International officials and journalists were bemused to find "Russian Salad" on the top of the in-house restaurant menu, awaiting world leaders in the high-security NATO summit venue on the outskirts of Madrid on Tuesday as the main agenda is about Russia’s attack on Ukraine.
The melange of peas, potatoes, carrots and mayonnaise is a staple on Spanish restaurant menus but ahead of a summit at which Russia is expected to be labeled as a security threat in the alliance's new strategic concept over its invasion of Ukraine, its presence on the menu caused consternation.
"Russian salad at a NATO summit? I'm a little surprised by that choice of dish," journalist Iñaki López told Spanish media outlet La Sexta.
The dish's attractively high carb content appeared to trump its questionable name, however, and it reportedly sold out within hours.
More diplomatic thought was applied to the menu served to visiting defense and foreign ministers at a banquet at the Baroque Santa Cruz Palace in Central Madrid on Tuesday evening.
Jose Andres, the Spanish chef featured in the Netflix series Chef's Table who coordinated the meal, served the classic tapa but added "tomato dumplings" and re-christened it "Ukrainian salad" as he has done in his restaurants across Spain, Daily Sabah reports.