes, made of cottage cheese, are popular for breakfast or as a dessert served with jam, sour cream any time of the year. The name "sirniki" derives from the word "sir" which means "cheese" in Russian.

Vinegrette is a traditional Russian salad made of boiled beets, potatoes, carrots, pickles and sauerkraut. It is easy to cook and remains very popular all the time. The salad was first mentioned in the early 19th century during the reign of Tsar Alexander I. The name of the salad comes from the French "vinaigre" (vinegar), as at that time the salad was dressed with vinegar with olive oil and salt. The salad has no meat so in the past it was ideal during numerous religious fasts.

Exhibition of works of Wassily Kandinsky
Menshikov Palace 
Menshikov Palace

News from St. Petersburg

Exhibition of works of Wassily Kandinsky will take place on September 15, 2016 in the Russian Museum and will last until November 20, 2016.

Wassily Kandinsky was an influential Russian painter and art theorist. He is credited with painting one of the first purely abstract works and is recognized as one of the founders of Abstract Art.
The oeuvre of Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), world renowned Russian artist will be for the first time presented with special emphasis made on the national origins of his early figurative works and abstract paintings of 1910-s. The exhibition dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the artist will comprise his graphic and painterly works alongside with the pieces by his prominent contemporaries, such as Ivan Bilibin, Elena Polenova, Sergei Malyutin, Mikhail Larionov, Natalia Goncharova, Kazimir Malevich, David Burliuk, Alexey Yawlensky, Marianna Verevkina and others. These artists participated with Kandinsky in the Izdebsky Salons and "The Blue Rider" group exhibitions and reflected the symbolism, expressionism and art nouveau trends.
The works on display are selected from the collection of the State Russian Museum, State Tretyakov Gallery, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Hermitage and other museum collections.

Cruiser "Aurora" is back after restoration
Aurora is the Battlestar 1st rank of the Baltic Fleet. The ship was constructed in St. Peterburg New Admiralty in 1903.
The cruiser was named in honor of sailing frigate Aurora, famous for the defense of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, during the Crimean War. Cruiser Aurora took part in the Russian-Japanese war of 1904-1905, particularly in the Battle of Tsushima on May 14-15, 1905 in the First World War of 1914-1918, in the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922 and in the Great Patriotic war of 1941-1945, particularly in the defense of Leningrad (the old name of St. Petersburg). In 1956 the cruiser Aurora became a branch of the Central Naval Museum. The exposition of the museum ship located in six rooms. There are about 300 museum objects, including ship miniatures, paintings, objects of seamanship and life, documents and photographs.
On September 21, 2014, the Aurora sailed out of St. Petersburg, watched by thousands, to the construction yard in Kronstadt foe restoration.On July 31, 2016 it sailed back and now is open again for visitors.

New Restaurant: The Repa (belongs to Ginza Project)
Located at Teatralnaya Square The Repa replaced the famous Za Stsenoi (Backstage) - so it is the place for a drink and a meal before, during and after the visit of the Mariinsky Theater. The Repa is a Russian restaurant from all points of view. Paintings of Russian ballet scenes and fairy tale birds on the walls, velvet chairs... Russian cuisine is introduced in harmony with modern culinary tendencies. The bar list includes 20 kinds of vodka. The name Repa originates from the name of a popular in Russia root crop, also Repa is a short version of "repetitsia", which in Russian means rehearsal. There is an alternative meaning: "repas" means "a meal" in French. As a compliment you will be offered a bun with butter mixed with root crop Repa.

A Special Evening Program at Menshikov Palace

Be a guest of the first govenor of St. Petersburg, drink a glass of champaign in the Grand Room with a gorgeous view on the Neva river and enjoy classical quartet concert followed by a dinner in Russian style at the restaurant of the museum!

Menshikov Palace is rarely included into the itineraries due to the lack of time. But this is one of the most interesting and unusual palaces of St. Petersburg. It was built for one of the richest persons of early 18th century in Russia - Count Menshikov.

One of the largest and most splendid buildings of its time, the palace was used for diplomatic receptions and gala celebrations. Unlike other grand palaces of St. Petesburg this one does not bedazzle the guests with gilding of baroque style. There are other wonders like rooms with walls and ceiling all covered with Delft tiles according to the idea of luxury of the early 18th century. The first stone building in St. Petersburg, this is the oldest palace in the city with very special cozy home atmosphere.