News Peed

Op-ed: Why Isn’t There a Soviet Union Food Festival in Richmond?

Richmond is home to a wide variety of food festivals. There’s a mac and cheese festival, a Caribbean festival, Donut Fest, a French food festival, a Jewish food festival, an Armenian food festival, and a Greek food festival, among countless others. 

However, there is one region conspicuously absent from these culinary adventures: the glorious Soviet Union.

From 1922-1991, the Soviet Union was at the center of the culinary world, spreading its wholesome message of peace and prosperity throughout Eastern Europe.

From such complex regional dishes as “beet,” “onion,” “potato,” “dill,” and “boot of secret police,” the delicacies of the Soviet Union should be celebrated here in Richmond. For some, having a plate of pasta in the summer sun evokes a strong cultural bond with Italian cuisine as you imagine yourself dining in Tuscany on a breezy warm day. I think it’s a travesty that we can’t have that same experience with Soviet cuisine. Think of it, biting into a raw onion on a frigid February morning in a Lowe’s parking lot can provide you with a beautiful glimpse into what it must’ve been like to be a cheerful Ukranian peasant attempting to avoid being one of the ten million killed during the Holodomor, colloquially referred to as the Great Famine–how quaint. Think of the thrill! 

The Soviets also developed what is largely regarded as their greatest contribution to the culinary world, fermented potato soup. This soup is quite strong and doesn’t actually taste anything like potatoes, but rather like hot sour vodka and goat urine. Regardless, it always leaves me wanting more. It also pairs beautifully with a Red Bull or a handful of generic horse barbiturates, and I’m going to assume it compliments an IPA from Strangeways Brewing fairly well.

Richmonders have been unfairly deprived of Soviet cuisine for too long. In protest, I will be consuming only the Soviet Union’s second greatest cuisine, a large heaping plate of nothing. Without a festival, Richmonders will be unable to appreciate the delicate and subtle notes that make a meal of nothing so irresistible; and I refuse to call it “intermittent fasting” like the rest of you capitalist pigs. 

After my second helping of nothing, you can find me under the Nickel Bridge eating my cheat meal of fermented potato soup until this injustice is rectified. Workers of the world, unite!

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