This recipe is from “A Year of Russian Feasts” by Catherine Chermeteff Jones.
Russia produced over 4 million tons of cabbage per year, and the Ukraine produces 1.3 million tons. They are 3rd and 7th on the list of top ten producers in the world. It is a hearty vegetable that thrives in the colder climate and short growing season. It is a tremendous source of Vitamin C and is easy to preserve as an important nutrient source over an extremely long and harsh winter.
Of course in the brief Russian Summer it is wonderful to savor fresh, raw vegetable as much as possible. And this recipe is so quick, easy and the result so refreshing, it is a natural for a summer party… no hot stove, out of the kitchen in a flash.
Sour cream is another staple of Russian cuisine. Dairy products in general have traditionally been in strong supply in Russian, and as a culture (I’m sorry I couldn’t resist it!) they seem to have a real penchant for fermentation, so a proliferation of “soured” cream makes sense.