When Americans think of Russian food, it's generally the cliches: the beet soup known as borscht, or caviar-topped pancakes called blini. And they imagine both washed down with copious amounts of vodka.
Admittedly, those play a role. But traditional Russian cuisine is so much broader than that, encompassing a variety of dumplings, pungent preserved vegetables, smoked and salted fish and meats such as wild game and crawfish. Not your traditional American fare to nosh while watching sports, but certainly fitting choices if you're planning to watch the Winter Olympics, whose first events start Thursday in Russia.