Just a note about authenticity. I've been making this salad for years, ever since a Russian friend in Moscow sent it to me, courtesy of his grandparents. Their recipe (and they're village people) INCLUDES prunes. I remember this vividly because their recipe was sent in Russian, and directed me to "soak the prunes"--and the root for "to soak" and "to torture" seemed very similar :) to me.
Anyway, please don't assume the prunes are not authentic. I imagine some families use them and some don't. But both versions are genuine. And I love the prune one! :)
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Just a note about authenticity. I've been making this salad for years, ever since a Russian...