Is it true that you drink vodka with every meal? Have you ever tried bear's meat? So, you drink vodka to stay warm during long cold nights, right? These are the first questions everyone asks as soon as they find out that I'm Russian. Every culture has distinguishable foods they eat only during the holiday season, and everyone assumes that Russian Christmas food consists of vodka topped with more vodka.

From my culture to your Christmas plate, these 12 foods will change how you look at Russian cuisine. 

1. Olivier or Russian Salad

Written: оливье Pronounced: olive-ye

Ask any Russian what they eat for Christmas, and I can guarantee all of them will say Olivier. This salad is a signature dish at any table, yet it has none of the traditional salad toppings. Olivier contains pickles, peas, boiled potatoes, eggs, boiled meat, and apples dressed with a LOT of mayonnaise.

2. Russian Vinigrette

Written: винегрет Pronounced: vee-ne-gret

Vinigrette is the closest thing to salad at the Russian table. A combination of beets, potatoes, carrots, pickles, and peas topped with olive oil will intrigue your taste buds. The taste of beets is quite strong, so if you're not a fan I would suggest trying out one of the other salads.

Vinigrette is a great alternative to a standard potato salad, and since it doesn't contain mayonnaise it's vegan and gluten-free.

3. Dressed Herring Salad or Selyodka Pod Shuboy

Written: селедка под шубой Pronounced: selyod-ka pod shu-boy

This bad boy is what started the whole rainbow food trend. Layers on layers of various colorful ingredients, Selyodka Pod Shuboy is definitely not for everyone. It consists of salted herring, potatoes, carrots, beets, eggs, and chopped onions. Mayonnaise, once again, is the "filling of the cake." Let's face it, Russians love mayonnaise!!

4. Mimosa Salad

Written: мимоза Pronounced: mimoza

Yet another layered salad and another use of mayonnaise as dressing (do you see the pattern?). Mimosa salad combines the best of both worlds from Olivier and Selyodka Pod Shuboy. It has a slight tuna taste and is topped with eggs, carrots, and potatoes.

5. Aspic or Holodets Meat Jelly

Written: холодец Pronounced: holo-dets

Every time I want holodets, my friends look at me like I have five heads. Unless you had real meat aspic, you will never understand why it is so good. People in Russia eat it all the time. It's essentially meat jelly with spices, meats, and veggies inside. 

6. Deviled Eggs

Written: фаршированные яйца Pronounced: (too complicated to say)

I personally do not know who came up with this idea, but this person is a GENIUS. My grandma (#RussianBabuska) told me that during WWII there was a lack of food, but people still wanted to celebrate Christmas as a symbol of survivng another year. Eggs were always available, but in order to make them fancier, people stuffed various ingredients into boiled eggs.

7. Pirozhki

Written: пирожки Pronounced: piro-shki

Piroshki come in all shapes and forms: baked, fried, some are even boiled. Stuffed with a variety of flavors from potatoes to meat, they have a flavor for everyone. My personal favorite is mashed potato poroshki dipped in sour cream. Think of them as bite-sized pies. Piroshki are perfect for a quick snack while cooking other Russian Christmas foods.

8. Sprats Sandwich

Written: шпроты Pronounce: shpro-ti

Sandwiches seem like there's nothing holiday-ish about them. Yet every Russian household enjoys sprats sandwiches on New Year's Eve. It's a pretty simple dish but it tastes like holidays.

9. Caviar Sandwich

Written: икра Pronounce: ikra

Caviar sandwiches are probably one of the most commonly enjoyed Christmas foods. Russians love caviar. Period. We put it on everything we want to make bougie. It's a simple three-step recipe: slice bread, spread butter on it, cover the entire slice with caviar.

10. Fish

Written: рыба Pronounce: ri-ba

As you might have noticed, we love fish in our Christmas dishes. With this one you can go as creative as possible. The most important part: it has to be a WHOLE fish (with the head and everything).

11. Chicken with Potatoes

Written: курица с кортошкой Pronounce: kuritsa s kor-tosh-koi

Slowly but surely traditional Russian Christmas food is moving to the 21st Century and is putting spins on original recipes. Chicken with potatoes is the most common entrée dish at any Russian Christmas celebration. Baked or grilled, all of the recipes provide an amazing combination of sweet and sour.

12. Kotleti

Written: котлеты Pronounce: kot-lye-ti

Kotleti is one of the most unexciting foods on this list; they are basically meat patties. Russians eat them all year round, but during holiday season cravings for them increase drastically.

Potato kotleti are a must after a Christmas party. Have mashed potatoes leftover? MAKE POTATO PATTIES! We were thinking about vegetarians before it became mainstream.

If you have Russian friends, impress them with your food knowledge and definitely try some of these Russian Christmas at your next holiday party.