BBQ Russian Style
The big holiday in Canada that kicks off BBQ season is May 24th. This is a holiday that celebrates Queen Victoria’s birthday but for most Canadians this is the weekend you head to the cottage for the first time of the year. For those that don’t want to venture out into the unbelievable traffic jams, they usually have a BBQ party in the back yard. Well it’s no different here in Moscow. Well maybe a bit different because most people do not have a back yard or can’t afford a dacha. In Moscow you can’t have a BBQ on your balcony either. What Russians do is have Shashlyk adventures. You can purchase metal style hibachis with long legs at the supermarket for under $10. Like most men, a must is the liquid fire starter, and the more the better. But where to have the BBQ is the next question.
Many of the city parks have areas where you can set up and enjoy an outdoor party. Our evening took us to an area to the southwest of Moscow near a small river called Ramenka. This is where the Moscow secret Metro 2 underground Command Centre is supposedly located. Our Canadian friends that live in the area are lucky to usually have a BBQ every weekend in this area but every other Russian in that area had the same idea so their usual spot was taken. Eventually we found a spot close to the river and settled in. How I miss backyard BBQ’s where you don't have to drag your cooler and chairs through the metro. Although this BBQ was originally a Canadian suggestion, our Russian friends felt compelled to cook and serve us while we enjoyed the good food and company along with many bottles of wine and beer. There were many groups enjoying the same adventure along the river but fate would have it that the group next to us were Canadians from Toronto.
Like most backyard BBQ’s, the mosquitos arrived in full force so it was finally decided to take the party indoors. We ended up at the home of a young Russian couple where another delicacy was introduced, a stinky dried fish snack called vobla (the Caspian roach). This fish is soaked in a brine for a few days then air dried. It is one of the boniest fish I have ever eaten. I am not a beer drinker and because it is sooooo salty and best eaten with a beer chaser, that was the one and only time I will ever eat it.
I love a good Canadian BBQ but I’m also begining to love BBQ Russian Style.
BBQ Russian Style