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Russian Celebration Zakuski.jpg
Course Hors d'oeuvre or snack
Place of origin Russia
Main ingredients Cold cuts, cured fishes, mixed salads, pickled vegetables, kholodets, pirozhki, hard cheeses, caviar, canapés, open sandwiches, breads
Cookbook:Zakuski  Zakuski

Zakuski (from the Russian plural закуски [zɐˈkuskʲɪ]; singular закуска, zakuska) is a Russian term for hot and cold hors d'oeuvres, snacks, appetizers, served before the main course.[1] Usually presented buffet style, it often consists of cold cuts, cured fishes, mixed salads, kholodets, pirozhki, various pickled vegetables such as tomatoes, beets, cucumbers,[2] sauerkraut, pickled mushrooms, deviled eggs, hard cheeses,[2] caviar,[2] canapés, open sandwiches, and breads.[2]

In Russia and other post-Soviet countries, these appetizers are often present at parties or receptions. Usually zakuski are the first course already laid on the table when guests are called to the dining room. Iced vodka[2] or other alcoholic beverages[3] is often served with the appetizers. The word literally means something to bite after, to soften the alcohol effect on the taste receptors.


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  • Media related to Zakuski at Wikimedia Commons