How the Frenchman Olivier invented the "Russian salad"

The Olivier salad got its name in honor of its creator, chef Lucien Olivier, who ran the Hermitage restaurant in Moscow in the early 60s of the 19th century. Lucien Olivier kept the method of preparing the salad secret, and his death was considered the secret of the recipe lost. Nevertheless, the main ingredients were known and the salad recipe was reproduced.

The earliest known publication of an Olivier salad recipe is given in Nasha Pishcha No. 6, March 31, 1894. The original recipe for Olivier salad is: 2 hazel grouse, veal tongue, quarter pound pressed caviar, half a pound fresh salad, 25 boiled crayfish, half a can of pickles, half a can of soybean cabul, two fresh cucumbers, a quarter pound of capers, 5 hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise (in French vinegar with 2 eggs and 1 pound of olive oil).

In Soviet times, the recipes for the Olivier salad were changed several times, some ingredients were replaced by others, cheaper and more accessible. These were: hard-boiled eggs, boiled meat or Doktorskaya sausage, boiled potatoes, pickles, green peas, mayonnaise. Everything was cut into cubes, mixed and seasoned with mayonnaise. The ease of manufacture and the availability of ingredients made this salad an extremely popular dish during the Soviet years. "Olivier" was an indispensable attribute of the Soviet festive table on November 7 and New Year.

It is interesting that abroad Olivier salad is called "Russian salad". Another name for this salad - "Winter" - arose from the fact that its ingredients are readily available in winter, unlike the ingredients of "summer" salads.

During the years of "perestroika", changes took place in the "Soviet" recipe: boiled carrots were added, boiled meat was replaced with sausage, and even apples became possible as an option. Sometimes green onions are added to Olivier. The variant with chicken instead of beef got the name "Stolichny" salad. Also, one of the varieties is the "Moscow" salad: boiled potatoes were added there.

Nowadays, especially for believing Christians who observe the Christmas fast, there is a new variation of the salad called "Lenten Olivier". In this version of the recipe, meat, sausage, eggs are replaced with protein products of plant origin, for example, beans or mushrooms. Lean mayonnaise is used.

In February 2009, the newspaper Trud began to calculate the so-called "Olivier index" to calculate the level of inflation in consumer prices for food.

The largest salad Olivier - weighing 1007.8 kg - was prepared in Syktyvkar in August 2009. To prepare it, it took 190 kg of potatoes, 5000 eggs, 231 kg of cucumbers, 167 kg of sausage, 75 kg of green peas, 8 kg of herbs and 3 kg of salt.