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).
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.
CNN's Ian Lee takes you on a 13 course journey of contemporary Russian cuisine in Sochi.
Kira Kleaveland is an Associate Producer with AC360°
This past weekend I went to the beach to eat.
I'm the only person I know who goes to a beach not for the sand and sun but for the food, but I'm good with that. As far as I'm concerned, sand is kind of icky. It gets everywhere - your hair, your ears, your socks - and it's usually too hot to walk on.
So, when I announced my intention to visit Brighton Beach to friends last week, I made sure to specify, I'm not going to the actual beach - I'm going for the Russian and Ukrainian food.