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Russian Community Bazaar

By 3 April 2008 16

5 April 2008
10:00 amto2:00 pm

The Canberra Russian community is having a Bazaar this coming Saturday (5 April 08) between 10am and 2pm in the Russian Church Hall on Matina St in Narrabundah (across the street from the Russian Orthodox Church of St John the Baptist – the one with the tall silvery cupola on top which you can see from Canberra Ave.)

While I’ve never been to one of these, I have it on good authority that all kinds of tasty foods will be on sale so it should be a good one to go to for those Canberrans who are into

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16 Responses to Russian Community Bazaar
#1
realityskin2:44 pm, 03 Apr 08

yum

#2
smokey22:46 pm, 03 Apr 08

Most of these Russians were born in China so their food and customs are very old world.
Is this ther start of the orthodox lent? When is pancake Tuesday?

#3
Jazz4:19 pm, 03 Apr 08

MOst of the Russian food that i’ve ever tasted has been quite bland looking, tasty & filling, but certainly wouldnt be found on the cover of Gourmet Traveller or Donna Hay

#4
radonezh4:26 pm, 03 Apr 08

Orthdoox Lent is already half-way through, so “Pancake” Week (Maslinitsa) was about 4 weeks ago. Orthodox Easter is on Sunday 27 April this year.

Not sure what exactly will be on sale on Saturday – but it should be worth a look.

#5
Skidbladnir4:29 pm, 03 Apr 08

Russian party foods tend to be either sickly sweet, fatty, starchy and coated in lard or syrup, pickled in brine, or steeped in spices.

All things that either go well with vodka, things that go well with beer, or things that rich people can laugh about eating while their countrymen are paupers in a frozen wasteland.

However, I suspect the poster left out a word or more at the end of the post, as it just randomly ends “Canberrans who are into”…

Into syrupy wine? Into lard? Into S&M?

#6
ant4:37 pm, 03 Apr 08

I’ve been waiting for someone to expand on the concept of Russian Cuisine. I mean, where are all the gourmet Russian restaurants, eh? I quite miss all the funny jokes about queuing for 2 hours for a raw potato, or fights over a turnip, but of all the desirable cuisines in the world, Russian must rate right up there with Eskimo.

#7
radonezh4:38 pm, 03 Apr 08

Jazz said :

MOst of the Russian food that i’ve ever tasted has been quite bland looking, tasty & filling, but certainly wouldnt be found on the cover of Gourmet Traveller or Donna Hay

Cooking is such a subjective thing and so much depends on the chef and his/her personal spin on things. It’s possible to do anything in a gourmet way, but I don’t think the intent of the Bazaar is to be “haute cuisine”, or anything like that. It’s more like – come along and grab a hearty winter snack – and enjoy!

#8
radonezh5:03 pm, 03 Apr 08

ant said :

I’ve been waiting for someone to expand on the concept of Russian Cuisine. I mean, where are all the gourmet Russian restaurants, eh? I quite miss all the funny jokes about queuing for 2 hours for a raw potato, or fights over a turnip, but of all the desirable cuisines in the world, Russian must rate right up there with Eskimo.

I don’t think the Cold War view of Russia and its culture is really very appropriate/accurate in this case, but if you want to be psychologically stuck in the 1950′s, it ain’t my job to fix your problem! :-)

However, there are a few excellent Russian restaurants in other cities (eg Sydney, Gold Coast, Melbourne), but there are none in Canberra (since it’s not exactly the centre of the civilized universe). The other thing is that there aren’t many Russians in Australia, and even fewer in the Restaurant business – so that basically answers your question. It’s not the case elsewhere, however (e.g. Europe, North America).

#9
Meconium7:23 pm, 03 Apr 08

Sounds rad, Rad, I’ll definitely be there.

I’ve always been meaning to wander round that church and check out the building and the grounds – I think it’s one of the finest buildings in Canberra.

Thanks for posting.

