Frozen Meat and Reindeer Blood Make Siberia’s Stroganina Essential Dining

A regional dish that sounds delectable

Stroganina
Cholbon/Creative Commons
By Tobias Carroll / February 10, 2020 7:07 am

Some of the best regional dishes arise from conditions specific to that region. At The New York Times, Anton Troianovski ventures into the reaches of Arctic Siberia to explore stroganina — a local delicacy that embraces the extreme weather conditions there, as well as the local flora and fauna. In other words: this is a dish you don’t necessarily need to thaw. His description?

It is raw, frozen fish or meat, shaved thin with a sharp knife so that it curls off the blade. Hurry — you have to eat it before it thaws for the best flavor and texture, dipping the frozen shavings into a salt-and-pepper mix or your favorite sauce, then chewing lightly as they melt on your tongue, like a Popsicle version of sashimi or carpaccio.

Some of you might read that and do a double-take; others will likely be overtaken with a need to try this immediately. Troianovski notes that some of the sides for stroganina can also look a bit extreme. The article mentions one woman assembling a cookbook: “What she calls ‘mom’s sauce’ is vegetable oil, mustard powder and reindeer blood.”

Troianovski also writes that this is not something you’re likely to find in, say, Moscow — which he argues is to the detriment of diners there. “I am convinced this is one of Russia’s greatest delicacies,” he writes.

There are others who have also embraced the dish: a 2012 article at Roads & Kingdoms describes a meal of stroganina at a restaurant in Salekhard, and makes another solid argument for the dish: “It may just be the best vodka chaser in the world. Period.” What’s not to like?

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