Fish Yogurt: A Northern Russian Delicacy

Featured Image: The horrifying concoction that is Fish Yogurt

Wednesday, 22 November 2017, Northern Russian Village, Russian Federation – Fish Yogurt is undisputedly Northern Russia’s most famous delicacy and by far its biggest export (well, actually, fish yogurt is its only export, but you get the idea). And most likely, you can already tell this is a vile concoction even without tasting it. Seriously, this food is so disgusting it’s just a YouTube challenge waiting to happen. Which is exactly why we’re here. Today will be an exciting post, where we introduce our signature fish yogurt recipe, provide background information on other types of fish yogurt, and tell you about the exciting history of the nationalisation of the Russian Yogurt Industry.

In case you are not familiar with the culture of Northern Russia, that will be introduced in a future blog post sometime later. But don’t worry, you don’t even have to have any Northern Russian cultural background in order to have a blast making this delicious Northern Russian delicacy! In fact, it’s fun for the entire family! You can even organise a Fish Yogurt bonding activity at a wedding, or birthday party, or family reunion, or even on your first date! Whatever the situation, the Fish Yogurt Challenge is hilarious, both in making the dish and tasting it for the whole world to see.

We encourage you to make our fish yogurt recipe below, make a video of yourself trying it, and then post it to YouTube. Maybe we can even make fish yogurt videos the most popular category on YouTube. If you can dream it, you can do it! Okay, fine, that’s a bit of a stretch, but, at the very least, make this recipe and send me a link to the video of you trying it through the contact form. I can’t wait to see your reactions!

Ingredients

  • 0.5 gallons of plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of chopped chives
  • 1/2 lemon of lemon wedges (for decoration)
  • 3 cans of sardines
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 plastic food storage container

Procedure

  • Empty the yogurt into the mixing bowl.
  • Empty the three sardine cans into the mixing bowl.
  • Mix the sardines thoroughly into the yogurt.
  • Empty the contents of the mixing bowl into the plastic food storage container.
  • Sprinkle chopped chives on top of the yogurt, avoiding the edges.
  • Place the lemon wedges on top of the fish yogurt, around the edges, partially within the fish yogurt and partially exposed.
  • Refrigerate for 12-14 hours.
  • Open, serve, and enjoy! May also be served with borscht and salt crackers.

Okay, so for those of you who don’t know, Salt Crackers are a uniquely Northern Russian brand of crackers that are mostly sold at Putinway (Russian equivalent of Safeway), but they are also sold on the YogCorp website as well as some GUM stores. This is true of fish yogurt as well.

And the fish yogurt recipe that we provided barely even scratches the surface of the fish yogurt world. There are hundreds of varieties of fish yogurt, ranging from a simple sushi yogurt to banana split fish yogurt. There are even Fish Yogurt competitions throughout Northern Russia of individuals making and trying the wackiest Fish Yogurt varieties. Hell, you can even make your own Fish Yogurt variety and send it to the KRY for official consideration. (The KRY – Комиссия по рыбному йогурту; Komissiya po Rybnomu Yogurtu; Russian for “Fish Yogurt Commission” – is the official governmental body of the Russian Federation – and previously the Soviet Union – that accepts, tastes, and officially approves new fish yogurt varieties.)

YogCorp

At this point, you’re probably wondering: How did Fish Yogurt come to be? Of course you were asking that (cough cough sarcasm), so let me return the favour (also sarcasm) by answering it for you.

Fish Yogurt has been an instrumental part of Northern Russian Culture for millennia. And during the days of the Russian Empire and before, trade routes did not reach that far north, making it nearly impossible for Fish Yogurt to be consumed outside of Northern Russia.

But everything changed in 1917, when the birth of the Soviet Union sparked promises of economic opportunity in Northern Russia. Frustrated by the continual lack of economic opportunity in the region, a disgruntled Northern Russian village chief, along with his entire village council, marched all the way to Moscow and demanded that the Soviet government revitalise the economy in the region (instead of doing something more reasonable like, you know, moving out of Northern Russia). After continued protests and demands, the government finally gave in and created the Государственный орган йогурта (Gosudarstvennyy Organ Yogurta) (GOY) (Russian for “State Yogurt Authority) in 1924, which was their solution to revive the Northern Russian economy.

G

GOY Hammer & Sickle Logo, 1924-1990

The GOY was arguably the most iconic yogurt corporation of the 20th century, opening over 300 fish yogurt factories in Northern Russia alone between 1924 and 1990. In the 1970’s and 80’s, like the rest of the Soviet Union, the GOY suffered economic hardships that ultimately forced the closure of 75% of these 300+ Northern Russian factories between 1975 and 1985. In 1988, realising the imminent doom of the GOY as well as the country itself, the Soviet Union injected funds into the agency directly from the country’s budget as a last-ditch attempt to avoid the agency’s bankruptcy. The Soviet Union privatised the agency in 1990, newly rebranded as YogCorp.

Political tensions in Europe, a recently fallen Soviet Union, and skeptical foreign investors really took its toll on the newly privatised company in the early 90’s, and except for 1998, 2001, and 2004, the company reported negative profits every year for its entire existence between 1990 and 2008.

The company was hanging by a thread for nearly 20 years of its existence, and it was no surprise when the company finally declared bankruptcy in 2008, due to the Great Recession. The company’s assets were transferred to the Russian Federal Government, which thereby created the presently existing Russian State Yogurt Corporation (best known as YogCorp).

GOY       GOY (1)

Left: YogCorp logo featuring colours of the Russian Flag (2008-2011). Right: Current YogCorp Logo, used since 2011, also used from 1990-2008. The logo is supposed to represent a spoon being stuck into a yogurt cup, but I’m not really seeing the resemblance here.

Conclusion

Congratulations if you are still here, or awake, or even alive, for that matter. And since you are still alive, I should prevent from driving the wound further by ending it just about here. Please support by liking, commenting, sharing, and following, and I hope to see you soon next week, on the conditions that I am not placed into an insane asylum before then.

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