Euro Foods Has Medal-Worthy Selection of Russian Foods

eurofood1The Tsarist way to usher in next week’s Olympic Games would require a magnum of Champagne and jars of caviar. But for local viewers planning a more authentically Russian celebration, Euro Foods sells most of the needed staples.

Sadly, owner Sasha Pavlichenko didn’t have the pickled herring I wanted to make shuba (sometimes called herring under a fur coat) for my Opening Ceremonies party. But had I been willing to undertake the pickling process myself, he had plenty of fresh herring in the cooler. And he sold me the tinned sardines I needed for sardine butter.

The sardine butter is destined for my attempt at zakuska, a pre-meal snack spread that’s possibly an offshoot of the traditional Scandinavian smorgasbord.  While zakuska didn’t become popular until the 18th century, Russian food writers now hold up the practice as emblematic of Russian hospitality, the rules of which dictate you should never ask a guest whether he’d like something to eat – because of course he wants something to eat. Continue reading

Author Sheri Castle Helps Prepare Party Hosts For the Holidays

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Stewart Waller

Although students in Sheri Castle’s holiday hors d’oeuvres class at Southern Season this weekend will learn how to assemble a range of impressive items, not every dish on the demonstration menu is highly elaborate: The first appetizer on the syllabus is a roast beef, asparagus and Boursin wrap.

Castle, a cookbook author and cooking instructor from Chapel Hill, N.C., is a proponent of keeping kitchen projects manageable during the holidays – especially when expecting lots of hungry guests.

“Don’t tackle more than you and your schedule can handle,” Castle advises. “Make sure your menu includes plenty of make-ahead and low-maintenance items; It’s fine to fill in with a few thoughtfully purchased items.” Continue reading