Russian tsar Alexei Mikhailovich the Quietest, the second of the Romanov Dynasty, was a hearty eater and a genuine gourmet. His cooks would work tirelessly, preparing a hundred of dishes on ordinary days and two hundred on holidays. There was one impediment, however: as many as 182 days a year were supposed to be fasting days in Orthodox Russia. Fish would be served on fasting days – sturgeon, salmon, pike, halibut, smoked, salted or boiled. Fish with sour cream topping, fish with porridge, fish with mushrooms. Court painters handled Alexey Mikhailovich's imperfections no worse than Photoshop. But one imperfection remained, which can still be seen on the 400-year-old portraits of the tsar – his belly. It worried him.