Inside Russia’s giant meat fair where Russians go to buy mysterious animal bits

A massive Russian meat market, which only takes place two days a year, has been held – and it looks pretty grim.

Held in Ulan-Ude, which is a city in the constantly below-freezing Eastern Serbia, the festival sees hundreds of vendors selling mysterious looking meat products.

The event is simply titled “Meat Fair 2022”, and takes place across six huge trading floors, outdoors, in the Buryatia region.

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This year's happened in a car park at the city's Capital Mall shopping centre on last weekend (December 2 and 3).

According to local media, those visiting could buy meat, fish, honey, berries and other farm products directly from rural producers.

Given the cold temperatures of the area, most of the products are bought and stored throughout the Winter, as the extreme weather means the items take longer to degrade.

Images from the event show a plethora of stalls available, with mysterious meat items being hacked to pieces by hand-held axes – the meat itself is being rested on a tree stump for cutting.

Looking like something that would definitely fail the UK's food hygiene ratings tests, other raw meat items are piled high in paper-thin boxes on the floor.

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There are also several grotty-looking trucks full of animal carcases seen in the background, as workers are spotted dragging the less-than-fresh-looking items out of them for sale.

Despite around 40 images coming out from the event, it is extremely hard to identify what any of the items are.

However, one staff was seen selling Raw beef legs for 20 rubles a piece – which, at just 26p for a beef leg, is decent in today's cost of living crisis.

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One item contained what can only be described as an animal's internal organs, alongside fish heads – and what appears to be a rotted sheep's skull.

It's not all bad, however, as fresh fruit and vegetable stalls are spotted in an undercover area, selling local items as well as herbs and spices.

Those stalls appear clean and well-maintained.

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The area is actually known for its cuisine.

According to the experts at Real Russia : “The cuisine of Buryatia is largely influenced by the nomadic lives of the Buryats, whose main source of nutrition comes from the food of their land.

With that said, the Buryat national cuisine heavily consists of meat dishes, potatoes, freshly grown crops, and food made from dairy such as salamat.”

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Salamat is a local dish made of sour cream and flour – the name actually just means “white food”.

Sounds equally as grim as the meat festival looks.

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