While checking with Wexford's 'Eastern European Food' shop to see if the woman had located some grape leaves yet (she hasn't), I saw a jar labeled Boscs the c and the first s have check marks over them on her shelf. In honour of Skitt*, I bought it, plus I've always been curious to know what borscht (or 'borsch') was like.

Oddly enough, the woman didn't know how to cook it, nor has she ever eaten it. Do I mix it with water then simmer it after bringing it to boil, and do I need to add more potatoes? There being a number of cooks here, I thought someone would know. She specifically mentioned potatoes, although they are already listed as the second ingredient. Red beets, potatoes, cabbage (14%), carrots, onions, vegetable oil, tomato sauce, salt, spicery, and citric acid, in that order, so it isn't likely to kill me. I do wonder a bit about the spicery though.

*An instruction on the jar appears to be advising Latvian shop owners to order it from a Lithuanian company they list, so I assume the soup is relatively popular in Latvia.

Charles Riggs
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While checking with Wexford's 'Eastern European Food' shop to see if the woman had located some grape leaves yet (she ... In honour of Skitt*, I bought it, plus I've always been curious to know what borscht (or 'borsch') was like.[/nq]It doesn't matter much how borsch is spelled because the final letter is unpronounceable in English when it's transliterated from Russian, which spells the word with four letters. The last one is "shch." Many countries have borsch, with a number of variations on the ingredients, but nowhere is it more popular than in Russia. My family makes either Moscow or Ukrainian borsch. I prefer Ukrainian borsch. I'm sorely tempted to post a family borsch recipe here, but I know I would run the risk of getting lynched if word got out.

The recipe probably wouldn't be workable anyway because the family recipe calls for kvass, a Russian fermented drink made with rye, barley and some other ingredients. Outside Russia, some Russian shops carry kvass in bottles or dried in packages, to which water is added, but I can't image that it's as good as the homemade kind. From time to time we make batches of kvass at home and put it up in bottles to use in cooking. Here's a web recipe for borsch that looks very decent to me: http://www.millionmenu.info/eng/recipes/collection/drecip9805 /

One last thought. Russian cuisine is said to need the work of "slaves" because the national dishes all need so much preparation. I believe someone who really likes to cook will make the effort to achieve the desired results.
Regards, WB.
While checking with Wexford's 'Eastern European Food' shop to see if the woman had located some grape leaves yet (she hasn't),

I wonder how hard she's trying? ;-) How about if she looks for "vine leaves"? You might have more luck in the "Mediterranean Food" shop.
I saw a jar labeled Boscs the c and the first s have check marks over them on ... (or 'borsch') was like. Oddly enough, the woman didn't know how to cook it, nor has she ever eaten it.

Odd? Not necessarily. Just like in the US or Western Europe, the popularity of dishes varies widely/wildly from region to region. My Hungarian mother-in-law will serve up certain Slavic dishes which she doesn't realise are Slavic, so ingrained have they become in Tiszantuli culture; other Slavic dishes she has (almost) never tasted: they weren't served up by her mother, and she's unwilling to experiment.
Do I mix it with water then simmer it after bringing it to boil, and do I need to add ... acid, in that order, so it isn't likely to kill me. I do wonder a bit about the spicery though.

I'd assume it's "ready to serve" so I'd just warm it up lukely and take it from there.
Jo etvagyot,
Adrian
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Shouldn't he gird his loins with the appropriate belt first, for safety's sake?

Ross Howard
While checking with Wexford's 'Eastern European Food' shop to see if the woman had located some grape leaves yet (she ... owners to order it from a Lithuanian company they list, so I assume the soup is relatively popular in Latvia.

Yes, we ate borscht soup (that's what we called it) fairly regularly. We also ate sauerkraut soup (my dad's favorite). The best recipe for *** involved sauteeing it, though.
Here's a recipe (the Latvian text may not display correctly for others, but is shows correctly with the fonts on my machine):
Sastavdalas: Ingredients:
cauraugusi cukgala - 1 kg Pork
maza kapostgalvina Snall head of cabbage
2 burkani 2 carrots
8 kartupeli 8 potatoestomati sava sula- 1 bundzina tomatoes - 1 can
marinetas bietes - 0,5 l marinated beets
sipols onion
sals, pipari, lauru lapa, salt, pepper, bay leaf, citronskabe lemon juice
Pagatavosana:
Cukgalu vara, liek klat sipolu (veselu), sarivetus uz saknu rives burkanus, sali, piparus, lauru lapu. Kad gala miksta, liek klat saskeretus kapostus, pec 15 minutem - kubinos sagrieztus kartupelus. Kad zupa gandriz gatava, pieliek klat tomatus, bietes un citronskabi.
Preparation:
Cook pork, add onion (whole), grated carrots, salt, pepper, bay leaf. When the meat is tender, add shredded cabbage, and after 15 minutes - diced potatoes. When soup is almost done, add tomatoes, beets, and lemon juice.
(Translation was mine.)

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
Here's a recipe (the Latvian text may not display correctly for others, but is shows correctly with the fonts on ... shredded cabbage, and after 15 minutes - diced potatoes. When soup is almost done, add tomatoes, beets, and lemon juice.

I see that all letters in the Latvian text show properly, but all diacritics (and there were many) were lost in transmission.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
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While checking with Wexford's 'Eastern European Food' shop to see ... so I assume the soup is relatively popular in Latvia.

Yes, we ate borscht soup (that's what we called it) fairly regularly. We also ate sauerkraut soup (my dad's favorite). ... after 15 minutes - diced potatoes. When soup is almost done, add tomatoes, beets, and lemon juice. (Translation was mine.)

It has always given me pause when someone says borscht has cabbage in it. In Russian classes we were taught that borscht is beet soup and cabbage soup is shchi . (The sound "shch" is one letter in the Russian alphabet.) I'm getting more and more convinced that borscht can contain a little cabbage, but I still think certain people are wrong who tell me that borscht is "cabbage soup", period.
Borscht does not contain any cabbage. At least here, in Poland. It's a beetroot soup with some light spices and usually boiled tomatoes cut in small pieces or a hard-boiled egg.
I have eaten borscht dozens of dozens times and I have never heard about any cabbage - neither raw nor sauerkraut...

greets,
j.
Borscht does not contain any cabbage. At least here, in Poland. It's a beetroot soup with some light spices and ... have eaten borscht dozens of dozens times and I have never heard about any cabbage - neither raw nor sauerkraut...

Russian borscht definitely contains some cabbage. So does Latvian borscht. In any case, since the dish is Russian in origin, the true recipe uses some cabbage. What is cooked in some individual households may vary, of course.
Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
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