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Russian Dumplings - Meal For Everyone

Dumplings, ravioli, wontons...or nevertheless pelmeni?

 
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This post first appeared on Russia Insider


Every time I’ve  tried to explain to foreigners what ‘pelmeni’ is, their faces have looked confused and completely lost. What could possibly be wrong about a piece of dough with meat? Just make an effort and learn a new Russian word - ‘pelmeni’! But they kept comparing it with dumplings, ravioli or even wontons (Chinese analogue). Well, ok, you can call it whatever you like, but I still insist that Russian pelmeni is not really dumplings or ravioli. The gist is pretty much the same (dough plus filling) but the Russian version has its own form, specific filling, certain way of cooking, and a long history.

It’s not a secret that cuisine usually reflects the history and living conditions of different peoples. That’s the case with pelmeni, which first appeared in cold Siberia and were the perfect meal for such a tough environment. Furthermore, they became an everyday meal for everyone irrespective of social differences. Seriously, the chances of meeting a Russian who doesn’t like this dish are incredibly low (and most probably there is something wrong with the person).

The secret explaining the popularity of pelmeni is quite paradoxical: it can either consume or save your time. It depends on what you expect in the end: delicious festive meal or just a quick but substantial snack. Both are possible: you either make them at home with the whole family involved (according to Russian tradition) or buy a pack of ready pelmeni, drop them into boiling water and, voila, in 7-10 minutes you have a substantial meat dish (more suitable for students and bachelors).

Anyway, pelmeni for Russians are more than just a meal, it’s something that you can’t imagine life in Russia without. Still questioning the importance of that dish in Russian culture? Watch the video and get rid of the last doubts.


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MORE: Culture

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