Categories: "Herbs & spices"

Перец (часть вторая)

by Don  

On Monday I depart for Russia. I love spicy food, so usually when I travel I take a bottle of Tabasco Sauce with me. This year, though, I'm taking a jar of ground chipotles with me:

Чипотле — это копчёный перец «халапеньо» A chipotle is a smoked jalapeño.

If that's not an excuse to discuss перец ‘pepper’, I don't know what is. Notice that the word has a fleeting vowel:


A chipotle is an ugly-looking thing, but the flavor it imparts to food is nigh miraculous. Here on the left you can see one before it's ground. On the right you see the product of grinding six chipotles in the blender.

Я у себя дома размалываю копчёные перцы в блендере. I grind smoked peppers at home in a blender.
Я всегда жарю молотый копчёный перец на масле перед тем, как сделать яичницу. I always fry some ground smoked pepper in butter before making scrambled eggs.
У меня во рту горит от острого перца. My mouth is burning from the hot pepper.
Я люблю есть пельмени со сметаной и молотым копчёным перцем. Это не традиционно, но вкус такой — обалдеть! I love to eat pelmeni with sour cream and ground smoked pepper. It's not traditional, but the taste is freaking awesome!

Although I love spicy food, I have to say there is a limit. Jalapeños and serranos are about as hot as I like it. Habaneros? Can't touch them. The hottest pepper in the world, as far as I know, is the naga jolokia. Check out the youtube videos of children and adults making idiots of themselves eating them.

Хрен (часть первая)

by Don  

One spice that Russians really like is хрен horseradish. Many American families never buy horseradish; I don't think my mother ever had it in our household, so it's worth pointing out that the horseradish root looks like this:

The root is then ground into a paste, and it is used as spice or a condiment on the side:

I've never encountered the word in the plural, only the singular:


Horseradish is used with a variety of dishes:

В России часто подают ростбиф с хреном. In Russia they often serve roast beef with horseradish.
Мама приготовила салат из хрена с морковью и яблоками. (recipe) Mom made an apple, carrot and horseradish salad.
Хрен богат калием, кальцием, натрием, серой, фосфором, железом и другими минеральными веществами. (source) Horseradish is rich in potassium, calcium, sodium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron and other mineral substances.

Although хрен is a perfectly good word, completely acceptable in polite company, it has another use, too...

Warning! The following paragraphs contain Russian and English vulgarity.

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Чеснок (часть вторая)

by Olga  

The Russian word for garlic is чеснок. Garlic is not only delicious in certain dishes, but also a very good remedy средство for colds because of its antibacterial properties. My aunt found garlic to be very useful in treating her own flu symptoms. She took a few cloves of garlic and diced them finely with a knife. Afterwards, she placed the diced garlic between two thin pieces of cloth and tied it around her nose and mouth. She walked around with this mask for fifteen minute intervals three times a day and by the following day her flu symptoms were completely gone. Usually when I had a cold, my aunt tried to persuade me to try her garlic remedy but I always refused and told her that she was crazy for tying a handkerchief full of garlic around her nose. «Оля! Пожалуйста попробуй мое чесночное средство и твой грипп сразу пройдет» “Olga! Please try my garlic remedy and your flu will immediately go away”. Even though I could see that her remedy always worked, I refused to try it and preferred suffering until my immune system took care of the flu.

It is important to note that the word гриб refers to the word mushroom while the word грипп refers to flu. These two words sound very similar, but they obviously have different meanings.


by Don  

Also part of my new urban garden is basil, which in Russian is базилик.

dedas Basilikum
esla albahaca
frle basilic


by Don  

The Russian word for cinnamon is корица.

What color is cinnamon? It's brown, right? And what is the Russian word for brown? It's коричневый. Wow, what a coincidence.

deder Zimt
esla canela
frla canelle

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