New year dishes in Ukraine
One of the most important parts of New Year celebrations in Ukraine is a great festive table with the most delicious and so traditional New year dishes. The menu mostly depends on a country you come from. If you are in France, you will probably find such dishes as foie gras, snails, frog legs, a big variety of cheese, ratatouille and others. If you are in Germany, you are likely to taste pork or traditional German sausages with sauerkraut. But what do they eat in Ukraine?
To tell you the truth, there are many traditional dishes that a Ukrainian woman prepares. So, let us take a closer look at traditional food of Ukraine.
It has become the main «character» of many jokes and anecdotes. There are several versions about where the name Olivier comes from, but most people say that it appeared thanks to the French chef Olivier, who lived in the USSR in the 1960s and was the owner of a French restaurant in Moscow. He was the first one to cook this salad. Nowadays it is also called Russian, potato and meat salad.
Another symbol of the New Year traditions in Ukraine is tangerines. That is because at Soviet times, when there was the deficit of products, tangerines were the only fruit at the table and every Soviet family tried to buy them. And although now, people still look forward to the New Year thinking of delicious tangerines they will eat.
It is a salad, which consists of herring and vegetables. It is also appeared during the Soviet times. It has a marvelous history. They say that it was invented by a Russian merchant, who lived in the beginning of XXth century and had a chain of public houses. He wanted his customers, who liked to drink alcohol not to get drunk. So, when they offered themselves some alcohol drinks, they got it together with the salad, which they called dressed herring. In such a way they could enjoy their drink but did not get drunk because they ate this nutritious meal.
It is absolutely impossible to imagine a holiday without this sparkling drink. There is a tradition that when the clock strikes twelve, people have to drink their champagne and make a wish. If they manage to do it in time, their wish will come true in the coming year. So do not be surprised if you see a girl writing down a wish on a piece of paper, burning the ashes into a glass and drink it. Even if a piece of paper doesn`t burn down completely, it should be finished anyway. My female friend follows this procedure every year without exception and her dreams always come true throughout a year, so if you haven`t tried it yet, you should definitely do it.
Red caviar has been the companion of champagne for many years. It is absolutely traditional to make white bread sandwiches with red caviar and butter. Some housewives also make eggs stuffed with red caviar.
The preparation of aspic is time-consuming. That is why it is cooked only for holidays. However this snack consisting of minced meat with jelly makes a good adding to the festive atmosphere of every house. Aspic is usually served with horseradish and mustard.
Napoleon cake is an amazing dessert made of unsweet puff pastry with custard which is equally loved by Ukrainians, Russians and the French. It is hard to tell how it has become one of traditional dessert, however it makes a good ending of the New Year festivity while we are drinking the last drops of champagne enjoying the delicate cake and wishing for the best things that the forthcoming year will bring. Each woman cooks a different version, so if you try a homemade one it will be different from the one you can buy in a shop or try in a restaurant. I love homemade cakes by my grandmother, she knows a magic recipe of a divine cake.
You will definitely be surprised by the variety of food from Ukraine and for sure going to enjoy it, don`t miss the chance to try all above mentioned recipes. Among the diversity of dishes, you will find the best ones for you. My female friend married a guy from the USA and she decided to make Ukrainian food tasting on Christmas for him, she treated him with each dish and asked a genuine opinion, his favorites were aspic and Olivier salad, saying that the last one is a perfect combination for any day, very tasty and healthy. One of my acquaintances, who is married to a Turkish guy, has been living in Turkey ever since the wedding, so she held a tasting of the same dishes for her husband, his favourite was also Olivier salad and sandwiches with caviar. All Ukrainians, either they live here in their own country or abroad, always cook traditional food, so if you have a chance, try them and let us know your feedback.
I am sure you are going to love it!