Nosari of the Russian Empire
This story started already in the 1978 year. It was then that I accidentally stumbled upon a small essay in one of the Volgograd newspapers, which told how during summer vacations fishermen regularly come from different places to sit on the Uryupa shore of Khoper, catch some trifles (?!) And cook soup from them. And this ear is incomparable and amazing! It was also said in this essay that the Don Khoper tributary was then considered the cleanest river of the Soviet Union, that Uryupinsk has long been known for its downy goats, etc. But what a peppered fish and why an incomparable ear from it was not revealed ...
Much later, while reading one of the fishing luminaries, perhaps even Sabaneev, I found out that a ruff-nose was called a donkey (a tattlebug!) On the Don.
Well, I think he is a ruff, which is called - not a trophy. True, by that time had already heard and managed to make sure that ruffs for any soup is always a decoration. And in old Russian taverns, ear from ruffs was made to order, and if where it worked out well, then customers would roll it in with a shaft. Such a case, for example, is described in Vsevolod Krestovsky’s novel Petersburg Slums. The main action of this novel takes place in a tavern called "Ruffs" (in memory of the ear of the ruff, which he was once famous for).
Later, I came across information that when Peter the Great built ships on the Don, in Voronezh, in order to fight against the Turks of Azov, he was very fond of the ears from the nasal heads, which were caught nearby, cooked triple broth with spices and added pieces of sterlet . As if from that time, it was a tradition to send live spring roe-noses to the tsar’s table in barrels of water from the Don to the tsar’s table. cult fish. In this city, there is even a monument of the ruff-nose, created with public donations, in the winter they organize competitions for catching birds from the ice and telling non-resident tourists that the local taverns tasted and admired at one time both Pushkin and the hero of the Caucasus, General Yermolov.
Somewhere in the year in 2000 I decided to collect all possible information about the nose. And that's what turned out (in brief). The nosar is, of course, a ruff, but it grows much larger than the ruff, it looks different from its elongated nose. There are many other differences; ruff loves the calm water warmer, the nose adores the current, coolness, underwater keys, the ruff comes across any tackle, the nose practically only donkey, the ruff is a ubiquitous fish, the nose is the only inhabitant of rivers (!!) of the northern Black Sea coast. That is, it is found only in the Dniester, the Dnieper and the Don, even in the Danube it is already gone!
In the end, I fired up! I decided, as they are now joking, to quit everything - go to Uryupinsk, the unofficial capital of the Russian province, to finally cook my ear out of the stick. Starting to prepare this expedition, I called the Volgograd Regional Society of Hunters and Fishermen, say, would you recommend any Uryupian to help catch some greetings? From society, the answer to me is, what kind of fish is this ?! When explained, they became interested, requested their Uryupinsk branch. And from there the answer was that they had long since been forgotten in the “capital” Uryupinsk, as they had caught such a fish within it, it ended altogether.
This was a surprise! But the head of the fishermen’s society recalled that there was a research institute for lake and river fisheries in Volgograd, he gave me a telephone, by which I started calling immediately. And everything grew together, though not immediately.
In the scientific research institute I began to communicate with the employee Vasily Boldyrev, who knows the whole river fauna of our region, what is called face and heart, regularly traveling to the basic points of the scientific research institute on the region's reservoirs to control fish stocks. It was with him that we planned an expedition to the Don in April in the area near Kalach, where the Biryuks reliably fell into the control nets of the research institutes. Our training took virtually a whole year. For this year I received additional information from Vasily. Here they are.
In the Dniester and the Dnieper, the nasar has practically disappeared, it has been preserved everywhere only in the Don and its tributaries, the Khopra and the Dipper. But it is abundant only in the part of Khopra, which flows on the territory of the Voronezh Reserve. In 2010, during the dry season and the anomalous heat, the Biryuk on the Don had a terrible obstacle, heaps of dead noses floated along the river. Even the local Donians have already forgotten how a fishing fish of the nose has been, and they get angry if it gets into their nets, because it can seriously hurt when sampling fish. Yes, I myself remembered a conversation in the company of anglers. He told a Volgograd fisherman who recently bought a house in an abandoned coastal farm on the Don. In the Volgograd region, almost all of these hamlets became uninhabited. He once threw a donkey in the Don, and one caught a thorny fish, which he had never seen, and the local old man called it a bird carrier. That Volgograd and wanted to find out what this "gudgeon" such, and what is good? ..
In the end, one fine April morning, I and my friend went to the Don, to the point of the Research Institute of Lake and River Fisheries, where Vasily and his blue birches were waiting for us, which fell into the morning control net. The place where we arrived is just fantastic! You might think there was no man’s foot. However, close to the foundations of a long-abandoned Cossack farm. Don spread in spill, its steep bank was carved with beams, chalk mountains and real canyons. All this was overgrown with woodlands, shrubs and steppe grasses, the thyme smelled sharply ... We left the car near a small beam, on its opposite bank of the bushes, a faded fox was watching us with interest. A heron flew overhead, a black hawk hovered, looking for mice. Silence and beauty!
Soon arrived Basil. In a small bucket, a dozen or two noses of different size splashed around him; there was no small fry, only medium and large ones. Then I experienced the same feeling that once caused Ostap Bender to joyfully declare: "The dreams of an idiot came true."
We made a photo shoot with turquoise, and then we made a fire, and I started cooking my ear. First, I threw potatoes, onions, carrots, all ground into a boiling pot. Also, of course, salt, lavrushka and dill. When it all boiled, it was the turn of the noses. Before that, we gutted them, took out the gills and caviar. Washed the fish very gently and carefully, to preserve the slime covering the scales. This is the main technological moment in the ear of ruffs. It is the mucus that gives it the main taste dignity and difference. Naturally, the scales with ruffs are not removed. And in order that it does not spread on the ear, the fish is boiled, wrapped in gauze. This is how I did everything. He just threw the caviar into the pot, and tied the carcasses of the noses into gauze and carefully lowered them into the boiling broth. After 15 minutes ear has ripened. Of course, it was not triple and without a sterlet, like Emperor Peter the Great, but when we tasted it, we immediately understood those eccentrics that we had once thrown everything and went to Uryupinsk, in order to try this miraculous miracle !!
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