The complexity of Crimean history is reflected by its different national restaurants and the varieties of its wines. Alongside the special kinds of local wine, almost all the other types of the world (champagne, sherry, madeira , tokay, muscat) are also present .
The first communities of Russians began to arrive in Sudak, Feodosiya and Kerch during the Middle Ages. They were merchants and handicrafts men. The mass resettlement of peasant serfs from central Russia began in 1783, once Crimea was joined to the Russian empire. As a simple Russian meal we advise either black or red caviare, accompanied with Crimean sturgeon and champagne. Another good combination is fried pork with Livadia red port (this was said to be the favourite food of the Russian Emperor Nikolay II. There is a less expensive combination, pelmenis and red port, and on hot days - okroshka with a dry white wine.
The Ukrainians have had close ties with the peninsula since the time of the Crimean Khanate. The main stream of Ukrainian settlers came to the Crimea at the end of the 18 century, and it reached its peak during the 50s of the last century. Madeira should be accompanied with a borshch, in order to adequately taste its delicious fragrance. With fish and chicken dishes you should drink sherry, and with other meat, red ports. Vareniks (Ravioli) with cherries, sweet pies will taste best with a fragrant church wine, such as Cahor or Vermouth.
The Crimean Tatars as an ethnic group emerged through the gradual blending of the numerous ancient tribes of the Tharis, with several waves of steppe nomads (Khazars, Pechenegs, Polovets-Kypchaks and others). There are differences in language, appearance and modes of life between the southern coast, mountain and steppe Tatars. Tatar cuisine has features of Mediterranean cooking and goes well with all classical types of wines. Crimean Tatars do not cook dishes from meet of horse like other Tatars, but they cook pork very well. Shashlik goes best with red wines, for example the dry “Alushta”. We would recommend you to drink dry rosé or moist wines, (eg: sparkling « Bakhchsarai fountain » wine) with ‘sarma', this is rice with meat stuffing wrapped in grape leaves. There are many other good combinations, for example, soup with small pelmenes (ravioli) together with dry Kokuor, or Chebureks red port. Sweets, fruit or coffee go well with muscats or the legendary Ekim the Penalty (the Black Doctor).
Living in exile had greatly influenced Tatar cuisine, and as a result dishes of Uzbek cuisine (samsa, lagman, manti, or plov) prevail in their cooking. Tatar café's usually accommodate diners on the floor, often a trestle bed, with carpets and pillows.
Caucasian cuisine consisting of dishes made from vegetables and poultry, and goes well with the white wine ‘Rkatsiteli' (Ðêàöèòåëè). Their meat dishes are cooked on the fire, and taste delicious when eaten with red wines, for example ‘Saperavi'.
Greeks moved to the Crimea during several periods of its history, and have left behind many traces of its history, culture and cuisine. Greek salad is popular in almost all cafes, and in the home cooking of many Crimean families. It is an ideal combination with champagne.
Germans , including natives of Switzerland, have lived in the Crimea around 200 years ago and were employed in basic agriculture. White wines from Riesling, Silvaner and Traminer can be drunk with stewed cabbage and sausages. Non-saturated red wines, for example "Cronental", goes well with stewed meat or gammon.
There are also Spanish and Italian restaurants serving their typical kinds of classical dishes and fine wines.
The countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America have brought in their contribution to the Crimea via students attending its higher educational institutions. There are also a lot of Chinese restaurants, much the same as found anywhere else in the world. We recommend dry Traminer or Kokuor with fish or poultry meals, and rosé wine like ‘Gerakleya', for meat dishes.
Published on: 04/09/2005
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