Russian elite pining for volcano-halted oysters

An oysterman displays a freshly-opened oyster from the Bassin d'Arcachon in Andernos-les-Bains near Bordeaux, south-western France, December 21, 2009. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

MOSCOW (Reuters Life!) - Russia’s super rich are lamenting a shortage of oysters and peaches, whose deliveries have been cut by the Icelandic volcano which caused air traffic chaos in Europe, a popular daily reported on Wednesday.

Exorbitantly priced seafood and fruits from Spain, France and Italy, regularly lapped up by the Moscow elite, are missing from the Russian capital’s most glistening stores, Komsomolskaya Pravda said on its front page.

One worker in a luxury shop on the outskirts of Moscow said oysters, which stay fresh for 10 days, will be missing from parties this Saturday. “If will be dreadful if they don’t make it,” he told the paper.

Imported Spanish peaches that fetch 1,250 roubles ($43) a kilo have been replaced by much cheaper apricots from ex-Soviet Azerbaijan, but the moneyed Russians have been turning their noses up at them.

Reporting by Amie Ferris-Rotman