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Taste of Saint-Petersburg - Koryushka

Smelt (koryushka) is one of the Symbols of Saint-Petersburg. You can find it in the White sea, Onezhskoye lake, and even in the Far East. But it's become so popular only in Saint-Petersburg. Why?

🐟 Koryushka is only fished at night between mid-April and mid-May, and we have only about a month to enjoy them.

According to a legend, koryushka played a big role in Peter the Great’s decision to establish St Petersburg in its location in 1703.

He believed a large concentration of Korushka won't let people starve. And in fact, during the Siege of Leningrad in WW2, koryushka was one of the only available food sources in the city.

Every May, we gather to celebrate the tiny fish’s spring arrival with music, festivities, and, of course, lots of koryushka.

Unfortunately, because of the Covid pandemic, the Korushka festival was canceled. But we can still buy this fish on markets.

Last year there was a lockdown in Saint-Petersburg, but I and my dad managed to find koryushka sellers in the city.⠀

You can see how I and my dad went to the market to get this fish and how we cooked it here:

Get access to the cut piece from this video

If you decided to buy Smelt in Saint-Petersburg by yourself.

If you visit Saint-Petersburg in Spring, you will find people selling koryushka on the streets almost everywhere. We usually buy from Polyustrovsky market.

When you choose smelt in Saint-Petersburg remember a few simple rules:

  • Good, fresh smelt smells as cucumbers

  • Its gills must be red

  • Smelt from Finish Gulf and Niva is black, but on the second day, it starts to lose its color and becomes whiter (in comparison, smelt from the Far east remains to be black).

Where to try Koryushka in Saint-Petersburg?

Some restaurants serve Smelt here. But the most famous one is "Koryushka restaurant", located in the heart of Saint-Petersburg.


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while feeding people was certainly a goal of Peter (did Erik like "friture" ? I do 😋), don't forget one of Peter goal was beating Swedes with their own weapons. Alas, no device Russians could produce, even Novitchok and sure Korushka, can compare to this Sürstromming even provoked a mutiny in Swedish army and navy in 18th century when a war ministry decided it would be the only meal served for simlicity. I'm sorry to say that, Natasha, and to bruise legitimate Russian and Petersburger pride, but this time (only) Swedes left you Russians far behind 😁😂

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Omg 😆 this looks awful

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