Friday, April 17, 2009

A month or so ago, I bought wild garlic at the market here in Moscow - lovely stuff. I was assuming they were growing it in some greenhouse outside Moscow, until I found a few pine needles as I was washing it, which made me realize it had come from an actual forest - way cool. I was meaning to ask the vendor about the origins of the herb, but kept forgetting.

A few days ago, I was buying wild garlic again, and did remember to ask: the current supplies that they have are from Moldova; what I bought last month came from Grozny, Chechnya.

Apples at the market here are from Moldova, too. Tomatoes are from Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, though some are from the south of Russia, Krasnodar. Cucumbers and young potatoes are from Azerbaijan. Strawberries - from Israel. Oranges are from Morocco and Spain, of course.

I can't wait to ask where that delicious chestnut honey comes from.

Marta's favorite Uzbek bread is baked in a tandoor by a red-haired ethnic Uzbek from Tajikistan.

And here's a related post that I wrote four years ago:


At a new deli nearby they are selling lamb from NEW ZEALAND... "Yes, there's no lamb in Russia," they told me...

A sweet and beautiful vegetable vendor at the market nearby is from Daghestan; her name is Serenada...

At that time, I was buying most of my fruit and veggies from a middle-aged man named Ali - an ethnic Talysh from Azerbaijan. That market - just off Bolshaya Bronnaya Street - is no longer there: replaced by some large-scale construction now, I guess.


  1. Hi,
    I discovered your blog a little while ago through the blog of a friend of a friend and just wanted to de-lurk and say how much I enjoy reading it. I lived in Istra (just outside Moscow) for a year a couple of years ago and studied for a semester in St. Petersburg a few years before that-- I miss Russia and feel as though I get to visit through your blog. I really appreciate your commentary on so many of the things I found interesting and intriguing (like where the produce at the market came from) as well as things I found troubling (like xenophobia.) Spasibo bolshoe!
    Vsego samogo dobrogo,

  2. Христос воскрес!

  3. Hi Veronika!

    I am somewhat relieved at reading your post :
    global trade has not hit CIS as hard yet as it has Western Europe. Here beans are from Kenya, Philippines or Morocco,apples and pears from South-Africa (with dosens of wonderful apple and pear orchards all around here - sometimes abandoned). And meat : not only lambs are from New Zealand, but also game (with alpine forests all around, sorry to be so repetitive!).

    What is encouraging is civil society reaction : at retailer shops you can observe more and more people reading through labels to check the origin (retailers have to indicate it). And oline petitions meet great succes : here is an example, about strawberries cultivated in Spain by illegal immigrants in slavery conditions, and with environment hazard : water shortage due to forceful irrigation, etc...


    So, enjoy your Grozny garlic...
    As for sunny weather, it WILL come! :)
    Take care


  4. ... and I've just remembered that the cheapest garlic at the shop round the corner is from ... Argentina! Estupendo!
    You can spend twice the price and buy garlic from France, fortunately...