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Wines and food

 

You may remember seeing this headline a couple of years ago: the most expensive bottle of sherry ever, is sold for 60.000 US Dollar at Sotheby's. This bottle just happened to come from the collection of 19th century wines at the Massandra cellars on the outskirts of Yalta. Bought on the telephone by a private collector on October 17, 2001, the sherry had a deep golden color, with an intense nose of raisins and nuts and was one of the few surviving bottles of its period in the world. The sale price set a new world record.

 

 

Wine-tasting at the Massandra cellars is a must for any visitor - whether you're a connoisseur or just someone who knows a good taste when they meet one. Crimea makes a wide range of wines, including dry reds and whites, but the regional specialty is sweet wines such as Madeira, sherry, muscatel and port.

 

Vodka translates literally as `little water' - an affectionate diminutive of the word for water - vodka. It's made by blending grain spirit with dematerialized water and filtering it through charcoal. Traditionally drunk neat in one swallow from small vodka glasses, it 's the ideal warmer for an icy Siberian winter - but be wary of its effects after a day in the sun! There are so many manufacturers of vodka - some of the best known names include Nemiroff, Smirnov, Knyazhyi Grad, Russian Standard and Kozak. Apart from the pure and largely tasteless variety, there are many varieties flavored with walnut, plum, apricot and so on. And there are specialty vodkas made with honey or hot peppers - or both. Take a bottle of the hot pepper vodka home if you really want to put fire in the bellies of your party guests! While vodka is popular throughout Russia, there is a marked preference for in Crimea, because it's a wine-growing region.

 

Crimean cognac tends to be mellow and soft on the palate. There are some excellent brands of cognac such as Ai-Danil and Tavria as well. Crimean food is tasty and very varied, reflecting the Ukrainian, Russian and Tatar `ingredients' which combine form Crimean culture and society.

 

 

Some dishes have already made a name for themselves abroad - for example, you're likely to be familiar with Chicken Kiev, Beef Stroganoff and Borsch from the pre-cooked versions on your supermarket shelves. Nice restaurants with the local foods to taste this all are Tracktir or Shinok in Sevastopol. The rooms are decorated in a colorful Crimean country style at Shinok and Tracktir is decorated in the style during the Crimean War. At our tours, you will visit them both. If you want to taste a real nice BBQ, why not visit a Tatar eatery and try charcoal-grilled sheep's' testicles (delicious - tastes like a cross between chicken and kidney). But this is just the tip of the iceberg. You should try Pelmeny - delicious meat-filled dumplings, or the sweet equivalent Vareniki with a cherry or sweet cottage cheese filling. Or Tatar Lagmaan soup, or Shashlyk - kebabs which rival their Greek or Turkish counterparts in marinade and flavor.

 

If you prefer to cook your own meals in your apartment. There are plenty of well-stocked food supermarkets, but the best place to go is the market. There are several in Sevastopol, one specializing in vegetables (but also selling other things like bread), one specializing in groceries - all sorts of household goods, bottled drinks and canned food - and a couple of `paper' markets selling books, magazines and stationery. A trip to the vegetable market is a must, just to see the amazing variety of colorful foods on display and savor the atmosphere.

 

 

 

 Updated: 16. januari 2017 18:13:52 +0300

 

 

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