My Grandmother is a proud German! However, for several hundred years, including her own parents, they did not even live in Germany. Instead, they lived in Russia in a small “German Only” community. According to them, they did not assimilate at all with the Russians. Ask Grandma if she is German or Russian and she might knock you over the head and curse at you (in German!) This small group of Germans that moved to Russia will forever be Germans in their minds.
Which is why when I moved to Germany as an adult and couldn’t find one.single.krautstredual. i was so confused. Where was this food that was passed down generation after generation in my proud German family? Where was this flaky, sweet pastry with a savory filling slathered in mustard that reminded me of Christmas Eve dinners? Where was this meat pie that was supposedly just as German as Schnitzel!?
Then we traveled to St. Petersburg and what did we stumble upon? You guessed it. It wasn’t a “krautstrudel” but instead a “pirozhki ” but one thing was certain. It tasted just like Grandmas!
So, while the “Volga River Germans” claim to be as German as they come, they clearly had ties to their Russian neighbors, even if just through food; one of the best bonding tools of all time!