Thursday, 6 October 2011

Russian cuisine: Tula pryanik and tea

One good thing about autumn and cold days is that they're a perfect excuse for staying at home and drinking lots of tea (not that you need an excuse to drink tea - I drink it all the time :P). This postcard reminds me of such cosy days in. :)

I wonder if drinking black tea with a slice of lemon is a particularly Russian thing to do? I remember when I had just started university in Finland and for about a month I lived in a flat where I shared the kitchen with one more person. She was a lovely Russian-Estonian girl who introduced me to this way of drinking tea. I should try this again, I seem to remember it was really tasty. Mmm...!

Pryanik, then, are traditional gingerbread. Tula pryanik is a type of printed gingerbread from the city of Tula, the most famous kind of Russian gingerbreads. Usually the Tula gingerbread look like a rectangular tile or a flat figure. Modern Tula gingerbreads usually contain jam or condensed milk, while in the old times they were made with honey. Gingerbreads are known in Tula since 17th century. The first mention of the Tula gingerbread is in Tula сensus book of 1685.

I don't think I've ever tried pryaniki.. I'd love to, though, it looks and sounds really delicious! I wonder if it's anything like the Polish gingerbread, Toruń (which are sooo yummy!)..??

Russia is definitely one of my favourite countries when it comes to stamps. Just look at these beauties! The stamp on the right is a Europa stamp from 2005, that year's theme being gastronomy. The small stamp underneath is a definite from 2008 in a set of 15 stamps, this one representing a Fox. The flower stamp in the middle is from a set of 5 stamps issued in 2001, depicting tulips (I hadn't realised the flower on it is a tulip! ooops...), and the small stamp next to it is from a set of 12 definitives issued in 2009, depicting Russian Kremlins, this one here showing the Novgorod Kremlin. The round stamp below, then, is from a set of 5 stamps issued in 2003, depicting Fruits.


Hamish said...

I always associate gingerbread with the Christmas season. The first thing that comes to mind when I eat gingerbread is lemon tea -- which is my favorite beverage during winter. Adding some honey to your lemon tea would make it heavenly -- you should try it.

Hamish Liddell

Anu said...

I associate it with Christmas, too - I'm originally from Finland and I always used to bake gingerbread cookies with my mum before Christmas when I still lived there. Those were pretty different to the gingerbreads here, though, the ones we made were fairly thin and simple.

I'll have to try lemon tea with honey, thank you for the tip!