The cuisine of the Danilovsky monastery


Moscow’s Danilov Monastery is one of only a few places that prepares healthy and delicious dish even during the strictest of fasts. Tune in to hear the monastery’s head chef explain how to make a tasty barley and mushroom dish that was once served to the tsars and to learn a traditional recipe for a Russian tonic drink made from stewed fruit.

For hundreds of years Russian cuisine has been heavily comprised of vegetarian and fasting dishes. At one point in time, all Orthodox Christians strictly observed all fasting days, resulting in the appearance of fasting foods on the Russian menu immediately following the adoption of Christianity in Anciant Rus.’  In the centuries that followed, monasteries have played a vital role in preserving and promoting these culinary traditions.

From the beginning, porridge has always served as the foundation of Russian fasting cuisine. It was a food eaten by commoners as well as by the tsars and it was a dish often prepared during the negotiation of peace treaties between feuding princes. This is where the Russian saying, which literally translates as “You won’t be making porridge with them” (“You won’t get anywhere with them”) originated. If you can’t seem to get on with someone long enough to prepare porridge, it seems obvious that peace is not in the cards. Moscow’s Danilov Monastery is one of only a few places that prepares this healthy and delicious dish even during the strictest of fasts. Tune in to hear the monastery’s head chef explain how to make a tasty barley and mushroom dish that was once served to the tsars and to learn a traditional recipe for a Russian tonic drink made from stewed fruit.