Welcome to The Moscovore!
This site is dedicated to exploring, cooking, and celebrating great food in Moscow.
It is the site that didn’t exist (neither did the Internet) when I first came to live in Russia in 1991 with HRH, my “handsome Russian husband.” I did not set out to be a cook, but living in Russia turned me into a passionate one. Maybe it was the ongoing challenge of having to adjust to the metric system or the fact that Russia in the early 90s was no culinary Mecca. The currency was all over the place and food imports consisted of “Bush Legs” (dark meat of chicken) and Amaretto from Italy, which, trust me, do not work well together. Local food stores had sketchy supplies and surly service. The first year, in the run up to a dinner party, I would flip through the pages of Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking for inspiration, only to slam it shut with frustration when she cheerfully enjoined me to “ask your butcher to butterfly your lamb leg, removing the bone.” What butcher? The only meat I could find was frozen, and sold by scary looking women in shops that were always about to close.
Good food, however, is universal. Slowly, but surely, I ran it to ground in Russia. I scoped outrageously expensive dollar stores for diplomats and businessmen, hoarding my money to splurge on French cornishons and Modena balsamic vinegar. I discovered Moscow’s magnificent farmers’ markets, full of aromatic herbs, fresh meat and delectable produce and the culinary adventure continued!
I became a food writer by accident as well when stumbled in to writing a column about Russian food in Russia Beyond The Headlines, for whom I was already writing a monthly humor column and feature articles. I found that researching, writing and photographing food was incredibly interesting and rewarding. Instead of just writing about Russian cooking, I hypothesized, what if I started writing about cooking in Russia?
I launched the Moscovore in October 2011 with the goal to share my 20 years of cooking gaffes, market trawls, discoveries, and total nightmares with readers. Mindful of the confusion many cooks encounter in dealing with foreign measurements, I have created handy conversion tables for volumes, liquids, oven temperature, butter (always confusing,) and pan sizes. These are located under the “Cooking Resources” section at the top of the menu. You will also find guides to Moscow’s supermarkets, how to navigate the food markets, how to make a Russian language shopping list, and how to ask for cinnamon at the market.
The Fine Print:
I’m not a trained chef, and I don’t consider myself a recipe developer or a cookbook writer. I am, however, a passionate recipe and cookbook reader and collector. Most of the recipes you will find here have been adapted from and are based on other people’s recipes and techniques, and I will always credit them for their work. The content and photographs, unless indicated otherwise, are the property of the author and all rights are reserved. Each recipe on The Moscovore has been tested by the author(s) and all of the ingredients and equipment are available in Moscow.
The Moscovore is a community, and I hope you’ll join in actively by using the comment section of each post to add your thoughts about what you’ve read, cooked, and what you’d like to see on the site going forward!
So, are you ready to become a Moscovore as well?! Roll up your sleeves, and let’s get cooking!