The food is alive and is dead: why Russians go to Europe for food

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Еда живая и мертвая: зачем россияне едут в Европу за продуктами

“Now we again have some time the stock of this oil which smells like oil. And cheese that smells like cheese. A bucket of soft cheese my daughter made a lovely cheesecake diet. And this cheese also smelled of cheese.”

In the country of developed socialism in the USSR there existed the following concepts: “sausage train”, “sausage train” cheese bus,” brought the citizens of the country to the capital of a great state for food, which they never saw in their homes – sausage, sausage, cheese… (list is endless). Not to say that in modern Russia there is a shortage of food, rather the opposite – excess. But the quality of these products is usually that consumed put it mildly, not helpful. Especially it became noticeable after the introduction of sanctions by Western countries against Russia. For example, the proverbial cheese that is sold in Russian stores, just horrible quality. ISE thing can be said about almost all dairy products, and many others. That is why the Russians, who have such a financial opportunity, especially those who live near the border with the European countries, travel to the so-called “food tours” in Finland, Latvia, Estonia, Poland… Who is organized and who is alone. That is the trip described in FB journalist Anastasia Mironova:

As I drove through half of Europe suitcase with food

I went to Poland for two weeks. But he cut the trip short, as a very longed for baby. Had to fly via Berlin and Helsinki. But I bought a bus ticket Warsaw – St. Petersburg. Instead. Including because, looking at Polish prices, eating their food, I realized that I can’t come home with empty hands and to see my own child and the rest of the family to eat instead of butter and cheese what the hell.

The initiative is particularly strengthened promulgated “Roskontrol” regular survey of the quality of the cheese – has announced that most of the Russian and Belarusian cheeses fake, and many samples do not even contain milk.

In Europe, I arrived with a small backpack, with some pupils go to lessons. Back I suited up like a real hunter. Pan Irek Rogaczewskiвооружил me a huge suitcase on wheels in which I unloaded 2.2 kg of butter, a huge bucket of soft cheese for cheesecake, whole grain pasta (our stuff), some chocolate, canola oil (this is the case because fry only on him, and in St. Petersburg are rare and I find it easier to steal from Poland than to go from village to “Prism”), coconut milk (there are cheaper), some trivia and two packages of Polish herring. To carry out a herring of course, I don’t see any point, played just nostalgia – like a herring in kaszubski, and we don’t have herring or kashubians no. Cheese is almost never taken, since unsuccessfully went to TESCO, where there was only sliced and packaged, with a shelf life of 3-5 days. With all this business, and the gifts that I was given a gift of European friends, I went by bus to Vilnius. There was a half-hour break, but used it is to stay – I run with a suitcase that was me on the thigh, rushed in SEC “Panorama”, where they found the Rimi supermarket and bought the same cheeses: soft, moldy, Tilsit, goat, cheese in the form of sticks for the kids… Even took coffee.

Already in less than 20 minutes I was again at the bus stop and waited for the bus to Riga. There I changed the transport. When unloading Luggage got lost from the suitcase handle, so that the mobility decreased significantly. With her suitcase full of food, I spent over an hour waiting for a transplant, went to the bathroom, where he washed and cleaned the night teeth. The driver lost the bus, picking up my suitcase without a handle, the evil asked: “What do you have there? Bricks?” Better not to ask. Because when he found out that there is oil, his eyes rolled out of their sockets – he’s just early for flights into Europe and never went to Russia. Oh well – I’ll get used to it…

This morning I was at the bus station in St. Petersburg, topologias to the subway, went to his station, with a suitcase came to the café a couple of blocks, waited there two hours and left on the train home. Now we again have some time the stock of this oil which smells like oil. And cheese that smells like cheese. A bucket of soft cheese my daughter made a lovely cheesecake diet. And this cheese also smelled of cheese.

Now – the question the universe. I am 33 years old, I am well educated by Russian standards, man, I know three foreign languages (well, OK – 2.5) and managed to make some important publications in the best, in my opinion, the country’s media. I have a child, have a vegetable garden, three dogs, a cat. Tell me why I, an adult, a serious aunt, I can not nothing else can provide your child good food?

We buy farmer’s milk, curds and whey. This farmer from a neighboring village. And although it is much more expensive than the products in the store, I would and butter she made, but it is not for us as much cream because it has little cows on it and the district in several villages and towns one with the cows. I would be doing the child itself and the cheese, but the farmer and milk so no – the demand is high, was not enough. Why do I to know exactly what’s eating my child, I must drag myself through half of Europe suitcase with food? And why is my husband who is still older than me and who also deserve respect for his human dignity, as soon as we finish the cheese with oil, go for a meal in Finland, instead of reading a book at home or go the whole family to the Museum? And why the hell my child is now not eating Russian butter? Why do they hesitate even toy Terrier?

What we have, in General, is going on? One of the main themes of my work from last year was, is and will still be the humiliating problem of obtaining food. Our man was finally trampled in the later Brezhnev era, when he was forced for days to stand in line and fly the sausage in Moscow. And today it is pressured by the need to carry food from abroad.

And, mind you, we still have access to this foreign countries (never talk about their money – ticket for a shopping tour to Finland costs 750 rubles, and butter and cheese are cheaper there). The vast majority of Russians do not have access and they generally live without any possibility to improve your diet, because the fake we have everywhere. And don’t tell me someone got greedy or crazy.

Is you crazy, if you do not understand that even if you buy oil 200 RUB. for 180 gr. or cheese 1000 RUB/kg from the “ABC of taste”, you pull a lottery ticket and that three-year-old rancid TRANS fats on bread, to smear it is impossible. You can not stop!

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