Maksim Syrnikov is one of 13 ambassadors chosen to represent Russia at Expo Milano 2015, which takes place every five years and has become a global ‘window’ through which to observe the scientific and cultural achievements of participating countries. Each Expo is organized around a universal theme, and the next one, due to be held in Milan, will take on the subject of food.
Syrnikov has spent the past two decades studying traditional Russian cuisine and noticed that the Russian diet is rich in grains, fish and dairy products, not to mention honey, cucumbers, turnips, cabbage, apples, mushrooms and berries. Oatmeal kissel, which was first mentioned in the 12-13th century, perfectly reflects the idea. The technique of brewing grains or malt is widespread in Russia. For instance, kulaga is cooked like kissel, but with malt.
At a workshop with the other ambassadors Maksim taught us how to make oatmeal kissel, which in the context of Expo Milano was compared by journalists to Italian panna cotta.
How did he make it?
1) Take a glass of oatmeal and pour it with a glass of boiling water into a 1-liter jar. Leave it in a warm place for a few days.
2) Then strain through a sieve and warm till the first bubbles appear. Add some cream, honey or berries.
3) Afterwards leave it in the cold for an hour or so.
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