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Battle of the BBQs: American steak vs. Russian shashlik - Taste of Russia Ep.10

Glen tells Oscar he has some new friends who are insisting that he visit their dacha. Glen doesn’t really understand what a dacha is and asks Oscar what all the fuss is about. Oscar patiently explains it’s a country house where people go to relax.  Many Russians grow vegetables and gather berries at their dachas in the summer to preserve for winter. To show Glen what he means, the friends check out a real Russian root cellar packed with jars of jam, tomatoes, and cucumbers.

Russians also love nothing more at their dachas than a barbecue. Glen is curious about how Russian and American barbecue differs, so Oscar challenges him to a cook off to see which is better. Oscar will make lamb kebabs, or shashlik, while Glen grills a thick steak. Finding a decent American-style steak in Moscow isn’t easy, but Glen finds a specialty shop with nice marbled ribeyes. To improve his chances, he even asks his old friend, Chef Farbrice Lecoin from the first episode, for tips on how to cook it.

Finally, the battle is on. While Glen throws his steaks on the grill and relaxes in a lawn chair, Oscar works up a sweat. To assure victory, Oscar has decided to make tandoori chicken as well as the shashlik, and his relative Sasha brings a tandoor to make it in. Though this freestanding clay oven is usually associated with India, it’s also used in Russia’s Caucuses, so it’s not really cheating.

When the smoke clears, Oscar and Glen compare their culinary masterpieces and uncover a big cultural difference: Russians and Americans have very different ideas about how when the meat is ready. 

The contest winner is revealed in Taste of Russia, Episode 10.

See a new episode of Taste of Russia every Monday at 03:30, 13:30, 20:00, and 22:30 Moscow Time on RTD’s live channel.

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