History attributes Count Pavel Stroganov for the emergence of one of St. Petersburg’s most traditional dishes – beef stroganoff. Like many noble families in Tsarist Russia, the Stroganov’s employed a French chef adept at creating silky smooth sauces with Russian ingredients. Beef stroganoff is the harmonious marriage of thinly sliced beef smothered in a mushroom sauce thickened with sour cream and Dijon mustard.
Surviving a Russian winter is a whole lot easier with a few cups of sbiten every once in a while. In fact, the Russians have been brewing this honey-based beverage since the 12th century. To prepare: honey, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, blackberry jam, water, and nutmeg are boiled together and then ladled into mugs. You’d think the word sbiten might mean “simple” because making this delicious beverage is a snap. But it actually comes from the Russian verb sbit which means “to beat,” referring to the cloves, cinnamon, and ginger that are ground in a mortar before they’re added to the liquid.
If you’ve ever tried to paint an Easter egg, you know what a challenge it can be to render something masterful on a three-dimensional oval. That’s why the work of Peter Carl Fabergé is so impressive. You can see nine of his 50 Imperial eggs at The Fabergé Museum in the Shuvalov Palace, plus other masterpieces from the House of Fabergé including jewelry, silverware, religious objects, and more. The eggs were made between 1885 and 1917 for the Russian Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II as Easter gifts for their wives and mothers. Each depicted a magical scene and was dripping with diamonds, gold, gems, pearls, and other flourishes.