Nobody actually asked me this one verbatim, but food is always a big one when you go abroad. I’m pretty sure I already went into the foods I brought with us, like a bunch of peanut butter and Parmesan cheese. I figured that at least I’d be able to give the kids PB&J if they didn’t like anything else.
For breakfast, the kids would normally have cereal. Cereal was pretty much the same there as here–different brands, of course, but mostly the same type of stuff. The milk was kind of weird though, which makes sense because we were, well, on a different continent. Russians don’t really drink milk much; they like to use spoiled (our idea of spoiled–sour) milk in their cooking. They really like yogurts and cheese and things, but they don’t really drink milk like we do in the US. So even though I was able to buy milk, it often went bad in a day or two. Once it was already sour before I even opened it. The little store by where I lived had it in the refrigerated section, but the one in Raduga Park didn’t. I’m sure it wasn’t always refrigerated on the way to the store; I don’t think it was a major priority. Since I love milk I bought some chocolate milk mix and that was that.
We’d also eat fruit like apples, bananas, kiwis, and things like that. Check out this huge pomegranate:
Fruit juice was also a big one since I wasn’t big on the milk (the kids drank it but I’m a bit picky). I hate apple juice normally but there’s this brand in Russia that I love. Also a mixed berry one and this gem, which became my ultimate favorite:
It was orange and heavenly. I drank it all the time. Did I mention the water situation yet? I feel like I couldn’t have come this far and not mention the water. It was icky and so drinking water got delivered to the apartment and we boiled that before we drank it. Yup. So juice was easier, though I mostly just gave the kids the cooled down boiled water that got delivered and the milk that I thought was sour and sometimes I shared my juice.
Normal Russian breakfast is called бутерброд, its just a piece of bread with salami or bologna and cheese. An open sandwich. We eat those all the time in the US and they had them for breakfast in Russia too. Lunch the kids ate at school, usually soup with bread I think. They also had this thing for snack which was grated apples and carrots mixed together–they loved that. While they were at school, I’d often each lunch at the apartment. Usually I’d have this kind of soup like Ramen but much more delicious. Also, Pizza.
Pizza in Russia is interesting. It tends to have very little sauce and sometimes, pickles. The little store by my house had that kind in spades. Pizza with pickles and cheese and cubes of bologna. At Raduga Park I once bought a pizza that had chicken under the cheese that I didn’t know about until I bit into it. There were bones. It was not exactly what I expected. The vast majority of pizza I bought there was great; I just skipped the really thick varieties that might be hiding something below the cheese. The kinds they had at Raduga Park were more similar to American kinds, and had garlic and things, it was great.
We also ate a lot of pasta there, with my new favorite type of sauce:
It has green olives in it. Yum. My mother in law also made a bunch of Russian dishes that we also eat in the US with my husband. Fish soup and pirogi and pelemeni. Very yummy. Shredded carrots are pretty much in everything she cooks and you eat everything with mayo. In fact, my city holds the world record for most mayo eaten per person. My husband puts it in soup and mixes it with everything.
Another great thing that we found was this: