Saturday, June 28, 2008

A trip to the doughnut shop

A few days ago my friend Lida and I were tired and hungry after doing some errands, so we decided to get some doughnuts. So we stopped by one of the ancient shops where they sell "pishki," the fairly greasy, airy doughnuts sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Basically, the only thing on the menu is doughnuts (and beverages). Everyone orders a plate for himself. I remember the first time I went there, while studying abroad. Our professor instructed us to say "5 piyshek" (that's the genitive plural, which you use for quantities from 5-20 and other numbers that don't end in a one).

Lida and I were a little more modest and only ordered 3 each, which went down fast. Here Lida demonstrates how you grasp the doughnut using a scrap of paper to keep your fingers clean (and absorb some of the grease).


Here's our pile of paper afterwards:

And here's what the room looks like. The room used to be full of those tall tables without chairs and there didn't used to be chairs for sitting down. You were supposed to eat your doughnuts quickly and then leave. We found a table where we could sit down, but we had to share it. In Russia (and probably other European countries), it's common practice to share a table with strangers if there are empty seats, rather than standing and waiting for them to leave. It's a little strange, but it makes sense.

Lest you think that last doughnut was abandoned, don't worry, we took care of it.


  1. Oh, my goodness! I am on a doughnut craze for some reason. Can't get enough of them. You can imagine how much I'd like to jump through the computer screen.

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  3. The Pishkis rock!!!! It's a greasy temptation. The whole in the wall pishki shop near Nevsky is a city landmark as much as the Sever buttery pastries and the depression of the long nights in the winter :)...may be, I should go and have some pishki?

  4. YES! Take me with you!

    I dreamed the other night that I was making pishki.:)


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