Fresh Vegetables in Russia…

Shopping for fresh veggies in Russia is different than in America. I have become very accustom to it now. Especially after all these years of living in Russia…

I grew up with farmers and Grandpa taught me that all the fruit and veggies had to be clean and washed. You never sold anything that you would not be able to just pick up from the basket and eat. Now he was talking about the items that were sold in the roadside stands that we had. But the truth is that it extended to all aspects of the farm. The milk that we delivered to the dairy had to be safe to drink right from the big tank…

So when I came to Russia. I was glad to see fresh veggies everywhere. But there is a catch in Russia. Good fresh veggies mean that they still have the dirt on them…

In Russia we spend money for a bag of potatoes that weighs 10 pounds and it has a pound of dirt in it. Now maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but it really is not far from the truth…

Example: I just bought some carrots. I had four choices to pick from. Carrots from Israel that were spotless and perfect. Carrots from Europe and they were spotless and perfect. Carrots from from a huge bag right off the local farm. Or carrots packed from the same local farm bag but with 90% of the dirt gone…

Sveta goes automatically for the big bag of carrots and wants the fresh farm carrots. As she will tell you. The dirt means that they are fresh!

I always complain and roll my eyes in disbelief at this point  because I really think that paying for enough dirt to pot all my plants every week is not the best way to buy carrots. I swear every year that Russians buy enough dirt on their veggies to make a state the size of Texas. I told Sveta that it is a way the government gets you all to move dirt from one part of Russia and deposit it in another part of Russia… (Now she rolls her eyes…)

So we compromise. I get the carrots a few rubles higher per kilo. They are packed from the huge 50 kilo bag but as they pack them they leave most of the dirt behind… (I am sure I get the best deal – As the eyes roll again!)

As you see in the picture above. That is how I usually get carrots. This is from a local supermarket this way…

It really does not matter how expensive or cheap of a supermarket that you decide to buy from. It does not matter if it is the local vendor or the huge chain store. You can always find a bin of dirt, full of carrots, potatoes, beets, radishes, etc, etc, etc and more etc. You will also find right next to these dirt filled bins of farm earth, beautiful bags of carrots from the rest of the world…

So we buy like most of the Russians do. Fresh dirt covered carrots. Or for that fact any and all veggies are fresh dirt covered. The clean and perfect are not fresh and in a sense they are correct.

Now it is your turn to stop rolling your eyes…

The clean and perfect are not fresh and in a sense they are correct. The bagged perfect carrots have come from a long way away and were packed weeks ago. The Russian carrots are right off the truck from a burlap bag that was just dragged from the farm a few days ago. Many times the poor worms and other bugs are still hanging around and find themselves in another part of the country. It just does not get fresher than that…

So I just scrub them like I use to when I grew up on the farm and put the extra soil in my potted plants… 🙂

That is why I love Russia…


kKEETON @ Windows to Russia…

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