Soul food on the Trans-Siberian
Your Trans-Siberian highlight could be the excitement of getting on in Asia and disembarking in Europe, or it could be thrill of actually being aboard the iconic train journey. For Intrepid’s Rebecca Willis it was what happened on the platforms that she loved most, and it was all about trying the local treats…
“My favourite part about the Trans-Siberian train ride is the platform food! When the train stops for a short break you can jump off and search out the babushka, Russian grandmothers, selling hot, fresh, homemade goodies. It’s a carbohydrate addict’s utopia! There’s fresh bread, peroshki (bread pies filled with veggies or potatoes), boiled potatoes with carrots and onions, trubochki (rolled waffles filled with sweetened condensed milk) and my personal favourite, vareniki.
Vareniki are Ukrainian dumplings (like ravioli), filled with mashed potato and then boiled. The babushka will walk around with their coolers full of their homemade delights saying “Vareniki! Kartoshka!” and you can buy a bag full of hot delicious vareniki for about $1.50! If you’re really lucky you can find some covered in butter and dill.
I love to buy up some goodies and bring them back to the train and get everyone to cram into one compartment and try all the different treasures we found. I think part of the experience is the adrenaline rush you get from trying to find what you want, buy it, and get back on the train before it leaves you deserted in the middle of Siberia!
There’s nothing better than watching the Russian countryside slide by while sharing some homemade Russian delicacies with your new travel buddies and indulging in a few shots of vodka or a nice cold Baltika 7 beer!”
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* photo by Betty Siemaszko – Intrepid Photography Competition