Based on the amount of vodka consumed in Russia, you can be excused for thinking everything is pickled! But there happens to be a special vegetable preserve that is celebrated each summer, as Intrepid’s Rachel Wasser explains…
“Entering Suzdal, in Moscow’s Golden Ring and just three hours from the capital, is like stepping back in time. Our Taste of Russia trip visits this unique city and helps convey a totally different image of Russia than any of the bigger cities like Moscow or St Petersburg.
Suzdal is definitely more like a village with its central market square filled with babushkas (Russian grandmothers), selling tomatoes, cucumbers and mead, the famous local drink. Thirty onion-domed churches dot the landscape and fill the city with clanging bells. The Trans-Siberian railway bypasses this village, stopping instead in Vladimir about thirty minutes away. The result is a Suzdal untouched by the normal development and visitors are free to wander through the hilly landscape, down dirt paths and over bridges by the winding river. A city tour reveals some hidden gems like the wooden architecture museum, that includes churches and houses built from only wood, no nails! Next would be a stop at one of the cities many monasteries and convents, finishing at the stunning blue-domed, gold star-studded Kremlin.
In July, Suzdal hosts their annual festival dedicated to the humble cucumber, or ogurets as they are known locally. It is a perfect event to experience ancient traditions and, of course, try their famous cucumbers and pickles! What better way to spend a lazy summer afternoon than strolling the provincial streets and mingling with the local vegetable sellers!”
* photo by Rachel Wasser