5.284 Borscht

Cycle 5 – Item 284

16 (Thu) October 2014



at Shinok

-Central Administrative, Moscow, Russia-

with WHO colleagues

Mission to Russia (Day 6)

In Moscow.  Here to provide technical/legal support to Member States from the Western Pacific at the 6th Conference of the Parties (COP6) of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).  Very exciting, both as the biggest tobacco control event of the year, and my first mission outside our region.


That’s me, participating in a panel on litigation as a tool for tobacco control.


Earlier in the day at lunch, I was telling my colleagues about the barnyard at Shinok, so they were keen to check the place out for dinner.

Traditional Russian Wheat Distillate: grain liquor, to be differentiated from vodka, with a distinctive grainy flavor, though no oakiness, as suggested by the clear color.

After 5 days of eating in solitude, I finally got to enjoy dinner with people.  Not that I’ve been avoiding socialization in CAL’s absence, it just kinda turned out that way every night.  And CAL always make things happen.

Red Caviar with Pancakes (1.5): in stark contrast to the good stuff, the salmon roe seemed cheap/crass/clumsy, same with the pancakes; sturgeon roe was on the menu, but we didn’t feel like paying $150 for it.

Borscht is a Ukrainian dish.  Soup, typically starts with a meat stock, either beef or pork, including the meat, boiled with beets, onions, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, served with sour cream.  The beet provides the soup’s signature bright red color, which then turns a freakishly unnatural hot pink when the sour cream is mixed in.  Ubiquitous among the USSR culinary bloc countries, classic communist comfort cuisine, comrade.

Mini Pies with Mushroom (3.0)

The food was excellent.  For starters, the borshch was amazing: rich beefy broth,  sweetish-but-not-sweet beety flavor, perfectly seasoned, supple strips of beef and beet, along with cabbage, onion, carrot – didn’t even think to add sour cream.  The appetizers and sides, though not great, were mostly good enough to support the main players.  Glad I agreed to come back.

Beef Stroganov (3.5): something about it, sophistication beyond the typical beef-in-cream.

(See also BOOZE)



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