Good Manners and Good Food: A Home-Cooked Meal in Siberia
During my years of travel with MIR, I’ve been served lavish birthday dinners in Uzbekistan, dined at Moscow’s venerable Metropol Hotel, coped with the gooey football-shaped potato cepelinai (think Zeppelin) in Lithuania, and been seated at the damasked dining tables of the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express. But there’s nothing like dining in a private Siberian home.
I’ve eaten meals with Siberian families at homestays in Irkutsk and Ulan Ude, and enjoyed a feast with a family of Old Believers in the village of Tarbagatay. Each was thoughtfully prepared and graciously offered, and came replete with leisurely and engrossing conversations about our respective countries, families, kids, professions, and travels. These intimate repasts have been highlights of my travels in Siberia.
Farther out of town, the meat on a Siberian table may be wild, or it may have been raised right around the corner or out in the backyard. Certainly the potatoes will have been: a lush potato patch sprawls over most rural backyards.
It’s also good manners to try some of everything on the table, even if you think you won’t like it. Bring your appetite, and eat as much as you can – it shows your hosts that you are enjoying your meal. Remember, though, if you’re getting full, leave something on your plate. If you finish everything on your plate, you’re going to get a second helping, like it or not.
Relax and allow your hosts to serve you. If they’ve invited you into their home, it means they’re happy to show you the best that Siberia has to offer.
Experience Siberia Like A Local with MIR
MIR is your Siberia travel expert – with 30 years of travel experience to Siberia, Russia and with affiliate offices in Ulan Ude and Irkutsk (both in Siberia), as well as in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
- Siberia & Mongolia: Spirits & Nomads – a small group tour that travels through the Gobi Desert, A Country Naadam Celebration, Lake Baikal
- Mongolia to Moscow: A Trans-Siberian Railway Adventure – a small group tour that travels through the landscapes and Cultures of Mongolia, Siberia and Western Russia
- The Trans-Siberian Classic Route (Eastbound / Westbound)– a rail journey between Moscow and Vladivostok Aboard the Golden Eagle
- The Trans-Siberian Mongolian Route with Naadam Festival (Eastbound / Westbound) – a rail journey between Moscow and Ulaanbaatar Aboard the Golden Eagle
- Trans-Siberian Winter Wonderland Route (Eastbound / Westbound) – a rail journey between Moscow and Vladivostok Aboard the Golden Eagle
- Travel on your dates at your pace! You can also travel on MIR’s independent private trip Essential Siberia, or hand-craft a custom private journey that includes a meal in a Siberian home.
Wondering which destination or itinerary is right for you? In addition to browsing the pages of our free catalog, you can narrow down your choices online using our Trip Finder and the Destination Map.
Contact MIR today at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-424-7289.
MIR’s full service, dedication, commitment to quality, and destination expertise have twice earned us a place on National Geographic Adventure’s list of “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth.”
30 years of travel expertise means that the specialists at MIR know how to get there, what to do while you’re there, and how to enhance your trip in each of our destinations. For more information about what to know before you go, check out MIR’s insider’s guide into travel to Siberia’s Lake Baikal and Buryatia Region.
Top photo: Dine with a village of Old Believers in Siberia. Photo credit: Helge Pedersen
PUBLISHED: February 7, 2017