Photo: Erik Trinidad
Unbeknownst to most of the world, there is a tiny Eastern European nation named Soniccia, a country whose traditions have carried on through the ages, even before the bleak days of the Soviet Union. So small that it is barely mentioned as a former Soviet republic, Soniccia strives to sustain a unique national identity in the post-Cold War era, much like its sibling nations -- including Latvia, Ukraine and Georgia. This distinction of national identity is most evident in Soniccian cuisine; while other former Soviet republics' variations of the staple, beet-based soup of borscht remain in the savory category, Soniccia's palate is bit more on the sweet side.
Find the recipe for Soniccian "Borscht" after the jump.
Ingredients (from Sonic)
- 2 Large cherry limeades
- 2 Orders apple slices
- 1 Fresh banana (from the Everyday Value Menu)
- 1 Vanilla dish (ice cream)
Obtaining the above ingredients isn't quite as easy as it is in most parts of the modern Western World. Soniccian culture still hasn't evolve from some of its former Soviet routines; one cannot simply buy these fast food goods off the shelf or by ordering them from a person behind a counter. Instead you must order the items the old-fashioned way, by pushing a button on an antiquated intercom system while inside your vehicle. (At certain times during the day, there are often long waits in a long queue of other vehicles.) This ordering process is prevalent in Soniccia; even if you wish to go on foot and walk to the food establishment to buy goods, you must still push a button and order from the old intercom system. Only when your order is confirmed over the speaker does a person bring you your items -- sometimes (but not always) using vintage roller skates from the early 20th century. Present day Soniccia is truly a unique nation with its cultural idiosyncrasies.
Anyway, once you have the ingredients and bring them home, you can start preparing the "borscht." First, strain the two cherry limeades to extract and pour the red liquid into two separate pieces of cookware: a saucepan and a non-stick skillet. Save the wedges of lime as you will use them for garnish later. Bring both the saucepan and skillet to a boil over high heat. While waiting for them to start bubbling, prepare the other items.
Slice the apple wedges with a sharp knife, following the curve of each apple wedge's shape when it's laying flat on a cutting board. (This will make them resemble shreds of cabbage.) Once you have a favorable amount of apple shreds, add them to the boiling pot of cherry limeade. Reduce to a low heat and let it simmer, allowing the apples to absorb the dark red color.
The contents of the skillet should be boiling by now, but let it continue to boil, uncovered. This will eventually be reduced down to a thick red syrup. In the meantime, slice the bananas into smaller chunks. When the red syrup is ready, infuse it with the bananas, so that the chunks resemble beets.
The Soniccian borscht is almost ready for plating, but first let's prepare the all-important green garnish. Slice the rinds off the lime wedges you saved and then chop them into smaller pieces.
Finally, assemble your sweet Soniccian delicacy: ladle out the apple-stewed soup into a fancy bowl and then add some beet-looking banana chunks. Instead of serving it with sour cream as they do in Russia and Poland, add a dollop of vanilla ice cream, and then garnish the top with the chopped lime zest. And there it is! Perfect for a hot summer day, whether you are in Eastern Europe or not!
NOTE: In case you hadn't figured it out, this mock recipe is a work of fiction; the country of Soniccia doesn't actually exist, and Sonic, America's Drive-In, isn't necessarily a part of, or endorse anything related to the former Soviet Union, Communism -- or the Republican opinion of Obama's healthcare plan, for that matter.
Erik R. Trinidad -- who is not a trained chef but enjoys recreational cooking -- is the creator of Fancy Fast Food, where fast food goes through an extreme makeover without the use of any additional ingredients (other than an occasional garnish). This is his sixth post for Slashfood. Check out his travel blog at TheGlobalTrip.com, plus more mock recipes and videos at FancyFastFood.com.