So, you have been lucky to find a couple of Ukrainian girls you would like to meet in person and you are ready to spend some unforgettable moments in Ukraine. Then prepare to be offered to taste traditional Ukrainian dishes. In order not to goof, look through this short list to know what is what.
If you like to eat and if you like delicious food, you are lucky because traditional Ukrainian cuisine is varied. There are many types of products similar to European ones, however you will definitely come across something you have never tried. Well, here we go.
- Number one on my list is soups in Ukrainian cuisine, since we, Ukrainians, believe that eating liquid food every day at least once a day is a must. You might have probably heard that ladies from Ukraine are great housewives as well as they are fantastic cooks. They know a lot of recipes of soups you have never tried in other countries, e.g. rassolnik (meat or fish soup with salt cucumbers), kapustniak (soup with cabbage), pea soup, rice soup, buckwheat soup and many others. But borsch is the most traditional first course in Ukraine. It is made with meat (pork) broth, beetroot, cabbage, potato and some tomatoes. It tastes best if it stays for some time before you eat it. Borsch is usually served with home-made buns (pampushki) , greased with garlic sauce and sprinkled with dill and parsley. Oh, and don’t forget to add a spoonful of sour cream. Mmm. My mouth is watering already, how about yours?2. The next dish only ladies from Ukraine can treat you to is lard (salo in Ukrainian). It adds to many Ukrainian dishes, especially to borsch. Lard is usually eaten with brown bread, mustard, horseradish or a clove of garlic or onion. It may sound strange, but it is amazingly delicious.
- Homemade sausage. This is one of my favorites and if you are lucky, you will be offered to try the best sausage made of minced pork and lard with a bit of salt, pepper, a couple of cloves of garlic, 50 grams of vodka. The aroma, which you will smell while it will be roasted, is unforgettable. Another type of sausage widely appreciated by Ukrainians is blood-pudding. It is made of pig blood, some buckwheat, milk and pork belly. The procedure of cooking is quite long, still it is worth it. Blood-pudding is traditionally eaten at Christmas or at Easter.
- Vegetables. Ukraine is rich in various kinds of vegetables, that is why ladies from Ukraine often cook different dishes from them. One of the most popular product of this kind is potatoes. You will be offered to try them in different versions: boiled in their jackets, baked, fried, stewed, mashed. In warm seasons potatoes are often served with fresh vegetables like radish, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, pepper and greens, and in winter we add different salted and pickled vegetables.
- Roast meat in small pots. If you are a lucky man and one of the ladies from Ukraine you will meet can cook this dish, you will never forget its taste. Roast meat in small pots is one of the ancient dishes, which is cooked in a wood-burning stove. Its ingredients: meat (usually pork), potherbs and greens make it not only delicious, but also good for our health.
- Aspic (holodets in Ukrainian). It is a traditional Ukrainian dish made of chicken and pork legs broth. When the broth is ready, it is filtered, poured into bowls and put into freezer. When it is ready it looks like meat jelly and is served with mustard or horseradish sauce.
- Golubtsi. No feast in Ukraine can be imagined without golubtsi. Actually this dish is cooked in many other countries, however Ukrainian variant has the filling consisting of 50/50 – pork/veal and boiled rice. The filling is wrapped in pre-boiled cabbage leaves. Golubtsi are served with sour cream.
- Pirozhki. Baking has been an inseparable part of Ukrainian cuisine since ancient times. Every house used to have a wood-burning stove in which they baked bread, buns, crusts and pies. Ladies from Ukraine kneaded paste in a big wooden barrel with hands, which is not an easy task, I should say. As time passed, wood-burning stoves have been replaced by ovens, still the tradition to bake has remained till now. Ukrainian pies look like big buns, filled with berries, cottage cheese, potatoes, peas and meat.
- Vareniki. All ladies from Ukraine can cook this traditional dish. I could describe vareniki as pies, which are boiled. The filling varies from potatoes, cabbage, meat, liver to cherries, strawberries, cottage cheese, etc. Vareniki with salty filling are served with fried lard and onions (shkvarky) and vareniki with sweet filling are served with sour cream.
- Banosh. It is a traditional dish of Western Ukraine. It is made of corn flour and sour cream, flavoured with shkvarky, mushrooms and white cheese. Banosh is served hot and it is very nutritive and fills you with energy for the whole day. It is interesting that banosh was invented when there was nothing to eat. A skilled housewife mixed everything that she had and created a delicious dish.
I want to say, that Ukrainian cuisine is abundant with different national sweets and drinks too, so I wish you to come to Ukraine and enjoy every bit of our traditional Ukrainian cuisine.