by Don  

Although the generic word for ice cream in Russian is мороженое, you also need to know the word пломбир. Ordinary мороженое per Russian standards contains 2.5 - 4% milk fat, which in the States we used to call "ice milk" instead of "ice cream," although nowadays it is sometimes called "low-fat ice cream". Пломбир according to the same standards has 12-13% milk fat. If you think that that makes пломбир smooth and creamy and delicious, you are exactly right. Most US ice cream has high fat content, so пломбир can usually simply be translated into English simply as "ice cream".

Пломбир comes in all sorts of forms, just like regular мороженое. My most recent taste was in this fun brand:

Once you unwrap it, it's basically an ice cream with a chocolate coating:

I came across a couple off ads recently with the word in them. This first one is on an ice cream stand, and it means "For the world, peace; and for you, plombir." It's cute because it rhymes:

This ad says, "Gold Standard is plombir #1 in Russia." Gold Standard, obviously, is a brand name.

And here are some sample sentences:

Я скучаю по пломбиру. (source) I miss [eating] ice cream.
Пойду за пломбиром. I'm heading out to get ice cream.
Невообразимая роскошь на борту самолета — угощение пломбиром с долькой киви. (source) One unimaginable luxury on board the airplane is [that passengers are] treated to ice cream with a slice of kiwi.
Качество украинского пломбира удивило инспекторов. (source) The quality of Ukrainian ice cream has surprised inspectors.


Comment from: Simeon [Visitor]

Be carefull with the “пломбир"!
Ice cream in russian - to be exact - would be: “мороженое” (with one “н"! be carefull!).

It’s something like this:

” Every ‘plombir’ is an ice cream, not all ice creams however are ‘plombir’. “

07/28/10 @ 11:38
Comment from: Брус [Visitor]

I hope to see Russia eventually when I am fluent enough. I wonder if they want Americans to move there? Anyhow, thanks for the great blog.

Don responds: I can’t wait for you to see Russia! You will have a wonderful time.

My experience as an American in Russia has almost always been positive. My guess is that if you come here without a political axe to grind, if you interact with the Russians as colleagues/friends/neighbors, if you are hospitable, if you are learning the language and don’t demand that they speak English with you, then you will probably be greeted with friendship. You will also find many people who wish to practice their English with you. They may be your first introduction to Russian life.

07/28/10 @ 09:25
Comment from: Lazy Boa [Visitor]

Probably you know Leslie. She claims an ice cream and kvas make pretty tasty kvas floats :-)


07/27/10 @ 15:01
Comment from: Sergey [Visitor]  

Russian Wikipedia on пломбир says that according to standards there are different kinds of “ice-cream”. Those which have the lowest milk fat percentage are called “ice-milk”:

мороженое молочное нежирное 0-2 % молочного жира;
мороженое молочное классическое 2,5-4 % молочного жира;
мороженое молочное жирное 4,5-6 % молочного жира;
мороженое сливочное классическое 8-10 % молочного жира;
мороженое пломбир классический 12-13 % молочного жира;
мороженое пломбир жирный 15-20 % молочного жира

Don responds: I recall in the 60s and 70s that “ice milk” was sold in stores, but the lable was considered ineffective for marketing purposes, so nowadays in the States I think we only see “low-fat ice cream” in regular grocery stores. I suspect that people under 30 haven’t heard of “ice milk.” I just had a new batch of 20-year old American students arrive. I’ll ask them tomorrow to see if they know the phrase.

07/27/10 @ 12:34

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