The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

Foreign products and dishes that have not taken root in the countries of the former USSR


Source: Evening Moscow

Cultural and culinary borrowing is a normal process for civilized countries. In the early 1990s, cola, potato chips and many other products began to be imported to the territory of the former USSR, which not only took root in our country, but began to be produced. Evening Moscow decided to find out which products from the countries of the West and the East, despite the efforts of entrepreneurs, did not take root in Russia and other countries of the post-Soviet space.

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“Marmite is not eaten by anyone except the British and Australians. This is a kind of yeast paste that is spread on bread,” says gastronomic journalist Katya Metelitsa. - Licorice is a huge disappointment for many, especially considering that in books, children's stories, it is described as some kind of amazing delicacy. Once with a child they bought licorice sweets - he even burst into tears from resentment. If we talk about oriental products, fermented beans are very popular in Japan, which we find terribly disgusting, as well as fermented plums. The taste of plums is very unusual - sour-bitter-salty, it is not pleasant for everyone, although such a dish is very useful. This also includes durian, which is widespread in Vietnam and Thailand. It really smells disgusting, but only when damaged does it deteriorate a little. If you eat it quickly, there will be no unpleasant smell.”

The expert notes that our taste habits are very dependent on the environment in which we grew up, what we ate from childhood. For example, in most countries it is believed that our buckwheat is bitter, even in France, where they eat pancakes made from buckwheat flour. Our black bread, as well as sauerkraut, is considered just as strange and incomprehensible. However, now people are increasingly looking for new tastes, trying and accepting what previously seemed tasteless and unpleasant to them. No one is afraid to eat raw fish in sushi anymore, although just a few years ago it seemed wild. No one is afraid of fish sauce, and pho-bo soup has almost become the visiting card of the capital.

On the subject: Usual food that did not exist in the USSR

Member of the Guild of Marketers Nikolai Grigoryev believes that anything can influence taste habits - from a new fashion to a popular film.

“Each country has its own specific food culture and taste habits. For example, maple syrup in Canada, peanut butter in America, fried grasshoppers in Southeast Asia (by the way, there is no cholesterol, but there is plenty of protein). Somewhere people constantly eat pasta, somewhere - rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes. This develops historically depending on the territory in which the people live. Of course, eating habits can migrate, some of them take root, although not immediately. For example, when potatoes were brought to Russia, at first people did not know what to do with it, and tubers had to be eaten. And people ate tops, which can be poisoned. So all this takes time, cultural influence, penetration and is always associated with some kind of fashion. For example, the same sushi bars are a manifestation of something modern, young, trendy. We don't go to barbecues, we eat sushi! So, among other things, it is also a certain way of differentiation and self-identification.”

What determines whether a new product will enter or not

“At one time in Moscow they actively tried to promote Chinese restaurants. In America, this cuisine is very popular, including takeaway: Americans can easily arrange a festive dinner with boxes bought in a restaurant under the house. But for us it didn't work like sushi bars. There are a huge number of suggestions why Japanese history has gone better, but it is not easy to understand.

There is a very good example from the world of the automotive industry. Every major company has had setbacks with new models that have been betting big. It seems that the design is excellent, and from the point of view of mechanics everything is fine, but they release it on the market, and the model fails. There are many factors that cannot be foreseen. So there is trial marketing: some innovations come in, some don't, and some come back. For example, now I can see the growing popularity of Central Asian cuisine: more and more khinkali are appearing, the teahouse is returning in a network manner ”.

What foods and dishes are on the decline now?

“Texas and Mexican cuisines did not take root - they tried to open such restaurants, but they didn’t work. There was a very big fashion for hamburgers, but now we see that it is on the decline. Before that there were meeting balls. This is due to the hipster culture, which is already outdating its own, with it barbershops and the general fashion for Convers sneakers are leaving. How long will the ubiquitous coffee shops last? We'll see.

As you can see, the culture of consumption is determined by a huge number of factors. People have less time, there is no opportunity to fully sit down and dine - fast food has appeared. Moreover, it is not only the quality of food that is important, but also the packaging so that a person does not get dirty on the go, does not stain jeans, and does not smear his hands. Tom yum soup has become very popular - I even saw sets for its preparation in the supermarket. This is due to tourist routes - people went to Thailand, ate this soup there, they liked it, they want more. We went to North Africa - the popularity of dishes cooked in tajin has grown. This is such an earthen dish covered with a conical earthen lid, in which meat is steamed in a certain way. So now you can buy this tajin. "

On the subject: Point of view: five bad habits come from the USSR

What else affects the popularity of certain dishes

“Nutritional issues need to be viewed in a very broad cultural context. Food is not just food for our body, it is a way of life. Anything can set the fashion for it: a super-popular film that has become a cult, a fashion for a healthy lifestyle - there are a lot of smoothies and fresh juices around. We are witnessing the formation of a consumer society. People want to try more and more, they need emotions, impressions.

In Scandinavia, there are canned food made, in fact, from rotten fish. They smell terribly unpleasant - when you open it, you need to run to the side. If even a drop of brine gets on your clothes, you will smell worse than a bum. But it is considered a delicacy. In Southeast Asia, an egg is eaten with an already grown chicken. These are extreme things, but at the same time emotions and adventure. It is very important to feel the trend and be able to switch quickly. Consumer culture is constantly changing.”

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