Olivier with mandarins

French-Russian Olivier is interspersed with the Jewish-Baltic herring under the fur coat and Chinese tangerines. All this – against the background of the Spasskaya Tower of the Kremlin and the comedy about the substitution of the Terrible Tsar. Favorite Russian Plot since the times of Smoot.


Chief Soviet Salad "Olivier", he "metropolitan", "mayonnaise" and even "spring", on the table of the Soviet man did not immediately. Yes, and this dish appeared at all as a salad. The chef of the Moscow Restaurant Hermitage Lucien Olivier in the 1860s conceived to invent "Mayonnaise from game", which included quail, rumble glands and cancer, watered Provence Sauce. Mountain from potatoes and Kornishonov risen in the center of the dish and served as an ornament, not expected in food. However, visitors to the restaurant, most of their merchants, quickly began to mix all the contents of the plate. Such barbaric transformation of the invention of the Frenchman has entered Russian cuisine as a salad. Of course, Olivier accounted for mimicry and adapt to changing conditions. In the first post-revolutionary years about salad with quail and cancer nobody could and dream. Only a few years later, already at NEP, Soviet entrepreneurs begin to prepare Olivier. Eating NEPMANs a significantly simplified version of the dish and make it shyly, in "their circle and with hanging windows," as pamphletist wrote. Olivier NEPMAN, even if degraded compared to pre-revolutionary, still includes quail. Chicken and boiled sausage in it are not yet – an option with sausage appears only in the 30th. And it is precisely such a passing, without ripples and bird jelly, Olivier entered Soviet cooking.

Herring under a Fur Coat

The roots of the second main New Year’s salad – the herds under the fur coat are not clear. Historian and Culinary William Pokhlebkin talks about the Baltic origin of the dish (the nearest analog is found at Lithuanians, but without beet and with sour cream). Someone insists on the Herring Jewry. Foreign Ministers believe that herring under the fur coat – the product of the original Soviet culture (the exotic version suggests the word "fur coat" decrypt as "chauvinism and falling – boycott and anathema"). The first two versions seem to be quite likely and, moreover, do not contradict each other. Recall at least the fact that before the war, the Jews amounted to a third of the population of Vilnius. Isaac Singer, outlining the last edge of the Jewish poverty, writes: "Even the herring we could not buy". And one of the most famous national dishes of Jewish dishes is Forshmak, and no for the biblical people of the vegetable is more important than beets. It is quite natural to assume that it is from this side a herring under a fur coat, this not that cake, not that salad, broke into the Russian-Soviet imperial all-consuming cooking.


Chinese citrus, brought to Europe only at the beginning of the XIX century and quenching in December, very by the way came to the Christmas table. Apples and gold hats, which were decorated with Christmas trees, were somewhat mounted by tangerines on a festive tree. Mandarins often put in socks that were attached to the fireplace shelf on Christmas Eve and in which the latter children were waiting to detect gifts. However, the last tradition in Russia passed on only in the families of Westernical, in particular in the family of Nabokov. The acquaintance of the Russian man with Mandarin is only on the second half of the XIX – the beginning of the XX century, when the citrus began to grow in the Transcaucasia. Mandarins were not cheap, but not too expensive – from 60 cop. up to 3 rubles. In St. Petersburg stores in 1861, if you believe Elena Mohsovets’s cookbook. The smell of tangerines at Christmas very soon added the smell of fir resin, and in 1934, Vertinsky will sing:

Christmas in my native country.

Olivier with mandarins

Good grandfather with fluffy beard,

Smells of mandarins and christmas tree

With cannons, clappers in a wallet.

Soviet champagne

Sergey Dovlatov in his "solo on Underwood" wrote how the Zabuldig met him after the champagne pledged him: "For the third time in their life!»Appeal to champagne on" You "at Dovlatova – Of course, curious. But an extremely respectful attitude towards this drink is traditionally inherent in Russian and the more Soviet person. Even before the revolution, since the end of the XVIII century, champagne conquered hardly all the layers of Russian society. Hussars drank sparkling wine famously: in the moments of special fun officers undressed, began to swell and scurry sparkling wine from the trough. Merchants saw thoroughly and appeal. Students drank on particularly solemn cases or when the money was started. This tradition and inherited the Soviet man from the pre-revolutionary past. Soviet champagne appears in 1937. Sparkling wine of domestic production was conceived with the calculation that Stakhanovets, so he was champagne, could afford it. Indeed, during the years of Soviet power with champagne, it was also introduced to all the urban population of the Union. However, the product remained expensive and scarce. Soviet man never managed to go with champagne on "You".

Olivier with mandarins

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