Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Tatar Traditional Food: What To Eat in Kazan

Here to talk about my favorite topic: Food Hunting during trips! What to eat in Kazan and where to get them
Kazan food

1. Gubaida
The Gubadiya I had in Dom Chaya was a sweet dish, but I heard that some have meat stuffed into it. I love the crunch of the multi-layered outer shell. The filling was a mix of rice, nuts and raisins, the combination seems odd but it was surprisingly good. 
Where to try it: Dom Chaya

2. Elesh
Closed round pie stuffed with juicy meat. From the outside, it looks similar to Gubaida. We tried a chicken Elesh which was amazing.  Where to try it: Dom Chaya

3. Echpochmak
You can find this in also every food kiosk. Just look for some triangular simple-looking dough pastries of the size of your palm. The filling is usually potatoes, onion and minced meat( a variation of beef, duck, mutton and/or goose). A good Echpochmak should be crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
Where to try it: Old Tatar women's roadside kiosks

4. Vak-balish/ zur-balish
Balish is closed meat pies. Vaks are small ones while Zurs are large pies that come in the form of a soup bowl. 
Where to try it: Homemade ones are the best. 

5. Pirog Smetana
Pirog Smetana
Sour cream pie. This pie is light but at the same time very filling (because you won't realize how much you've eaten until your stomach scream for help). 
Where to try it: Dom Chaya. 

6. Peremechi 
Small pastries that look like ring doughnuts with a surprise filling inside. 
Where to try it: Kiosk 

7. Kystybyi
Half moon shaped bread, stuffed with millet grain, meat sauce or mashed potatoes, baked in an oven and then greased with melted butter. 
Where to try it: Tatar Estate Restaurant

8. Salad Makhebet
There are a lot of salad to try in Tatarstan (and all of Russia), but this salad Makhebet in Bilyar Restaurant is especially highly recommended on all the travel websites I came across. 
Where to try it: Bilyar Restaurant

9. Ukha
Creamy fish soup, Tatar's style.
Where to try it: Bilyar Restaurant

10. Crepes 
Traditional Russian pancakes which are a lot thinner than other pancakes in the world.
Where to try it: Any Russian stolovaya (Cafeteria). 

11. Kaklagan kaz
Air-dried goose doesn't sound too appetizing. However, it is a must try in Kazan since it is considered the symbolic traditional dish for Tatarstan.  How they prepare this dish is an interesting story itself: The high-quality Geese are rubbed with salt and wrapped in wax paper. Then, the meat will be hung for 3–4 months in low temperature away from sunlight.
Where to try it: At a marketplace. 

12. Kazi
In a simple way, it is Horse meat sausage. 
Where to try it: Buy them in groceries store as souvenirs.  

13. Traditional Meat Cut
It is a plate of traditional horse meat cuts consists of Kazilik, Argamak, Sudjuk and many more. Some of those meat are, again, air-dried. The Tatars inherited the recipe from a nomadic tribe, the "Golden Horde". 
Where to try it: I wanted to try it at The House of Tatar National Cuisine, but I ended up leaving Kazan without trying it due to a silly mistake! Please do not miss it.  

14. Lamb Shashlik
I always make it a point to BBQ mutton when I travel to Muslim-predominant regions. Believe me, they are good.  
Where to try it: Syuimbike budget 24/7 restaurant chain.

15. Chak-chak 
Chak-Chak is a type of eastern-style sweets: light, airy dough in tiny stick shape, bonded together by honey. If you are interested in its origin, visit the museum of Chak-Chak.  
Where to try it:  Bakhetle chain store

16. Talkish kaleve
This Tatar deserts with characteristic shape are created based on a Turkish recipe brought to Kazan in the 19th century. The process of creating this dessert is very complicated. 
Where to try it: Bakhetle chain store.

17. Äyrän 
A special refreshing drink made by diluting sour milk with cold water. 

18. Sherbet
A honey-based non-alcoholic sweet beverage. 

19. Tea
Kazan was once a major stop on the tea trade route between China and Europe. This, tea drinking in Kazan is an old tradition. 

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Thank You for Reading! This post is based solely on my honest opinion or personal experience. If you have a different opinion, feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below!

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