#10
radonezh10:20 pm, 03 Apr 08

Skidbladnir said :

Russian party foods tend to be either sickly sweet, fatty, starchy and coated in lard or syrup, pickled in brine, or steeped in spices.

All things that either go well with vodka, things that go well with beer, or things that rich people can laugh about eating while their countrymen are paupers in a frozen wasteland.

However, I suspect the poster left out a word or more at the end of the post, as it just randomly ends “Canberrans who are into”…

Into syrupy wine? Into lard? Into S&M?

True enuff Skid, my computer connection decided to bite the dust just as I was completing the post. I assumed it would’ve just cancelled the posting, but seems that the way the website software works, it just takes a time-out as a posting. Sorry ’bout that, but what I meant to say was “…Canberrans who are into trying multicultural experiences.”

#11
radonezh10:21 pm, 03 Apr 08

Meconium said :

Sounds rad, Rad, I’ll definitely be there.

I’ve always been meaning to wander round that church and check out the building and the grounds – I think it’s one of the finest buildings in Canberra.

Thanks for posting.

No dramas

#12
smokey410:33 pm, 03 Apr 08

Depends who you define as Russian but there are many Russians in Australia. Demographically they are White Russians, Red Russians and Russian Jews. In Melbourne you can travel anywhere around the Jewish areas of Caulfield to St Kilda and speak only Russian if you want to.

Up this way there is a Russian monastory hidden in the mountains near Delegate.

Cusine varies greatly across Russia just like China. Northern food can be bland and heavy due to the cold climate. Southern food is hot and spicy. Most white Russians were born in China and their food can be absolutely fantastic combining Russian with Chinese food.

#13
radonezh11:55 am, 04 Apr 08

smokey4 said :

Depends who you define as Russian but there are many Russians in Australia. Demographically they are White Russians, Red Russians and Russian Jews. In Melbourne you can travel anywhere around the Jewish areas of Caulfield to St Kilda and speak only Russian if you want to.

Up this way there is a Russian monastory hidden in the mountains near Delegate.

Cusine varies greatly across Russia just like China. Northern food can be bland and heavy due to the cold climate. Southern food is hot and spicy. Most white Russians were born in China and their food can be absolutely fantastic combining Russian with Chinese food.

These days, the terms “White Russian” and “Red Russian” are probably a bit old-hat. Things have moved on rapidly within the Russian-speaking world and the way people see themselves has changed.

Within the group that was traditionally called “the White Russians” are in fact 3 different waves of migration –

1) Those who migrated during the Revolution (many of whom were Ural Cossacks and quite a few of whom volunteered with the Australian Infantry Force and fought in Gallipoli – see http://russiananzacs.elena.id.au/) because they felt a strong need to demonstrate their solidarity with Australia. Many of these Cossacks worked in the sugar industry in Qld and were able to set up the first Australian Russian parish in Brisbane in the 1920′s. For a small number of people, they were disproportianate contributors to Australian society. Many small Qld towns owe a lot of their history to these people. Cuisine-wise, the region of the Ural mountains is at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and traditionally, they had a lot of access to wild cold-weather forest foods – berries, mushrooms, game, caviar etc plus the usual broad range of farmed produce – such as a myriad of different types of grain, poultry, livestock etc. Quite varied, but an emphasis on wild foods.

2) Those who migrated at the end of WWII from Western Europe as displaced persons. These were the people who founded the first Canberra parish. Many had Polish or German sounding surnames because they lived at the western fringes of the former Russian Empire. Their cuisine was very much influenced by foods spanning the whole of central Europe – German, French, Polish, Balkan, Lithuanian, Czech/Slovak, Hungarian, Georgian, Persian, Romanian etc styles all had an influence on these people – depending on where they happened to be from.

