Though it's always been advertised as a dairy product that can serve as a perfect breakfast meal, the syrok is about as healthy as a bowl of multicolored sugary cereal. Contrary to what the name suggests, it does not contain any cheese, and is made from tvorog, butter and sugar, covered with chocolate-flavored glaze. In Soviet times, children considered it quite a treat, and school cafeterias served them for breakfast or an afternoon snack that melted almost as fast as ice cream, forcing kids to lick the wrapper and get their faces dirty.

Many people eat it on the go, and it is still one of the cheapest foods you can buy, priced around 7 rubles. One of the largest producers, Rostagroexport, has recently come up with a "luxury" syrok, made with real, rather than powdered milk, and real chocolate, at a price of three times the regular version.

Why it is considered a healthy children's food is a mystery, since the classic syrok contains up to 25 percent fat and is essentially a miniature cheesecake. The classic version is simple vanilla flavor. Many dairy companies started producing syrki in the 1990s, adding other ingredients like poppy seeds, apricots, jams, and even coconut as the market heated up. Popular brands, besides Rostagroexport, are "Ryzhiy Up" and "Chudo," produced by WimmBillDann.