Russian Groceries

Russian Groceries

A mysterious candyI visited Siberia, a Russian grocery store in downtown Nashua that I’ve driven by dozens of times. Earlier in the week, an acquaintance had mentioned something about Russian cakes, and since I was nearby I thought I would check out the Russian pastry scene.

Some kind of pie?It was a small store, but packed with all sorts of boxes, bottles, and cans with Russian writing all over them. I saw jars of eggplant spread, a collection of museum-quality dried whole fishes, and lots of candy. Some older people browsed the isles, speaking amongst themselves in quiet (I assume) Russian. This is probaby the first time I’ve heard it spoken natively, and I was struck by what an interesting sound it has…kind of brusque with a lyrical edge to it.

What does it say?I got some of the bulk candy, at $4.99/lb, for Halloween. As I was checking out, the proprietor heartily approved of my selection, and in broken English directed me to some cookies I should try next time I came back. American cookies, she gestured, just did not have the right smell. She also pointed out some of her favorite candies. It was utterly charming. Most of the candies were pretty good…they were a little dusty tasting, but were generally really good. Nothing really bizarre, except for the one that tasted like a chocolate-covered omelette. I have yet to try the pie with writing on it…I half expect to find it’s something that pregnant and nursing women eat. Or given to babies on their first birthday. Or that it’s filled with a hearty blend of minced herring, cabbage, and beets. I can’t tell from the way it smells what’s inside.

A raspberry danishI especially want to try some of the Kvass, which I’m told is a kind of sasparilla / root beer. My sister also mentioned that the sausages are probably really good too.

Siberia 259 Main Street, Nashua, NH also 100 Willow St, Manchester, NH

5 Comments

  1. Emily 15 years ago

    Are you sure you should have gotten the mystery Russian candy for Halloween? :D Remember how we felt when we got “candy” from our grandparents in Taiwan!
    ——-

  2. Dave 15 years ago

    You’re right. I should also get some Chinese candy :-)

    Maybe I will prepare three baskets, and allow kids to choose a “handful” from the ethnic bowl, but just a piece from the “usa! usa!” bowl.

  3. Dave 15 years ago

    I cut open the pie with the writing, and it was NOT filled with mince meats, beans, cabbage, or tiny fish. It was filled with some kind of fruit preserve…something like figs? So it was sort of like a fig newton, but the bread had achived biscotti-like texture probably because I had it sitting. The amount of filling was constituted as a “core” rather than a “filling”;  it was mostly bread. The entire pie was also very lightly glazed with sugar, which made it shiny, but part of me thinks it was also glazed with egg before hand.

  4. Dave 15 years ago

    I tried the Kvass. Didn’t like it at all! I’m refrigerating it to see if it tastes better cold.

    Eggplant paste and Squash paste is AMAZING, though!

  5. kristina 10 years ago

    Remember that whatever you get in a local store is not of the taste quality as when you get it in the store in Russia.
    Russian bakery and sweets are to die for.Homemeade kvas is really great.The salads are greAT as well, but the way they cook it in russian stores is not really good.