CNN: Sanctions Have Fuelled a Russian Food Revolution

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Restrictions on foreign food by Russia and economic sanctions imposed by the EU have sparked off a culinary revolution in the country

Restrictions on foreign imports are forcing Russian chefs to become more inventive in order to get food on the table. According to CNN, the results are both surprising and delicious.

A number of upmarket restaurants in Moscow are now using exclusively Russian-produced ingredients. One of the champions of local produce is the restaurant White Rabbit, whose inventive menu includes bread made with ground birch bark.

“Before the embargo, Russian people thought that food from overseas was superior,” White Rabbit’s head chef Vladimir Mukhin explained. “Now, we feel proud of what we have.”

Another gastronomic revolutionary is the farmers' cooperative LavkaLavka, which operates a chain of stores and restaurants offering locally produced foods, such as bottarga from Crimea with onion chips, as well as a range of Russian craft beers. Chaban House serves high-quality lamb from Kalmykia.

On Nov. 24, it was reported that the Adrian Quetglas Restaurant in Mallorca, Spain, had received a Michelin star. Chef Adrian Quetglas returned to Spain after a decade of success in Moscow’s dining scene.

In September, experts reported that the Russian food embargo had had a beneficial effect on the development of domestic and international gastronomical tourism.

In spring 2014, the US and EU imposed economic sanctions against Russia after the Crimean peninsula joined the Russian Federation and war broke out in southeast Ukraine. Moscow retaliated by restricting food imports from countries that supported the sanctions.