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.