May 8th, 2014
05:30 PM ET
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World-renowned chef, author and Emmy-winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits Russia in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, May 11, at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.

The current culinary landscape of Russia can been seen as a microcosm of the country's escalating tensions: Can the Soviet and contemporary era co-exist?

On one side, there are the "dino-era, Russian classics," as Anthony Bourdain couches them - like borscht, blinis, pickled herring and solyanka (a sweet and sour soup typically made with meat, sturgeon or mushrooms).

On the other, places like Yornik in Moscow and CoCoCo in St. Petersburg don't turn their back on the canonical dishes, but aren't afraid to take a few new risks.

In this episode of "Parts Unknown," Bourdain joins longtime friend, Moscow-born Zamir Gotta, to ponder criticisms of Russian President Vladimir Putin over something that eases the tension: vodka.

"When you're talking classic conspiracy theories and classically Russian-style paranoia, you want some classic Russian food to go along with it," Bourdain says.

Feed into the debate by making one such dish, an old-school kind of dumpling called pelmeni.

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