Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chicago & Vegetarian Russian Food

*I love grocery shopping on Chicago’s Devon Avenue. The Indian and Pakistani groceries always yield fascinating and reasonably-priced spices and vegetables. Another favorite store is the City Fresh Market (3201 W. Devon Ave.), which carries lots of Eastern European and Russian foods. The produce is cheap. I came back to Milwaukee with four bags of groceries. I know I should get excited about Chicago’s museums or nightlife or something, but I always look forward to Devon the most. (For more on Devon Avenue, go here.)

*It’s true that Russians think vegetarianism is loony. It’s also true that traditional Russian food is often labor-intensive. Yet it’s possible to have a quick, vegetarian Russian meal, like the one I made after a day in Chicago. For example: potatoes, boiled or fried, with chopped dill and sour cream; sautéed mushrooms and marinated vegetable salad. You could also open up a jar of lutenitsa or eggplant caviar or any kind of pepper-eggplant-tomato appetizer (check out the selection at your local Eastern European grocery, like, say, Fresh City Market, above).

5 comments:

Rozmin said...

I heard that Russian food is really vegetarian friendly during Lent (or maybe I'm confusing it with another fasting time). But my BF isn't orthodox (and neither are any of my Russian friends) so I don't know much about that.

I love Devon avenue! Are the street signs still printed in Hindi and Urdu as well as English? It's been so long since I've been there.

Yulinka said...

Rozmin-I'm not sure about Lent, it's not something we've ever observed. The street signs are in English on Devon, but the storefront signs are in all kinds of languages, depending on the block: Hebrew, Russian, Hindi, etc.

Yura said...

hello,
I noticed you took a picture @ Chicago... Can you tell me where to find some good Russian stores in Chicago-land? I know about Three Sisters on Devon Ave, and the Euro Deli @ Skokie. The selection is good.. but I would be curious for other Russian stores... let me know.. thanks..

Anyplace in Chicago land that might sell Ukrainian beer?

-Yura

Yulinka said...

Yura--Sorry, I don't know much about other Russian stores in Chicago. It sounds like you know more than I do!

czar2004 said...

It is true that Russian food is very vegetarian during lent (I am orthodox).

Also, if you search on the internet you can find lots of veg russian recipes. There was a whole period of Russian History (1800's)where groups of Russians practiced vegetarianism, some following the example of Tolstoy.

You can also adapt a alot of recipes by substituting fake meats (I do so with Stroganoff and also sometimes with Vareniki).

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