meaning a snack
had whilst consuming vipivka
. Zakuska can range from a sliced apple that someone in the train compartment
passed around to complement the flask of rotgut vodka to a full-on graze
at a professional hors d'oeuvres
While the actual componentry of said zakuska would, one would think, be of critical importance for the success or failure of the drunk, this is not so. If one is drinking so little that the actual type of snack makes a difference in the outcome, then one is not drinking Russian (or Ukrainian) style! I would say that it should be widely agreed upon as edible, but that might not be true. I have had wonderful, stomach-warming and steadying success with taking cubes of pork fat, wrapping them in newspaper, and roasting them on sticks (the newspaper burns mostly off). You end up with shriveled, hot, greasy nuggets of pure stomach-coating goodness, with a dash of paper ash and ink PCBs just 'cause. These are best (and perhaps only possibly) consumed whilst standing in woods, in snow, around a roaring fire, passing a clear unlabelled bottle around the circle and razzing anyone who holds it longer than a few seconds without drinking and passing it. This should go on until the bottle and its compatriots (typically, everyone has brought one) is empty.
On a much more familiar note, a tin of sardines is considered fine zakuska. I cannot even stand the smell of the things when sober, but on one occasion, such small pickled fishies were the stuff of life itself.
Your mileage may vary.