3) Those who migrated from China in the 1950′s and 60′s. The Russians presence in China goes back over 300 years and there were Russians living all the way from the north-western Islamic (Central-Asian) parts, through Mongolia, Manchuria, the Korean Peninsular, Peking, Shangai to Hong Kong. Huge Chinese influence on the cooking styles – and funnily enough, the Russians who migrated to Australia from China brought with them some Chinese dishes that you wouldn’t normally find in what Aussies traditionally think of as “Chinese Cuisine” (which is mostly Cantonese and is usually loaded with sugar and served with rice). One example are the big “paw-xe” steamed dumplings which are rarely seen in “Chinese” restaurants in Australia. Interestingly, it was a certain Dr Alex Saranin – a chemical (distillation) engineer from this group of Russians from Harbin and Shanghai – who set up the distillation processes at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery. Rum Pigs around Australia owe him a debt of gratitude while the rest of us wish he’d gotten into single malt scotch! :-) Some of these Russians also worked on the Snowy River Scheme and heaps of other big projects around Australia. Numerically, this wave of immigration has been the biggest in most

As for “Red Russians”:
Besides the very early, small and temporary immigration of revolutionaries at the turn of last century, we’ve seen two recent waves of Soviet-educated Russians coming to Australia – those who came immediately after the fall of communism, and those who started coming out in the last 8 years or so. There are differences between the two groups, mostly because the latest wave do not consider themselves to be “Soviet” at all. They are mostly well educated and cosmopolitan. Some are quite wealthy – others are middle-class and very similar to the vast majority of “westerners” in their outlook. “Red” is not a political colour they’d associate themselves with. Most of these people just want to get on with their lives and contribute meaningfully to society. In terms of cuisine, they are just as likely to get into sushi as they are to get into pelmeni. They are used to having access just about any kind of food or product you can think of, and then some.

There are two small Russian monasteries near the ACT region – one mens and one womens – both are in the Bombala/Bungarby region in very rugged but beautiful country. The mens monastery is known for its pottery and stunning iconography – some of which can be seen in the form of frescoes on the walls and ceilings of the Canberra Russian Orthodox Church in Narrabundah.

#14
realityskin12:25 pm, 04 Apr 08

wow, great brief…. thanks

i hope theres some pilmeni .. yumm

#15
Skidbladnir1:01 pm, 04 Apr 08

I once had a night out at a Russian place in Brisbane a few years back for a friend’s event (engagement, maybe?)…
The food in general was good, music was played on little stringed instruments, and we ate so much none of us could barely move, and we were all far too drunk to drive home.

I will probably also be there, as a fatty\salty\starchy\pickled\cured\spicy thing on a stick or in a bowl will be just what I want on a Saturday morning.

Just to clarify for me and other readers, this is across from the Russian Orthodox Church with the onion-looking roof near the Jerrabomberra Ave\Canberra Ave end of Narrabundah, rather than the one with the hemispheric roof (which I think is a Greek Orthodox church?) near the Red Hill end of Narrabundah?

#16
radonezh1:31 pm, 04 Apr 08

Skidbladnir said :

I once had a night out at a Russian place in Brisbane a few years back for a friend’s event (engagement, maybe?)…
The food in general was good, music was played on little stringed instruments, and we ate so much none of us could barely move, and we were all far too drunk to drive home.

I will probably also be there, as a fatty\salty\starchy\pickled\cured\spicy thing on a stick or in a bowl will be just what I want on a Saturday morning.

Just to clarify for me and other readers, this is across from the Russian Orthodox Church with the onion-looking roof near the Jerrabomberra Ave\Canberra Ave end of Narrabundah, rather than the one with the hemispheric roof (which I think is a Greek Orthodox church?) near the Red Hill end of Narrabundah?

Brisbane restaurant was probably “Czars” on Elizabeth St in the city.. long gone but well remembered.

Yes, you have the correct address: Matina St Narrabundah (Fyshwick markets end of Narrabunda). The Hall is across Matina St from the Russian Orthodox Church with the silver “onion” dome (which is visible from the roundabout where Canberra Ave joins Wentworth.

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