Rus Articles Journal

Karelian cuisine: cookery of Russia

the Republic of Karelia located on North - the West of Russia, is often called the lake-land. No wonder: in the territory of this region of lakes really much. It is necessary to tell that Karelia - not only the Russian region. Provinces the Southern and Northern Karelia are also in the neighboring Finland. The population of Karelia consists of Russians, Karelians, Finns and Veps (small the Finn - the Ugrian people living also in the Leningrad and Vologda areas of the Russian Federation).

Karelia - the region visited by quite large number of tourists. They are attracted here by already mentioned numerous lakes - beautiful with reserved strict northern beauty the nature, the well-known islands: Kizhi (with monuments of wooden architecture) and Valaam (Valaam Monastery). The Karelian cuisine, undoubtedly, cannot but also cause interest in those who come to Karelia, and at those who just love culinary experiments, expanding geography of the prepared dishes.


Not for nothing this small virtual culinary travel was begun with a mention of numerous Karelian lakes. The matter is that fish with whom local reservoirs abounded for a long time is the main food of the people inhabiting the region. Used it in the most different types: prepared fresh, salted (on - Karelian - suolattu kala), made sour, dried (ahavoittu kala), but almost never smoked.

For storage of salty fish on grades were used by special holes, and also wooden barrels, tubs. Fish from above covered with a splinter and put heavy stone oppression - the brine had to cover it. Northern Karelians prepared fish “with a musty smell“ (kev ä tkala). Besides, northerners often ate crude salty fish whereas Karelians southern and average always cooked her moreover and previously otmachivat.

the sushchik (kabakala) - a dried fish trifle was Very popular

. Did strong fish soup of a sushchik. In the medical purposes ate the cod-liver oil melted from interiors of a pike or perch. It is possible to call the use of fish by Karelians almost waste-free: did flour of fish bones. Generally the truth, it was added to a forage to cattle. However sometimes used also for preparation of fish soup. The scales of large fishes went on a jelly. Valuable caviar was sold, as a rule, and other was often baked in the furnace (did even ikryany pancakes) and eaten hot or cold.

of the Ear (kalaruoka) was and remains the main Karelian first course. Typical Karelian fish soup prepares from sigovy fishes. There can be also milk fish soup, and still fermented fish fish soup. However the last is nowadays trained seldom unless in villages. The matter is that, following the traditional recipe, before the end of cooking (minutes for five) such fish soup should be passed through a layer of birch coal - it will relieve fish soup of bitterness and a possible unpleasant smell. Agree, in city conditions birch coal not always near at hand... Add eggs to the Karelian fish soup. In general, unlike the Russian`s fish soup - transparent, the Karelian fish soup of a mutnovat. Except milk and eggs at it there can also be the Icelandic moss, birch and pine kidneys, a sushchik and rye flour.

Fish second courses are, generally pies - Rybnik. They were baked in the Russian furnaces (they succeeded the open Karelian center) from the fresh rye test. And, It should be noted that fish in pies was often put directly with scales. The Karelian fish pies had oblong shape whereas, for example, porridge pies were a crescent form. It spoke simply - pie was a reminder, a tribute to hard country work: grains for porridges reaped sickles. In general, various porridges took the important place in a diet of Karelians: prepared barley, oat, pea, wheat and other porridges.

By the way, It is necessary to tell about influence of the Russian furnace on the Karelian culinary tradition especially. Its emergence in the Karelian dwellings changed technology of cooking. In the Russian furnace Karelians cooked the food, extinguished or baked. In the Karelian language there is no word “fry“. Even some types of pies which generally fried in oil were called keitinpiiroa - “boiled (in oil) pies“.

All the rest

we Come back to first courses - except fish soup Karelians and which - ate that else. Prepared, for example, Russian cabbage soup or soup (both that, and another called in a word: ruoka). Russian cabbage soup did of fresh or fermented cabbage leaves. Added also onions, turnip, later potatoes (when began to grow up), and also barley grits. This Russian cabbage soup was usual, daily Karelian food. Them had dinner or had supper. Sometimes added meat to Russian cabbage soup. Also Karelian potato soup which is cooked from only one potato is known and refuels sour cream. However, if the hostess reserved mushrooms (salted them or dried up) - they were added to soup and onions. Besides, ancient Karelian wheat flour, potatoes and linseed oil soup is known.

Meat. In times his old Karelians ate a little. Generally it was meat of wild animals (an elk, a deer, a boar, a feathery game). Later, when Karelians mastered cattle breeding and agriculture, also meat of house cattle (beef, sometimes low-fat mutton, is more rare pork). Generally fir-tree meat in the period of a haymaking and in the winter. That it was long stored, it, as well as fish, salted and dried. Often air-dried meat was taken with themselves in a long journey.

Turnip - the main root crop of the Karelian cuisine. From it prepared a set of various dishes: soups, baked puddings, porridges, cooked compote, did kvass, dried. Potatoes succeeded it only at the beginning of the last century. Other vegetables used by Karelians: a radish, onions, cabbage, a swede, carrots in small amounts. Truck farming in Karelia was developed quite poorly earlier.

