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New Re: Major difference
This salad is made with many variations, but there are significant consistencies.

Of my 7 Russian cookbooks, I will eliminate 2 as not authoritative (not written by real Russians).

Of the 5 remaining, one does not have this salad, only the Salade Olivier, which contains potatoes but not beets, and is not vegetarian. The remaining four have a version of the vegetarian salad with beets and potatoes.

The recipe I used as a pattern was recorded in the 1980s by a community of Russian immigrant ladies intent on preserving their cuisine, using books and hand written recipes brought over from the Old Country. Their version also contained a small amount of oil, which I felt was not needed as the mayonnaise is oily enough.

The most common difference is in dressing. Some use oil and vinegar, others just sour cream, and some use sour cream and mayonnaise, as I did. I noticed a modern version on the Internet that modified the writer's mother's recipe by using yogurt and just a little mayonnaise.

Salade Bagratian is basically Salade Olivier using pasta instead of potatoes, so it also contains no beets.
New Then what they sell here is some variation of the Olivier.
Hope you didn't think for a moment I was suggesting that your recipe wasn't "authentic" or something? If anything isn't, then of bloody course it's the supermarket crap.

Yes, I think I've seen variants both vegetarian and with meat (usually something porkish I think, like shredded ham). Dunno for sure about the potatoes; I think usually it's pretty much crrots, peas and mayo.

But that major difference, the beetroots, feels pretty darn obvious: The colour. Add beetroots to anything, and it becomes basically beetroot salad. For once I understand, and perhaps even sympathize with, the greedy hucksters.
Christian R. Conrad
Same old username (as above), but now on iki.fi

(Yeah, yeah, it redirects to the same old GMail... But just in case I ever want to change.)
New Re: Then what they sell here is some variation of the Olivier.
Variations (usually weak) of the Salade Olivier are known far and wide as "Russian Salad" - as far and wide as China, Spain and Peru.

Nobody can make a truly "authentic" Salade Olivier, because Olivier took the full recipe to his grave. His sous chef, Ivan Ivanov, was able to sneak a good look at Olivier's mis en place, opened his own restaurant, and sold it as Salade Stolichny, but the dressing was never quite right.

The original included grouse, veal tongue, crayfish, caviar, lettuce, smoked duck and capers. Today, the meat is most often just doctorskaya (Russian style bologna), but tongue or ham appear in more expensive versions.

The salad went into a severe quality decline during the Soviet era. For my Web site I composed a version from both pre and post Soviet practice, but with no grouse. My main offense against "authenticity" is using frozen peas instead of the canned peas so favored in the Soviet Union.

In Poland it is called "Vegetable Salad", never, ever "Russian Salad". They make it similarly to the Russian, and with as many variations, but never include meat of any kind, a practice found in the "Russian Salads" of several other countries.

Basically, if it is made with potatoes, carrots, peas and pickles, and with a Mayonnaise based dressing - it's "Russian Salad" worldwide.
     Be prepared for the Putin takeover parties. - (Andrew Grygus) - (6)
         disagree on the hellmans, they have changed their recipe best is dukes,saur and blue plate -NT - (boxley)
         made it today very good, next time I think I will add diced sweet onions to it. thanx for the recipe -NT - (boxley)
         Major difference to all ready-made brands I've seen (and sometimes bought) in European shops: - (CRConrad) - (3)
             Re: Major difference - (Andrew Grygus) - (2)
                 Then what they sell here is some variation of the Olivier. - (CRConrad) - (1)
                     Re: Then what they sell here is some variation of the Olivier. - (Andrew Grygus)

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