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Taste enthusiast? Life explorer? You’ve come to the right place. Let’s travel together through the culture of flavors and conviviality. Discover curiosities, learn about the most peculiar recipes and ingredients as well as the quintessentials. Be inspired by experiences of the finest taste experts.

Travel

Taste Guides

A journey through local flavors

  • Imperial Izmailovo

    Vodka and forests, matryoshka dolls and domed churches: for a concentrated dose of iconic Russian images head for Izmailovo. Just five stops from the city centre, the labyrinthine Izmailovsky craft market is packed at weekends with patchwork quilts hats delicate lacquered boxes or dodgy Red Army memorabilia. The four tower blocks overshadowing the path from metro to market are the 5000-room Hotel Izmailovo. Built to accommodate visitors for the 1980 Olympics, at the time it was the largest hotel in the world, but is now managed as separate businesses. There is an amusing selection of the med bars and restaurants,offering food from Sweden,Vienna, Central Asia,Russia and elsewhere. The building next to the hotel that looks like a wooden church is also a café, but the area’stop culinary options are inside the market.                                                           This part of Moscow is full of surprises. Hidden in a confusing mess of building work beyond the market, a couple of incongruous tanks mark the entranceway to Stalin's secret bunker, now housing a small display you can visit on a tour. The stadium above it was built as a decoy, while the double doors opposite the museum entrance lead to the start of a 17 km tunnel to the Kremlin, part of a secret “second metro” that some people claim runs under the entire city.                     www.cmaf.ru/branchs/bun
  • Nevsky Prospekt

    The beating heart of St Petersburg, the roughly 3 mile (4.5 km) long Nevsky Prospekt has been the centre of the city’s social life since the eighteenth century. Carved out of thick woodland in 1718, St Petersburg’s main street takes its name from Alexander Nevsky, a thirteenth-century prince who defeated invading Swedish and German armies. You could easily spend an entire day sightseeing on and around Nevsky Prospekt, which includes Kazan Cathedral, a grand edifice inspired by St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The cathedral was used as a museum of religion and atheism by the Communist authorities, before being restored after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Be sure to watch out for the city’s only statue of Catherine the Great, which is on the left side of the street as you walk away from the train station. Other nearby attractions include the psychedelic onion domes of the Church of Our Saviour on Spilled Blood, which was built as a memorial to Tsar Alexander II on the site of his 1881 assassination, and the Hermitage Museum, with its vast collection of art from around the world, including works by Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. This landmark street is packed with restaurants, cafés and bars. In the summer, it’s a great place to grab an ice cream and engage in a spot of people watching. In the winter months, hunker down in a cosy eatery with a warming soup. And if that’s not enough choice for you, turn off Nevsky Prospekt and take a stroll down Rubinstein Street (Ulitsa Rubinshteina), home to over 40 cafés, bars and restaurants.

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Taste Inspirations

Secrets of taste

A stroll through the history of the most beloved ingredients

Any visitor to Russia will soon encounter a stalwart of the country’s culinary scene: beetroot. It comes in many different guises from drinks to salads, and no guide to the humble root vegetable in Russia’s past and present is complete without mentioning the country’s worldfamous beetroot soup: borscht

 

Ask anyone to name a luxury food and caviar will be top of the list. It’s difficult to think of a delicacy more widely famed for its price, rarity and the affluence of its consumers. But it wasn’t always so. The eating of salt-cured fish roe, or caviar, stretches back as far as the fourth century BC, when Greek philosopher Aristotle mentioned sturgeon roe being served during banquets. The Romans also believed caviar to have medicinal properties and imported it from what is now Ukraine.

Early settlers to South Africa brought ingredients and culinary traditions that have taken root and come to form the diverse cuisine of the Rainbow Nation.

 

Beyond the winelands of Franschhoek, which were planted by French Huguenot refugees in the late 1600s, there is the Cape Malay community, originally from Indonesia and drafted in by the Dutch to work.

 

Few fruits have the cultural resonance or play such a central role in literature and religious iconography as the pomegranate.

 

From the bible to the Qur’an, Arabian Nights to the Greek myth of Persephone, the pomegranate, with its unusual structure and fleshy, blood-red seeds and juice have captured the imagination over centuries and become an integral ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine.

 

Taste Origins

Tales from Taste Lovers

Once upon a Bite

Leo Tolstoj and Lemon Anke Pie

Filled with a rich, creamy blend of butter, sugar, eggs and the juice of three freshly squeezed lemons, Anke Pie was Russian author Leo

Leo Tolstoj and Lemon Anke Pie

Blog

Authors

Our Taste Enthusiastst

Gracie Carroll is the Toronto-based Fashion & Lifestyle blogger of GracieCarroll.com, and the Founder of TheChicCanuck.com.

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