Chicken on straw and milk: favorite dishes of Russian classics

Leo Tolstoy – omelet with vegetables

Leo Tolstoy loved to eat. At the same time, he regularly exaggerated and reproached himself for this. Starting the morning with oatmeal and curdled milk, the author abused coffee and biscuits throughout the day. Above all, the author of “War and Peace” loved egg dishes: mushroom omelet, veggie omelet, and egg soup.

According to the memoirs of Tolstoy’s wife, Sophia Andreevna, the writer did not know a sense of proportion, so he had to constantly control expenses. “I watched in horror as I ate: first salted milk mushrooms, then four large buckwheat toasts with soup, sour kvass and black bread. And all this is a huge number, ”she recalled.

True, already at the age of 50, the gastronomic preferences of Leo Tolstoy changed – he became a vegetarian. He will then write the “First Step” article, in which he will act as a supporter of the “immortal diet” for the first time. He wasn’t a vegan—the author’s refusal of meat didn’t apply to dairy and eggs. But the diet was topped with rice with beans, applesauce with prunes, cabbage soup, and various roots.

Fyodor Dostoevsky – chicken with warm milk

First of all, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who appreciated Russian cuisine, also loved to eat a lot. He often bought himself a cheese sandwich, but his favorite meal was boiled chicken, which he poured with a glass of warm milk.

“Fedya began to bother me terribly why there was no chicken, so we were fighting almost because of it,” the writer’s wife Anna said in her diary.

Foreign dishes looked like superfluous classics. “I wanted a dinner like this: 10 dishes, 5 of which were well cooked, were served, so I got fed up with the food and sent back half of the dinner,” Dostoevsky wrote in a letter to his wife during his stay in Berlin. .

Maya Plisetskaya – beer and ravioli

Russian ballet star Maya Plisetskaya, contrary to all stereotypes, loved to have a hearty meal. He ate homemade food with special pleasure – pies and herring. “I always ate a lot. And my weight was a little more than necessary. There were periods when I lost weight, but involuntarily – just because of rehearsals I did not have time to eat, ”she admitted.

In addition, the ballerina was very fond of Serbian cuisine and the chefs prepared spinach ravioli especially for her. Plisetskaya’s favorite drink was Bavarian beer – she discovered this drink for herself during a tour in Munich and got her friends addicted to it.

Ivan Krylov – oyster

Even during his life, jokes were made about the appetite for Ivan Krylov’s “Petersburg La Fontaine”, but they were not unfounded. The fabulist was not at all ashamed of his addiction and openly condescending diets, so he always served himself “slides” at a party and asked for a supplement. His diet included cabbage soup, kulubika, turkey, fatty pies, goose with milk mushrooms, white fish with eggs and a pig under horseradish. “Oysters sometimes tempt his stomach, and they are at least 80, but not more than 100,” recalled Krylov’s contemporary.

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

Anton Chekhov – sour cream carp

But Anton Chekhov, on the contrary, was quite picky about food. He could never touch the treats, even at frequent shared meals. True, this did not apply to caviar and other seafood, which he loved so much. “The best soundless fish is crucian fish fried in sour cream; you just need to keep it alive in milk for a day so that it does not smell of mud and is delicacy, ”the playwright shared.

Ilya Repin – straw juice

The main proponent of the raw food diet in pre-revolutionary Russia was Ilya Repin, who was fond of extreme health practices and vegan diets. In addition, some of the artist’s experiments were the subject of heated debate and jokes, especially the straw water, which caused a sensation in the newspapers. Other dishes in the daily diet included mashed sandwiches with olives, various roots, soaked peas and nettle tea.

To find like-minded people, the artist lectured students, organized free meals for people of all classes, and wrote articles.

“I’m going on a honeymoon with nutritious and delicious vegetable juices. I feel how the beneficial juice of plants refreshes and purifies the blood. Eggs (the most harmful food) were discarded, cheeses were eliminated, meat was abandoned. Salads! How cute! What a life (with olive oil!). A broth made from straw, roots, herbs – this is the elixir of life. Fruits, red wine, dried fruits, olives, prunes, nuts – energy. Is it possible to enumerate all the luxuries of a vegetable table? Repin wrote to his friend.

Vladimir Mayakovsky – barbecue and buns

By the way, meat eater Vladimir Mayakovsky in his diary recalled Ilya Repin’s vegan table with distress:

“I made seven dinner acquaintances. On Sunday I “eat” Chukovsky, on Monday – Evreinov, etc. Thursday was worse – I’m eating Repin’s herbs. This is not the case for a tall futurist.

Although Mayakovsky mocked the bourgeoisie’s passion for food in his work, he was less critical of himself. Judging, for example, the poem “Hymn to Dinner,” the poet certainly knew that roast beef needed to “breathe,” and he himself did not disdain “pineapple grouse.” So he sent his muse Lilya Brik a photo with the note: “Your dog is on top of Ai-Petri with a barbecue in hand.” But buns were Mayakovsky’s favorite food since childhood.

Anna Akhmatova – millet porridge with pumpkin

Anna Akhmatova did not like to spend time at the stove and was modest in cooking, so she preferred millet porridge with pumpkin and boiled mushrooms with sour cream and herbs to culinary delights. True, the ascetic diet was not so much related to personal preferences during the revolution and the Great Patriotic War that followed, as well as the lack of ingredients during the First World War. “We rarely cooked – there was nothing and nothing,” Akhmatova recalled.

Korney Chukovsky – Nestle flour

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

“Somehow, in the twentieth year, during the severe Petrograd famine, he received from a visiting friend a large beautiful tin filled with super-nutritive, super-vitamin “flour” made in England by the famous company Nestle. A small teaspoon of this concentrate diluted in boiled water. “It seemed like a hearty meal, inaccessible to our hungry stomachs. And it seemed more valuable than all tin diamonds. All of us gathered that day at Anna Andreevna’s house, we envied from the bottom of our hearts the owner of such wealth.”

Pyotr Tchaikovsky – dishes with mushrooms

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

“Pyotr Ilyich, who was familiar with the forest, knew about the mushroom places, but did not show them to anyone, even afraid that they would follow him, and deliberately wandered around different detours,” said contemporary music critic Nikolai Kashkin.

Repinsky straw soup, Akhmatova’s pumpkin puree, Chekhov’s sour cream carp, as well as an omelet for Tolstoy and beer for Plisetskaya: talks about favorite dishes, diets and gastronomic experiments of domestic cultural figures.

Source: Gazeta


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