Russian Candy and Chocolate
My cousin and his wife who live in Moscow, Russia recently travelled to New York City and Miami for a vacation. As a small gift they brought me some Russian candy and chocolates.
When I go to Russia to visit my family, I drink tea several times a day, after each meal as all my relatives and friends do. And practically nobody drinks tea without sweets. Sometimes it's cake, sometimes it's cookies and sometimes it's both. Fruit jams or candy are almost always present on the table.
When I was growing up there wasn't much candy or chocolates so I remember the few that we had very distinctly. I am glad that even though there are many more choices nowadays the packaging design of the ones I remember from my childhood remains the same.
Alenka and Little Red Riding Hood are some of the chocolates of my childhood.
There are many choices of candy and chocolate in stores and rynoks (markets) like this one in the city of Ufa.
Even in villages on a market day one can find a variety of candy:
Nowadays chocolate bars often have the cocoa content percentage shown as in this dark chocolate one from famous Babaevsky confectionery.
During one of my trips to Russia I discovered a new candy which is now my favorite. It's called milk or cream candy but most people call it Korovka (little cow) as there is usually an image of a cow on the packaging.
Luckily my cousin and his wife brought me Korovka candy as well as another popular candy which is called Iriski. Iriski is chewy caramel candy.
I often find inspiration from my travels so no wonder Russian candy made it's way to a couple of my still-life paintings.
There is a plate with candy on top left portion of my "Picnic" painting. When I visit Russia I love to have picnics by the side of a river or a lake with my family and friends. We bring a rug or two to sit on and the spread can be elaborate or quite simple like in this painting - fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, slices of fruit pie, cookies and candy with tea.
And here is another still-life painting of mine "Russian Tea Treats" with candy and other sweets. When I was in my grandparents’ village in Russia my mom and I went to the local market and bought all these goodies for our tea.
This painting of mine “Tea with Fruit and Pirozhki” also depicts teatime. Instead of candy I painted pirozhki (little pies) that are quite tasty and can be sweet or savory. When I make pizza from scratch (see my blogpost about pizza making) I leave some dough to make pirozhki. Surprisingly, pizza dough works really well for these little pies.
Please check out my paintings on my website. Thank you!