This meal is always important on the table because it’s a typical
dish in Slavic cuisine that has survived to modern days despite the influence of international cuisine.
The word “pirog” (pasty) comes from the Russian “pir” (banquet) indicating that the delicious meal can’t miss any celebration.
In Russian food and cooking there is a large number of pasties: big and small, open and closed, round, triangle- or square-shaped, thin or thick, with only one type of filling or several layers.
Each Russian region calls the same pasties in different ways, and each province often had its own specialties, whose number stands at dozens.
Although at the beginning pasties were considered an exclusive party meal, throughout the time the most simple and cheap became one of the most typical dishes for any occasion and were consumed even on days of forced fasting after the end of winter.
In order to prepare the Russian pasties you essentially make two types of dough, that is to
say, those with yeast and those without it. And their main ingredients are flour, butter,
milk, eggs, and sugar.
Although there are different variants, as diverse as Russia, three are the best known.
The rasstegai is open, often small, and it’s mainly filled with fish.
The kulebiaka, unlike the previous one, is large and generally closed, long and oval, and is filled with meat, fish, rice, beet, cabbage, and mushrooms.
And the most popular one of all is the vatruzhka, a round pasty, open on top and filled with cheese or apple, strawberry or cherry jam.
Taken from Orbe
By Germán Ferrás Álvarez, Chief Correspondent/Moscow