In any corner of the planet, you can find your own, completely unique features of cuisine and cooking. Domestic spaces are also rich in a variety of dishes and products that cannot be found anywhere else. Many of them were inherited from the Soviet era, and they remain popular then and now. Here are 5 products that could only be found in the territory of the Soviet Union.
1. “Baikal”: a carbonated drink made from medicinal herbs
Unique herbal soda. / Photo: fishki.net
The Baikal drink was invented in 1973 and was conceived as a Soviet analogue of the American Pepsi. But the similarity with the Western prototype remained only in color and tonic properties. The authors of the drink developed a really unique recipe: the drink consisted of extracts based on St. John’s wort, licorice root and fir oil – although later the first was replaced with hawthorn and mountain ash extract, but the unique taste of Soviet soda was not lost.
2. Hematogen: a healthy sweetness from bovine blood
A delicious and healthy bar with a non-trivial ingredient. / Photo: menway.interia.pl
In fairness, it should be clarified that the first product called hematogen was developed in Switzerland at the end of the 19th century, but it was a kind of mixture of bovine blood and egg yolk. Such it appeared in pre-revolutionary Russia and was designed to increase the level of hemoglobin in the blood.
Hematogen was also very popular among soldiers during the Great Patriotic War, and only in the late 1940s it began to be produced in the form of sweet bars for children. Interestingly, even in times of deficiency, hematogen continued to remain available – despite the fact that meat was not on the shelves – with its help the lack of iron in the body was replenished. Plus, it was really tasty and served as a great addition to tea.
3. “Doctor’s” sausage
A sausage specially created for … treatment and nutrition. / Photo: product.by
The most popular cooked sausage among Soviet citizens appeared in 1936 at the initiative of the People’s Commissar of the Food Industry Anastas Mikoyan. The product had a unique – especially for modern production – recipe: the sausage was made exclusively from natural products in special proportions – 70% pork, 25% – beef, 3% – eggs and 2% – cow’s milk. And its name – “Doctor’s” – is no coincidence, because the product was originally released initially only under the menu of sanatoriums and hospitals.
4. Dry jelly in briquettes
Kissel, perhaps, is known to many countries, but definitely not in dry form. / Photo: my-cccp.ru
Few people already remember, but the traditional Russian jelly was originally the main dish, and only in the Soviet years it was reclassified into a drink. Moreover, at some point it was decided to release it in the form of a dry briquette. In many ways, such a decision was dictated by the needs of the army, but such a semi-finished product quickly gained popularity among civilians. Separately, the children fell in love with it, and they used it very amusingly: the kids did not wait for a drink to be brewed from the broker, but simply gnawed it in its original form.
5. Paste “Ocean”
Perhaps the most unusual Soviet invention in gastronomy. / Photo: back-in-ussr.com
The history of such an entertaining product began in the 1960s, when the Soviet fishing industry launched an active fishery for krill – small crustaceans – in Antarctica. Previously used exclusively as a feed product, it has unexpectedly become the main ingredient in the Ocean pasta recipe. On the shelves of Soviet stores, the product first went on sale in 1972. By the way, the Soviet people did not immediately understand where to adapt such an unusual food delicacy, but later they began to massively use it as a sauce or spread for sandwiches.