The grateful northern nature has generously endowed the Republic of Karelia with its wealth: honey, fish, wild mushrooms and berries. Therefore, Karelian cuisine is based on products that the nature gives itself. It is quite interesting that the most fragrant berries are picked for the best Russian restaurants in Karelia.
Karelian cuisine has been developing for centuries. Traditional lifestyle of Karelians have played an important role in its originality. From ancient times fishing has been one of the main crafts of Karelian people. That is why since ancient times fish was the most important product in the food ration of Karelians.
Karelains did not eat meat every day. Traditionally meat was the winter dish. In summer they ate meat very rarely. Milk and milk food(in Karelian “maido”) were widely used products too. Karelians used to combine milk food with forest berries. The main and most favorite product for Karelian people was the bread which had been baking from barley, rye and oat flour.
Soups were widespread as well. Karelians served soup not only for lunch, but for dinner, and even for breakfast. The main vegetable product was a turnip. It's quite interesting that Karelians ate dried turnips for dessert.
Everyday drinks were the bread and turnip “kvas” (In Russian “kvas” means mildly alcoholic drink made from fermented rye bread, yeast or berries) and teas from wild raspberries and currants.
For a long time Karelians have handed down the secrets of Karelian cuisine from generation to generation. But they have borrowed with interest the recipes of their neighbors: Finns, Estonians, Russians, Veps, as well. They contacted with their neighbors a lot and borrowed new dishes to Karelian national cuisine.
The main thing is you can taste Karelian national cuisine just arrived in Karelia!