Olivier salad and champagne

People who are unable or unwilling to leave home will be celebrating the holiday with a sumptuous meal. This is a sacrosanct tradition not be tampered with despite all possible hardships. Given that Russia has gone through quite a few hard years bedevilled with severe food shortages, the menu of the New Year's Eve meal has some special features. Olivier salad without doubt amounts to the main course. IT adorns dinner tables in the homes of both wealthy people and not so wealthy. The salad has little in common with its French prototype: now it contains boiled potatoes in small chips plus meat and vegetables with a liberal dash of mayonnaise. It is a kind of tribute to the years of hardship when such simple food could be prepared out of the few available components. Another traditional dish is literally called "herring under a fur coat" - small chunks of salty herring topped with a layer of grated beat in company with the inevitable mayonnaise. Nostalgia, you know. And of course the caviar. Red caviar is an indispensable item with everybody. Many eat black caviar - if only once a year. Fried goose, turkey or at least chicken is for the second course. Magnificent Russian chocolates and just as much magnificent ice cream made in Moscow are for the dessert. As for the drinks, champagne is a must. Smashing the cork against the ceiling when the clock strikes midnight is a tradition that never goes amiss in Russian families. Otherwise, it is assumed, you might as well say good-bye to luck in the following year. The choice of champagne and sparkling wines is truly limitless in Moscow. They range from vintage French brands to dubious products leaked into Russia from Poland. Russian sparkling wines, especially those produced in the country's southern regions, including the New World winery, enjoy stable popularity. Or else there are Ukrainian wines produced by wineries founded in Crimea by Russian tsars. Apart from champagne vodka, needless to say, holds pride of place. Today Russia produces an incredible amount of all sorts of brands of the traditional Russian beverage. But the one produced at the Moscow-based Kristall enterprise is generally regarded as the best. Cognac, wines and liqueurs do play a part in New Year's Eve celebrations but more as a decorative element. Then comes the beer - but on the morning after, Strana.ru reports.