Putin and Xi dine on fish soup, venison in cherry sauce and pavlova dessert – washed down with wine from the vineyard next to Vladimir’s palace – while the Chinese leader visits Russia
- After a morning of talks, Putin and Xi sat down to indulge in some Russian classics
- They enjoyed soup, Atlantic fish, venison, pomegranate sorbet and pavlova
What do two despotic world leaders have for lunch? No, that’s not the start of a joke. Here’s what was on the menu for the tyrants who came to tea.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin had one-on-one talks in Moscow on Monday before dining with their entourage of officials.
After a long morning of conversations discussing relations between their two countries and their “friendship without borders,” the two seem to be sitting down for a rather decadent meal.
Putin — who looked shaky as he constantly clenched the arm of his chair — sat down with Xi to dine on some old Russian classics.
From fish caught in the Black Sea to venison, pomegranate sorbet and pavlova, the two despots may need a short rest before resuming their conversations.
Putin sat down with Xi and the two countries’ officials to dine on some old Russian classics
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin had one-on-one talks in Moscow on Monday before dining with their entourage of officials
The menu started with a blini with quail and mushrooms. A blini is a traditional Eastern European savory pancake made from buckwheat flour or wheat.
It seems that blinis are a go-to for Kremlin cuisine. The dish regularly appears on the menu at state events. Both Putin and Xi even baked the traditional Russian pancakes together at the Eastern Economic Forum in Eastern Russia in 2018.
Next was a sterlet fish soup. The small sturgeon is another favorite of the Russians, fished from the Black Sea and the rivers of Siberia. It is known for its tender flesh and is even often cited as the best producer of caviar.
The sterlet is said to be a favorite of 16th-century Tsar Ivan the Terrible. The fish would be ready to look like a dragon or a flamboyant bird before being placed on his table. However, it is unclear whether the preparation of today’s sterlet soup was just as impressive.
A pomegranate sorbet came next in a much needed palate cleanser. The frozen dish is generally made with lime and mint.
Then there was more fish on the menu. Given the speculation about his health, it’s possible that the Kremlin chose to limit red meat at lunchtime in favor of a healthier omega-3 menu.
Nelma – a giant Arctic whitefish – is another favorite of the Russians. The silverfish, which can weigh up to 27 kg, has a flaky flesh and can be quite oily. It was served with a side of vegetables.
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Moscow Kremlin today
For those who may not have been so concerned about their health, venison was on the menu. It was served with a cherry sauce.
But rather devastatingly for Australians and New Zealanders, it turned out that pavlova was offered for dessert. The two countries down under have fought over the protein and sugar dessert for decades. But the pudding is said to be named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova who toured the two countries in the 1920s. It seems like a recipe has found its way to Moscow, where the Russians have now adopted it as their own.
And what would a state dinner between two world leaders be without wine? Today’s bottles came from the southern Krasnodar region of Russia. There is a sprawling 30,000 hectares of vineyards in the region and is the source of about 40 percent of Russia’s wine.
Putin also happens to have one of his palaces in the region. It had been a sort of secret hideout for the Russian leader before its construction was revealed to the world by a whistleblower in 2010.
With two more days of talks between Xi and Putin, it looks like the two leaders will eat well regardless of the outcome of the talks.