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Welcome, Eaters

Hello! Welcome to Beyond Borscht, your destination for news and images from the florid, dill-filled world of Russian food and Moscow dining. My name is Ezekiel Pfeifer, and I've been living in Moscow off and on for the past four years, much of which I have spent in search of gastronomic sublimity—or at least a decent chicken sandwich. The latter I've found (café and club Propaganda serves a rather toothsome one with curry), but the quest for eating bliss continues, and on this blog I will share the adventures I take in seeking it out.

I've been an explorer of edibles in Moscow for years now, but I feel as though I've only just cracked through the permafrost on the tundra of Russian and Eurasian cuisines. (You may think the tundra to be an unappetizing place, but I would remind you of the exquisite salmon and brilliant red lingonberries to be found there.) I've never even made borscht. I hope you will join me in learning that most basic of basics as well as going beyond it, to explore topics like Caucasus reindeer farms, Moscow's obsession with Italian food, the current status of the sturgeon caviar trade, the roots of regional delicacies from Ukrainian blood sausage to the humble Russian cucumber, and much more.

If experience is any guide, other endeavors will include home cooking experiments; plenty of restaurant watching and dining; the occasional field trip to parts of the Eurasian food-iverse; and some pondering of the meaning and place of food and cooking in Russia today. In addition to all that, which I already do without an audience, I would really like to have some conversations with you—with those who live in Moscow or elsewhere, who hail from the West or from Russia or from East Asia or wherever—with those of you who also think and care about what you're eating. Which is pretty much everyone, to some extent or another, so that means you.

Food blogs are about as common these days as apples in fall, and many of them are just as prosaic, so I will strive to sate your hunger for diverting stories as best I can. Have a question about the history of vodka or where to get the best beef Stroganoff in Moscow? Ask it in the comments, or by writing to me at ezekielp@gmail.com, and I'll do my best to find an answer and write engagingly about it. And I will always welcome both cheers and jeers regarding things I post, as long as they're civil.

Happy reading, and I wish you always, as the locals say, priyatnogo appetita.

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