by Don  

If there is any word in the Russian language that a modern American is bound to misunderstand, that word is салат. For an American the primary meaning of salad is a mixture of raw leafy greens with a bit of dressing on top, perhaps with tomatoes or some other vegetables added. In Russia the leafy greens are not a requirement at all. If you mix a quantity of any vegetable matter with some kind of herbed sauce and serve it up on a plate, that is салат. For instаnce, a hundred grams of potatoes combined with enough mayonnaise to cover them, that is салат. If you combine a hundred grams of cucumber with enough sour cream to cover the slices and enough dill to make the sour cream green, that is салат.

Among the most well-known Russian salads are:

Name Ingredients
Салат «Оливье» boiled potatoes
hard-boiled eggs
boiled sausage
marinated cucumbers
Винегрет boiled beets
boiled potatoes
boiled carrots
sunflower oil
Мимоза canned fish
Салат из крабовых палочек artifical crab
hard-boilded eggs
canned corn

For a marvelous rant inspired by Мимоза, see Tanyant. For those of us who are vegetable-impaired, there is a valuable website called Мир салатов The World of Salads.

Салат can also mean lettuce, and thus it can also mean any salad made with lettuce as well. But what Russian ever uses lettuce?

Салат из крабовых палочек
Artificial crab salad


Comment from: Marusia [Visitor]

haha, i just realized my post only made sense in my head. my family is Russian and i’ve lived in the US for 7+ years.

10/16/09 @ 00:03
Comment from: Marusia [Visitor]

nice entry! my family eats fresh lettuce salads every day. though i think we got that habit from france when we lived there for two years. …and i still sometimes refer to lettuce as salad in english, even though i’ve lived here for 7+ years.

10/16/09 @ 00:01

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