Russian cuisine is part of the culture, part of the history of our country. But in each area, it was shaped taking into account many factors. This is the geographical location of the area and the characteristics of the plant and animal raw materials that grow and live nearby.
Potsenie in the 17th century was a border area, a forest steppe, where various cultural traditions clashed and mingled, including culinary and household traditions. Mordva-Moksha – a Finno-Ugric ethnic group with a developed forestry, Russian peasants gradually dominating the black soil of the Left Bank, Cossack guards, Tatar service – all contributed to the cultural mosaic of the area. The distance from the center, the difficult living conditions contributed to the rapprochement of representatives of different nationalities, to the cultural exchange between them. And, of course, this influence manifested itself in everyday life. The settlers adapted their way of life, their food traditions according to the new conditions. To some extent, they borrowed the economic structure that had already been developed by the local population (mainly Mordovians-Moksha).
We have not preserved sources from which we could learn the recipes of those dishes that were once prepared in the territory of Tambov in the 17th century. But by knowing the characteristics of the economic activity of that period, you can try to restore an approximate diet.
Cereal crops were the basis of a Russian diet in the 17th century. During this period, the main cereal plant was rye, which was the only winter crop and was sown in all agricultural areas. Along with rye, oats were sown, which were the main spring crop, barley and wheat. According to E.A. Shvetsova, in the second half of the 17th century in Verkhotsenskaya volost, the proportion of sown crops was as follows: rye – 46.4%, oats – 31.5%, wheat – 7.9%, barley – 7.1%, millet – 5.1%, buckwheat -2%.
Based on these data, we can say that rye bread was the main product for the service population. Depending on the type of flour from which the bread is baked, rye bread is divided into sieve and sieve. The sieve flour was obtained after sieving in a sieve from ground grains of a significant amount of flour. The sieve was produced by sieving large bran particles in a sieve.
Wheat flour bread was more expensive. Wheat buns were baked on the occasion of big holidays, such as Easter.
Pies have a special place in Russian cuisine. Thus, A. Olearios noted in his notes: “They have a special kind of cookies, called pies, the size of a butter circle or our rich bun, a little more, and these pies are filled with chopped fish or beef with onions, in then fried in oil, and the days of fasting in olive. Such cookies are quite tasty and every guest throws them if the owner is willing to face him. The researcher L.N. Vdovina, describing 17th-century Russian cuisine, said that according to the method of preparation, the pies were hearth pies, baked only from sourdough in the oven and spun, made from both sour and unleavened dough. In shape, Russian pies were more often elongated: long, oblique, “carp” (resembling a cruciform carp in shape), less often baked round pies, “hooves” pies (in the form of cheesecakes). The size of the pies varied – from large to small, called pies. The filling for the pies was very different: fish, cereals, vegetables. Along with fish pies on the table were served pies with mushrooms.
As a kind of ritual baking, it is worth noting the kokourki and carols. They baked them mainly at Christmas and Christmas. Kokurki (as a variant of the origin of the name is considered from the word “kokur” – a small coin) were small kolobok of dough. The dough could be unleavened rye or yeast. A boiled egg was placed in the cocoon and baked. But there were options without eggs. The carols are open small pies from unleavened rye dough with filling. Traditionally, porridge (mainly millet) was used as a filling. The carols are almost identical to the gates that have survived to this day in the cuisine of the Finnish people. Therefore, it is possible that kokurki and carols appeared in Russian cuisine under the influence of Finnish tradition, and in particular in Potsenye – from the local population of Mordovia.
Oatmeal mixed with water was used to make oatmeal, which was the food of the common people during the days of fasting, and was also food for the servants. The method of making oatmeal is given in Margeret’s notes: “… the oatmeal is boiled, and then dried and ground into oatmeal …, the Russians use it for both food and drink, adding … two or three spoons in a sufficient amount of water with a small amount of salt and stirring well. In addition, oatmeal kisses were made, which were consumed both hot and cold, adding honey and milk if possible.
Forestry – fishing, hunting, beekeeping – played an important role in the economic life of the Potsenye population.
Fish dishes were very important in the diet and fish food was more common than meat. Almost all the settlements of Verkhotsenskaya volos were located on rivers. Sources say there are many “fishmongers” – fish farms. “Sturgeon and beluga come from the Volga to Tsna and Moksha and the usual fish in these rivers are: sterling, pike, sea bream, sea bream, ide, berbot, crucian carp, perch, cockroach, cockroach, cockroach, cockroach and cockroach various small fish. “The fish was boiled, dried, dried, salted, fermented. LN Vdovina writes:” Fresh fish was salted in bathtubs, adding a little salt and water. “The Russians will first take the fish from the barrel in their hand and smell if it smells enough, and if not enough, they will throw it back in the barrel.” Fresh and salted fish have been stored in glaciers, dried and hung in dryers. often change depending on the species of fish. However, the most common and characteristic for most – including Mordovians – remain 2 types of “quick fish soup” – fish soup, characterized by a high concentration of fish broth, characteristic of the fishing industry with stable and abundant raw fish. materials. Both of these species – summer and winter ears – were made from small fish of different varieties, since large fish were considered traditional “commodities”, ie they were sold or for future use for pickling, drying. While small fish were used directly in the daily diet. Variations of summer and winter ears differed in that fresh fish was used in summer and winter fish were cooked mainly from dried fish harvested for future use.
The abundant aroma of many dishes with onions, garlic and all kinds of spices was characteristic of the monastic and boyar cuisine. The food of the common people was mostly inappropriate. Salt, not to mention spices, was expensive and necessary for the preparation of products for long-term storage.
The article was prepared with the support of the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives in the framework of the project “Borderland is not a heavenly paradise”
The material was prepared based on open sources.
NAPOLNIKOVA POLINA KONSTANTINOVNA, Candidate of Historical Sciences, member of the NGO “Tambov Society of Local History Lovers”.