Traditional Russian cuisine in Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod is one of the largest cities in the European part of Russia with a population of over 1.2 million. It is well-known as an industrial, cultural and commercial centre, plus its location on the confluence of two major rivers, the Volga and the Oka, makes it unique. Fans at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ will be able to appreciate this more than most, as the new stadium is being built in a picturesque area on the exact spot where the rivers meet. But how about the city's traditional culinary dishes? We spoke to the locals to find out what to eat when you visit Nizhny Novgorod. **


Located 50 kilometres upstream of Nizhny Novgorod is the ancient town of Gorodets, which will soon be celebrating its 900th birthday. Gorodets has always been associated with Russian spice cookies called pryaniki. At the turn of the 19th century, artisans descended from a long line of master bakers were in charge of the town's production of pryaniki and would make more than 30 different varieties – the largest weighing 25 kilograms! According to ancient custom, these spice cookies would traditionally be given to honoured guests. The key ingredient in pryaniki is honey, but later they started making them with sugar and treacle, as well as adding raisins and peppermint to the dough.


**Pavlovsky lemons

**Fish soup and fish in Nizhny Novgorod

**Shchi and other soups

**Meat in hay

Ivan chai Ivan chai is a traditional Slavic tea made from rosebay willowherb leaves. In the 12th and 13th centuries it was named Koporsky Chai, while its current name was thought up by the English. The method of how to brew this tasty and healthy tea has been passed down from generation to generation and guarded with great secrecy.

Do you remember the pryaniki from above? Ivan Chai is the perfect drink to wash them down with. Gorodets was also where they would gather the leaves, dry them out and brew them according to the traditional recipe in order to preserve all their useful qualities. Ivan Chai is a natural antiseptic, soothes the body and helps detoxication of the organism. It is also blended with many other herbs and berries.