Hay and chicken broth with milk: favorite dishes of Russian classics

Repinsky hay soup, Akhmatova pumpkin porridge, carp with Chekhov sour cream, omelette for Tolstoy and beer for Plisetskaya: Gazeta.Ru talks about favorite dishes, diets and gastronomic experiments of domestic cultures.

A source: RIA News “

Leo Tolstoy – omelette with vegetables

Leon Tolstoy loved to eat. At the same time, he regularly exaggerated and rebuked himself for it. The author started his morning with oatmeal and curd and during the day he abused coffee and cookies. Above all, the author of “War and Peace” loved the dishes with eggs: omelette with mushrooms, omelette with vegetables and soup with eggs.

According to the memoirs of Tolstoy’s wife, Sophia Andreevna, the author did not know the sense of proportion, so he had to constantly control the expenses:

I watched in horror as he ate: first, salted milk mushrooms, then four large buckwheat toasts with soup, sour kvass and black bread. And all this in large numbers.

It is true that already at the age of 50, Leo Tolstoy’s gastronomic preferences changed – he became a vegetarian. Then, for the first time, he will write the essay “The first step”, in which he will act as a supporter of the “killer diet”. It was not vegan – the author’s denial of meat did not apply to dairy products and eggs. But the diet was supplemented with rice with beans, mashed apples with plums, cabbage soup and various roots.

Fyodor Dostoevsky – chicken with hot milk

Fyodor Dostoyevsky also loved to eat plenty, who above all appreciated Russian cuisine. Most of the time, he treated himself to a cheese sandwich, but his favorite dish was boiled chicken, which he poured into a glass of hot milk.

“Fedya started to get terribly annoyed because there was no chicken, so we almost argued about it,” the author’s wife Anna recalls in her diary.

The foreign dishes looked unnecessary classics. “I asked for such a dinner: 10 dishes are served, well cooked, 5 of which were meat, so I got bored of eating and sent half the dinner back,” Dostoevsky complained in a letter to his wife during his stay in Berlin. .

A source: RIA News “

Maya Plisetskaya – beer and ravioli

Russian ballet star Maya Plisetskaya, contrary to all clichés, loved to eat a rich meal. With great pleasure, he ate homemade food – pies and herring. “I always ate a lot. And my weight was a little more than necessary. “There were times when I lost weight, but unintentionally – just because of the rehearsals I did not have time to eat,” he admitted.

In addition, the ballerina appreciated Serbian cuisine, where local chefs prepared ravioli with spinach especially for her. Plisetskaya’s favorite drink was Bavarian beer – she discovered this drink during her tour of Munich and became addicted to it with her friends.

Ivan Krylov – oysters

Even as long as he lived, jokes were made about Ivan Krylov’s “Petersburg La Fontaine”, which were not unfounded. The storyteller himself was not at all ashamed of his addiction and openly despised diets, so at a party he always served himself food “with a slide” and asked for an addition. His diet included cabbage soup, kulebyaka, turkey, fatty pies, goose with milk mushrooms, whitefish with eggs and a pig under horseradish. “The oysters sometimes tempted his stomach and destroyed at least eighty of them, but not more than a hundred,” recalls Krylov’s contemporary.

Despite the doctors’ warnings, Krylov said: “I will stop eating dinner, probably the day I will stop eating lunch.”

Thus, overeating, according to one version, became the cause of pneumonia, from which the author died.

Anton Chekhov – carp in sour cream

But Anton Chekhov, on the other hand, was quite picky about food. Even during frequent meals together, he could never touch delicacies. It is true that this did not apply to caviar and other seafood, which he loved very much. “Of the dumb fish, the best is the fried carp in sour cream. “just so that it does not smell of mud and has a fineness, you have to keep it alive in the milk for a whole day”, shared the playwright.

Ilya Repin – hay broth

The main proponent of the raw food diet in pre-revolutionary Russia was Ilya Repin, who loved extreme health practices and vegan diets. In addition, some of the artist’s experiments became the subject of intense debate and jokes, especially the hay broth, which became a newspaper sensation. Other dishes in the daily diet included sandwiches with olive puree, various roots, soaked peas and nettle tea.

To find like-minded people, the artist gave lectures to students, arranged free meals for people of all classes, and wrote articles.

“I make my honeymoon with nutritious and delicious vegetable broths. I feel how the beneficial juice of herbs cools and cleanses the blood. Eggs (a more harmful food) have been thrown out, cheeses have been eliminated, meat has already been abandoned. Salads! How lovable! What a life (with olive oil!). A broth of hay, of roots, of herbs – this is the elixir of life. Fruits, red wine, dried fruits, olives, plums, nuts – energy. Is it possible to list all the luxury of a vegetable table? Repin wrote to his friend.

Vladimir Mayakovsky – barbecue and donuts

Meanwhile, meat-eater Vladimir Mayakovsky remembered in his diary with annoyance Ilya Repin’s vegan table:

“I made seven acquaintances for dinner. On Sunday we “eat” Chukovsky, on Monday – Evreinov etc. Thursday was worse – I eat Repin herbs. For a futurist, a tall sazen, this is not the case.

Although in his work Mayakovsky ridiculed the bourgeoisie’s passion for food, he was less critical of himself.

Judging by the poem “Hymn to Dinner”, for example, the poet knew for sure that roast beef had to “breathe” and he himself did not despise the “rooster with pineapple”. So he sent a photo to Lilya Brik’s muse with the caption: “Your puppy is over Ai-Petri with a barbecue in hand.” But donuts were Mayakovsky’s favorite dish since childhood.

A source: RIA News “

Anna Akhmatova – millet porridge with pumpkin

Anna Akhmatova did not want to spend time on the stove and was mediocre in food, so she preferred porridge millet with pumpkin and boiled mushrooms with sour cream and herbs from gastronomic delights. It is true that the ascetic diet was associated not so much with personal preferences as with the lack of ingredients during the First World War, as well as with the revolution and the Great Patriotic War that followed. “We seldom cooked food – there was nothing and nothing,” Akhmatova recalled.

Korney Chukovsky – Nestle Flour

Korney Chukovsky also experienced the hardships of hunger. “If I knew that today I could eat an ear of corn, even dipped in oil, I would be happy,” the author recalls. Once, while visiting Anna Akhmatova, he remembered a rare product that tasted amazing:

In her twenties, during the wild famine in St. Petersburg, she took from a friend a large and beautiful can full of nourishing, hypervitaminated “flour”, made in England by the famous company “Nestlé”. A teaspoon of this concentrate, diluted in boiling water, seemed to our hungry stomachs an unattainably rich meal. And whole tin seemed more valuable than diamonds. “All of us who had gathered that day at the house of Anna Andreevna, envied from the bottom of our hearts the owner of such wealth.”

Pyotr Tchaikovsky – dishes with mushrooms

Peter Tchaikovsky’s favorite delicacy was mushroom dishes. The composer liked not only to cook them, but also to collect them.

“Familiar with the forest, Piotr Ilyich knew places with mushrooms, but he did not show them to anyone, he was even afraid that they would follow him, and he deliberately walked on different detours,” recalls his contemporary, music critic Nikolai Kaskin.

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