Karaite, Crimean Tatar or genuine Black Sea cuisine: in Crimea there are many different national cuisines, cafés and restaurants with their culinary delights are everywhere. To help tourists we tell them about the dishes that should definitely be tried during their trip to the peninsula.
Crimean Pasties: Chebureks and Yantykhs
Chebureks — the national dish of the Crimean Tatars, everyone should try it at least once. They are cooked and served in restaurants, cafés, snack-bars and pasty-huts in all parts of the peninsula. Cheburek — delicious and crispy pasties, made of unleavened dough, stuffed with minced or finely chopped meat with spices, or with brynza (soft cheese of sheep’s milk), or even with vegetables. Chebureks are deep-fried in a large volume of butter. Only here, in Crimea, they fry the most "correct" pasties, which you will not find anywhere else.
If you prefer a more dietary food and take care of your weight, then help yourself to yantykh. In fact, it is essentially the same cheburek, but fried on a hot frying pan without oil. Delicious and rich, with almost no fat.
Oysters, Red Mullet and Seafood
To be on the Black Sea and not to try real Black Sea seafood? Impossible! Author's dishes of fish, mussels and other seafood are offered here in every resort town and village.
Most cafés and restaurants with Black Sea cuisine are in Sevastopol, Balaclava and on the South Coast of Crimea. There they cook dishes of all kinds of oysters, mussels, rapanas and local fish. By the way, you can dine seafood here even off-shore – just go on a sea boat ride with fishing and ask the captain to take care of food. Be sure, you cannot have more delicious treat than freshly caught and freshly prepared seafood!
Oysters a special Crimean delicacy, it is grown on local underwater oyster farms. And if you are on vacations in the peninsula and love seafood — be sure to appreciate their savoury taste. And also try fresh Black Sea rapana, mussels and the popular local dish — Black Sea mussel pilaf.
One of the most popular dishes in Crimea — tandoori samsa came to us from Central Asia. Perhaps this is one of the most common Crimean pies, here they sell samsa literally on every corner. It is cooked in a tandoor — barrel or cone-shaped oven with the fire at the bottom, and for cooking a samsa is stuck to its heated walls.
The dough is not fried, but baked and low-fat. And the meat inside is soaked with broth.
This dish is cooked by one of the Crimean peoples — Karaites. Crescent-shaped cakes about 10 cm in size, mainly made of puff pastry stuffed with finely chopped beef or lamb meat. Thanks to this dish, Crimea entered the rating of Russian regions, where they bake the most delicious cakes and pies.
Karaite pies occupy the third position in the list of gastronomic preferences of Russians.
Honey pakhlava (baklava), rakhat-lukum (like Turkish delight – a kind of marmalade), chak-chak, “brushwood” pastry and parvarda are the most popular local delicacies. Delicate pakhlava is cooked with nuts and dried fruits, baked in the oven and generously poured with honey. Crisp "brushwood" pastry, on the contrary, is fried in oil, powdered with caster sugar or covered with honey and decorated with nuts.
The local rakhat-lukum is also original, for example, with pine buds, with hazelnuts or with rose petals. These are tasty and sweet oriental delicacies, which are offered in resort places. Help yourself to them to appreciate the taste!
Fig, Rose and Lavender Jam
Crimean rose jam is one of the identity cards of the peninsula. Petals from rose fields are collected here by hand. So this is the genuine "handmade" delicacy. The original rose jam is very delicate, it emanates a subtle scent of roses.
No less fragrant is lavender jam. This is a real treasure of nutrients, it helps to prevent a number of diseases. Also, you should definitely try real fig jam in Crimea. This is an incredibly tasty delicacy, useful for the heart, blood vessels. It strengthens bones and teeth.
Figs also greatly strengthen the immune system, so be sure to take a few jars of various Crimean jam with you — for the winter.
Many nectar-bearing plants grow in warm Crimea, so the production of this tasty and healthy product is well developed here. There are several kinds of honey: mountain herbs honey, sage honey, fragrant lime-tree honey, coriander and even lavender honey there are many private beekeeping farms on the peninsula.
There they produce and sell honey in retail and wholesale. And before selling they offer to taste different types of their produce absolutely free. So it is quite possible to eat enough honey here, and bring home a jar or two as a Crimean souvenir.
Today in Crimea there is a number of farms producing dairy products, in particular, cheeses. So far, the cheese factories are small and they are not exposed in all the retail networks of the country, but they have their own — and already rather big – consumers basis. They offer excursions with tasting of various cheeses, with a story about the technology of their production and the history of the area.
By the way, the Crimean cheese factories produce not only popular tasty hard cheese, Adygei and suluguni cheeses, but also elite varieties of cheeses with mould. And if you appreciate organic farm products – be welcome here.
The taste of the Crimean wines is unique. They seem to have notes of the Crimean herbs. There are many wineries on the peninsula that offer a variety of wines. Among the largest wineries are Massandra, Novy Svet, Inkerman, Sunny Valley, Golden Gully, Magarach, Satera.
There are also not big enterprises that produce equally tasty drinks. Fans of wine tasting can make wine tour of Crimea, visiting several of them one by one.