Usual food that did not exist in the USSR
Let's talk about a very interesting topic that will greatly diminish your love for the USSR - if it still exists, of course. It will be about food products that did not exist in the USSR, or rather, they were not produced at all and were not widely sold for 95% of the population. At the same time, the Soviet nomenklatura, of course, had it all, ordered it from special catalogs and generally lived enjoying life and telling the rest of the population tales about how good it is to live in the Land of the Soviets.
What's more interesting - after the fall of the scoop, these products began to be widely imported into the post-Soviet space, and then produced in the former Soviet countries - and many people think that these products were, as it were, “born in the nineties”. In fact, in the entire civilized world, these products have existed for many decades (sometimes even centuries), they just did not exist behind the Soviet Iron Curtain, the people behind which ate very poorly, miserably and monotonously, he quotes Obozrevatel popular Belarusian blogger Maxim Mirovich from his Facebook page.
So today is an interesting story about food that did not exist in the USSR.
What was a Soviet grocery set?
To begin with, let's recall what a typical Soviet food set in the late USSR was like in the seventies and eighties of the last century. What then did the Soviet citizen carry from the store? Black sour “brick” bread (sometimes you could buy a loaf or crust instead of it), in an enameled can - liquid draft sour cream. The string bag contained several bottles of dairy products, sealed with foil. Ordinary milk had a silver foil lid, baked milk had a golden lid, kefir had turquoise, cream had lilac-pinkish, and fermented baked milk had a striped lid. Canned food in glass jars - like Leningradsky pickle. In a cellophane bag there was a lonely paper roll - in it, for example, there was a piece of some kind of fish (like frozen pollock) or pieces of meat with bones “for cutlets”. Another plastic bag - with three dozen eggs.
What else can you add to this grocery set? Let's add here a very average butter and a foul-smelling cheese (“Poshekhonsky” or “Russian”), some shortbread cookies “For tea”, tasteless Soviet sweets a la “iris goodbye kis-kis seals”, good quality boiled sausage "Doctor's" and sausages of worse quality, bad canned fish (sprat with guts and eyes in tomato), crumpled and dirty underground vegetables, such as beets, carrots and potatoes, then add rotten and blackened cabbage from the Soviet vegetable warehouse - and we will get a wonderful and an almost complete set of Soviet products.
Actually, it is this grocery set that fans of the USSR, gasping and groaning, call "those very high-quality Soviet products." “There is no longer“ that ”quality, there is no longer the“ same ”Soviet boiled sausage according to GOSTs!” - exclaims a fan of the USSR, and immediately runs away to look at 100 varieties of excellent sausages that are sold in modern supermarkets.
On the subject: Sour bread, canned food and blue chicken: what actually fed people in the USSR
Products that did not exist in the USSR
Now let's talk about real, high-quality, nutritious and healthy products that did not exist in the USSR. They appeared in our area only after the state itself collapsed. Most of the Soviet people have never been abroad and did not even suspect how and what people eat there - they believed in the tales of Soviet propaganda that people are starving and freezing there, and it’s so good here - always rotten potatoes and sluggish beets in stores are. So, a list of those products:
Chocolate. No matter how the fans of the USSR spoke in the comments, I will say right away - there was no normal chocolate in the USSR in principle. If in the 1960s and 1970s something else could be bought here and there, then in the 1980s good chocolate became an incredible shortage. In the scoop, they quickly got the hang of producing something like a substitute for chocolate, which in Belarus, for example, was called “sweet bar” - it practically did not contain natural cocoa (the main useful product in chocolate), and had a vanilla-paraffinic taste. This Soviet fake chocolate was detected immediately - if you put a piece of such a “bar” on your tongue, then, unlike chocolate (it immediately began to melt, filling your entire mouth with chocolate flavor), the bar simply lay on the tongue with such a cool paraffin piece and tasted like plasticine with vanilla. It wasn't until the 1990s that normal chocolate appeared in the former scoop.
