When I started writing my Christmas – New Year – Christmas post, I knew that one aspects of the holidays I absolutely had to include was the New Year’s [Eve] feast. But due to travel and expat living and other logistical complications I haven’t had a proper Novogodny dinner in years. As a result, my own photo stock of the holidays was conspicuously low, and I had to rely on Google Image Search to fill in the gaps. Inputting “New Year’s table” in Russian, I expected to see a lot of tinsel, Soviet Champagne, and caviar pictures. Instead I got a cornucopia of photos of beautifully decorated salad plates.
Because almost any kind of a Russian salad is a homogeneous, mayo-drenched mixture, it lends itself perfectly to being molded into almost any shape, smothered with some more mayo icing and decorated — with fruits, veggies, eggs, cheese, cold cuts and so on — like a cake. Elaborately. Colorfully. Whimsically. Below are photo-mosaics of the most fun and pretty salads that I had Google-stumbled upon (many, many image credits to follow in an update):