Thinking it might be fun to try some Russian foods while watching the Winter Olympics in Sochi (although I can’t get “slushie” out of my mind after seeing the less than favorable conditions in Sochi), my husband and I visited the Russian General Store, located in a strip center at 9629 Hillcroft, to see what it had to offer.
According to the store’s Facebook page (it doesn’t have a website), it’s a place to find “all manner of food stuffs from Russia and other Eastern European countries,” and offers a “deli counter, frozen foods, freshly baked bread, various Russian candies and sweets, wines from Romania to Georgia, and a library of Russian language books.” The cramped little store was packed full of goodies.
As you might expect in a store featuring Russian things, there were loads of Russian nesting dolls, also known as Babushka dolls and Matryoshka dolls. If you look closely, you can see President Obama:
The fanciest dolls stood guard over a selection of chocolates and other sweets, including some really good sesame candies that the family scarfed down before I could get a picture:
And still more dolls danced over packages of crackers and other snacks. The Russians must really like dolls!
There was a deli case full of meats:
And another filled with all sorts of smoked and dried fish:
Gotta wash all that down with something, right? Perhaps a cold Russian beer? Couldn’t talk my husband into buying a bottle of Georgian wine. Maybe next time.
We came home with a few new things to try, including a bag of frozen sour cherries. Over the years I’ve seen scores of recipes that call for them, but good luck trying to find them in grocery stores, so I was kinda excited to find them. We also bought a bag of frozen pirogi with potatoes (made by Russian Style Ravioli in Brooklyn):
We prepared them as the package suggested, by boiling them in salted water, and serving them topped with sautéed onions and a couple of grinds of black pepper. They were quite tasty, and my husband has suggested we keep a bag or two in the freezer.
If you happen to be in the neighborhood, a visit to the Russian General Store is an interesting diversion, and might surprise you with the assortment of foods, beverages, and of course, dolls!