Seafood. Another product that was not in the scoop in principle, it simply did not exist as a class. In the XX century, in all developed countries, frozen seafood, and fresh (in port cities), and a lot of all kinds of seafood semi-finished products (like squid rings) have long been sold, but all this was not in the scoop. A paradox - especially considering how many seas washed the USSR. At the very least, something seafood could be eaten in port cities like Vladivostok, while the rest of the country, at best, got some canned crabs - they were an incredible delicacy and a terrible shortage. Shrimp in the USSR did not exist at all, and in the shops “Ocean” saturated with rusty herring they sold creepy chemical crab sticks and nasty algae called “seaweed”.
Normal cheese. No, there was nominally cheese in the USSR, although it was difficult to call it cheese - a spongy mass called "Russian cheese" or "Poshekhonsky cheese" emitted a bad smell and certainly did not arouse appetite. There was also a terribly disgusting “sausage cheese” made from some mysterious substance, and there were also penny processed cheeses - they were bought mainly by drunks to sniff warm vodka from their throats.
Parmesan, Camembert, blue cheese - all these products appeared for the general public already in the 1990s, after the fall of the so-called “Iron Curtain”. But the Soviet nomenklatura ate these products, telling people tales about "the best state of workers and peasants in the world."
Wine and beer. I think it will not be a secret for you that normal beer and wine did not exist in the USSR in principle - the traditions of brewing were destroyed in the post-revolutionary years, when instead of high-quality beer they began to brew a mass drink “to saturate the appetites of the working masses”. As for wine, in the USSR any cheap and terrible shmurdyak, like "Solntsedar", was more popular. In addition, there was no culture of drinking wine in principle. If someone in the USSR had said that wine should be taken down with food gradually sipping from a glass, then they would look at him like an alien, because “wine” was usually drunk like vodka - in one gulp, frowned, smelled a crust of bread and ate a snack.
Moldovan and Georgian wines could be considered very conditionally more or less normal, but in fact, Soviet Georgian wines were terribly poor in comparison even with inexpensive Spanish or French ones. By the way, if now one of your friends is looking for “good Georgian wine” for a feast, then this is a latent scoop who is used to doing this in the USSR. Give him a taste of any Spanish wine (dry red or white, or sparkling) - and he will immediately forget about “good Georgian wines”.
Vegetables and fruits. Here we see an interesting paradox, which perfectly shows all the soviet doublethink - official propaganda trumpeted about sown fields, flowering gardens and incredibly modern experimental vegetable gardens, but at the same time, only crumpled underground vegetables were sold in stores, and from the greens there was only rotted green onions. which poisoned the air two blocks around the grocery store with its stench. Why did this happen? In the primitive planned Soviet economy, designed mainly for quantitative indicators and newspaper window dressing, no one thought about how to get the goods to the consumer, how to organize proper storage and normal trade. As a result, all the efforts of Soviet agricultural labor rotted in vegetable warehouses (engineers and academics were sent there to sort out cabbage rot), and the shops were empty.
On the subject: As the USSR stood in line for 'Western life'
“Overseas” fruits like bananas, oranges, kiwis, even simple peaches or grapes were an incredible curiosity and scarcity. For bananas, kilometer-long queues lined up, tangerines were “thrown away” by the New Year, and the rest of the fruits on a more or less constant (and year-round) basis appeared on the tables of people after the collapse of the soviet state.
“Oh, how I love the Soviet New Year, smelling of tangerines!” - a fan of the USSR cries out, and runs away to rejoice at the tangerines given out once a year according to the order.
Normal semi-finished products. This is also a very interesting class of products that did not exist in the USSR - normal semi-finished products intended for quick cooking and proper nutrition. Instant vegetables, some chopped goulash, cutlets, fish sticks (yes, they were in the USSR, but in rare cases) - none of this existed as a class. At best, frozen or canned vegetables could be produced in the countries of the socialist camp - in Bulgaria or Poland, but this was not the case in the USSR itself.
Sweets, normal canned food, coffee. This is a separate large class of products that I decided to combine into one paragraph so as not to make the section too long. Kinder Surprise eggs, delicious gelatinous candies, white chocolate, instant coffee (granular and powder), all kinds of sweets, cookies, crackers and other things have existed for a long time in the developed world. Even cylinders with ready-made whipped cream have long been in the developed world - but not in the USSR. All of these products appeared on our tables only in the 1990s.