In some of our articles we have already told you about what Ukrainians like to eat. However, if you are going to visit our country in winter, you must know for sure what exactly you will have a chance to taste. Therefore, this article will be devoted to Ukrainian winter cuisine, which is a bit different from what we eat during other seasons, but it does not make it less delicious.
Ukrainian winter cuisine
Since winters in Ukraine are usually cold, most of the dishes Ukrainians cook and eat are hot. And, the most popular dish, which is actually eaten in the summer too, is borsch. Just to remind you what borsch is, let me tell you that it is a kind of soup, made with cabbage, meat, usually pork, potatoes and beet-root, which gives this soup red color. Traditionally, Ukrainians eat borsch with a clove of garlic or onion and brown bread or pampushki – small buns baked in the oven.
Another representative of Ukrainian winter cuisine is potatoes. The ways we like them are numerous: we eat baked potatoes, stewed potatoes, boiled potatoes and, the most delicious type of potatoes every Ukrainian likes if fried potatoes with lard and onions. Mmmm… if you have a chance, try it, no matter how tasty or not so tasty it sounds, just eat it. This dish will definitely let you feel the real taste of Ukraine.
Speaking of Ukrainian winter cuisine, I cannot help mentioning the traditional vareniks. Yes, we eat them all year round and all year round they are tasty, with no exceptions, but… the filling of vareniks differs depending on the season. In winter we usually prefer something more nutritious, so we usually make vareniki with potatoes, meat or cottage cheese, while during other seasons different fruits can be used as the filling.
Ukrainian winter cuisine can hardly be imagined without any pickled fruit or vegetables. Yes, that is absolutely right and it is a very good idea. Why? As you can guess, fruit and vegetables do not grow in our gardens in winter, so Ukrainians pickle them at the end of the summer to have vitamins during the winter. The varieties of pickled stuff you can try in winter are countless. Therefore, if you have a chance, try whatever you can. Just ask for “Zakryvashka” – that is how we call conserved/pickled products and you will be absolutely surprised by its unusual taste.
Having mentioned salty “Zakryvashka”, I cannot help talking about its sweet twin-brother – jam, or, as we call it “varen’ye”. Jam is an inseparable part of Ukrainian winter cuisine, since it goes as a sweet additive to many dishes. For example, if you remember that winters in Ukraine are cold, you will not be surprised to hear that Ukrainians drink a lot of tea during the winter. Can you imagine a Ukrainian drinking only tea? I can’t. If we drink any hot beverage, we must eat some sweet tasty thing with it, and this is where jam appears. We can eat it separately or it could be a filling for Ukrainian pancakes, which are also much loved by both adults and kids.
Finally, there are some fresh fruit and vegetables among the traditional Ukrainian winter cuisine dishes. These are cucumbers, cabbage, apples, oranges, and, my sweet passion – tangerines. To tell you the truth, if you ask any Ukrainian what associations they have with winter, the first images that will come to their mind will be snow, cold, new year ,uncle frost and… right TANGERINES. This is the most traditional fruit during winter, which, interestingly, is not usually grown in Ukraine.
So, if by chance, you are going to come to Ukraine during winter, be sure that you will not starve to death, moreover, everything that you will eat will give you the sheer pleasure and you will enjoy every little bit of your traditional Ukrainian winter meal.