Karelians Loved (and love) milk, and also products from it. Cottage cheese is especially popular. Many Karelians during the veseena - the summer period prepared cottage cheese, and for the winter did cottage cheese (muigiemaido) which was eaten with boiled potatoes and sour cream of it. Besides, cottage cheese was dried. There was on the Karelian tables also a curdled milk. Often it was given mixed with fresh milk. Goat milk gained distribution at the Karelian only in 1930 - e years. It is also worth remembering and colostrum - milk of the first yields of milk. It in some regions of Karelia was baked in pots, receiving a product, similar to cheese (yysto). Karelians did not eat cervine milk, though were engaged in reindeer breeding (especially in the north). Karelians shook up also butter. It, generally put in porridges, later in potatoes. They almost did not eat butter with bread.

That to the bread, in Karelia it was baked from rye, barley or oatmeal. Often there was not enough flour therefore practice of various additives in flour appeared and got accustomed: moss, barley straw, pine sapwood. Except simple bread, baked pies. In addition to already mentioned Rybnik baked still gates (sipainiekku) - pies with a stuffing from millet and barley grits, oat flour, mashed potatoes. Local hostesses in the course had a saying:“ The gate demands eight“. Meant that production of such pies requires, as a rule, eight components: flour, water, salt, milk, curdled milk, sour cream, oil and stuffing.

Should tell

that in the Karelian cuisine there are neither fruit dishes, nor confectionery. Wild berries pies (a cranberry, bilberry, cowberry) were and remain a dessert. Karelians often ate cloudberries and eat soaked. And here part of Karelians did not gather blueberry at all - many believed that it is “dirty“ berry, and from it “the head hurts“. Fresh berries with milk - a favourite Karelian delicacy.

From drinks should note kvass (from turnip, bread or malt). Karelians and tea knew, drank, including, in the medical purposes, broths of forest herbs. From alcoholic beverages the Karelian beer is known. However, the traditional recipe of its preparation nowadays is considered lost. Since certain time Karelians and vodka with wine knew, but these drinks, naturally, were loans from other kitchens. First of all, from the Russian, and also from the Finnish.

Ceremonial Karelian dishes Should be told


also about dishes which Karelians ate during various rituals. So, on holidays, weddings, always gave oat kissel. The interesting Karelian custom is known: oat kissel was given to the groom after the first marriage night. If he began to eat kissel with edge - everything well. But if from the middle - means, the bride lost virginity to a wedding. And it was a disgrace to it and to all her relatives. However the wedding from - for it absolutely not necessarily fell apart...

also other ancient Karelian custom Is known to

: if matchmakers came to younger sister in a family, and senior was not married yet, then to them suggested to try at first the lower layer of kissel and so not to mention the top layer covering it.

the Same oat kissel, however, was given also on commemoration, together with kissel rye (now at Karelians it is accepted to remember deceased kissel berry). Grain kvass was obligatory “funeral“ drink also. And it was supped spoons from the general ware. In some regions of Karelia prepared a kulaga from germinated rye. Rye malt was poured to boiled water and fir-trees hot with bread. It, as well as kvass, were treated from the general ware.


On Petrov (29. 06 / 12. 07) baked cottage cheese flat cakes (kabu) and when saw off summer (1. 08 / 14. 08) - bilberry pies.

Recipes of the Karelian cuisine

It is natural, many ancient Karelian dishes nowadays, alas, are forgotten. Others changed a little. The Karelian cuisine in the XX century borrowed a lot of things from Russian cuisine. Borsch in Petrozavodsk (the capital of Karelia) today the same commonplace, as in Moscow. But “the Culinary Eden“ offers you nevertheless more traditional recipes of the Karelian cuisine. What is called - we will taste Karelia. Let`s begin, of course, with fish.

Salty fish “with a musty smell“ (kev ä tkala)



to prepare fish “with a musty smell“, it is desirable to catch independently it in the Karelian lakes or the rivers. It is possible to buy, of course, in shop, but the pleasure will be not that.

Fish is caught by

during spring spawning (except a burbot), cut from a back - large, or on a stomach from the head to a tail - average and small. Fish is cleaned, well washes. Coarse salt is inside filled. Fish keeps within a wooden barrel or a tub backs down. Each row it is necessary to season with salt. Then cover a barrel. When fish starts up juice, put from above freight and put fish to the cool place.

Having staid

so all summer, fish will be salted, but will begin to exude an unpleasant smell. That to avoid it, it even when salting can be shifted a nettle. Kev ä tkala is considered good if fish when you hold it by a tail in horizontal position, is not bent.

Pancakes from caviar



Caviar clear

of films, slightly salt, mix with flour. Water does not need to be added. Prepare in a frying pan on melted butter.

of the Ear from a sushchik (kabarokka)



Sushchik put

in cold water and the otmachivayta is 1 hour old. Then, without changing water, put a sushchik on fire. You cook on slow fire of 20 minutes. After that cut in fish soup potatoes segments of the average size. Before the end of cooking (when potato cooks) - you crumble onions. Such fish soup can be served as is hotter, and cold.

Hot on - Karelian (Karjalanpaisti)



Wash out well meat. When using salty meat previously to its otmochita. Cut on pieces, put in a clay pot. At first mutton, then beef, pork, and from above - pieces of a liver and kidneys. Fill in all with water, so that it covered all meat, salt. Add the cut onions. Put a pot in an oven, but not in very hot, or in the Russian furnace if you have. Sense - to keep in the furnace or in an oven roast long, perhaps, even the whole night or day till the evening.