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Cuisine

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CuisineUkrainian cuisine has long been famous for its diversity. Borsches, different farinaceous food (puffs, pampushkas, palyanitsas, galushkas, vareniks, shortcakes, etc), meat dishes (roast meat, sausages, cold baked pork, game, poultry, etc), vegetable and milk dishes (ryazhenka, cottage cheese pancakes), fruit and honey drinks are well-know all around the world. Ukrainian cuisine numbers hundreds of recipes.

Some dishes have a centuries-old “experience” such as a famous Ukrainian borsch which is cooked out of 20 different products. In ancient times it was called “a broth with greens”. Centuries have passed since then. Today there are up to 30 ways to cook borsh (of Kyiv, Poltava, Lvov, Volyn, Galicia, Chernigov, etc).

There is a great variety of meat dishes in the Ukrainian cuisine: kruchenyks, stuffed poultry and vegetables, meat larded and stuffed with garlic, etc. While being prepared as a second course meat products undergo quite a complicated processing — at first they are fried or boiled, then they are stewed or baked; it preserves its flavor and makes it succulent. Meat dishes cooked in special pots are particularly tasty.

Since ancient times a significant place in nutrition has been occupied by fish. Favourite Ukrainian dishes are a crucian baked in sour-cream; a pike stewed with horseradish; a carp stewed with onions or in sour-cream; a pikeperch baked with mushrooms and crayfish; fish kruchenyks, etc.

Different porridges are popular: millet buckwheat, pumpkin, etc. People in villages often cook lemishka — it is made of buckwheat flour and eaten with fresh milk. In Bukovina it is eaten with sour-cream or onions fried in oil. Buckwheat flour is also used to bake grechaniks (bread and thick pancakes). There are always different farinaceous food in the Ukrainian menu such as  galushkas, vareniks, shulicks, pancakes, grechaniks, etc.

An important place in the Ukrainian cuisine is occupied by vegetables. They are eaten both raw and as a garnish to fatty meat meals. Boiled vegetables are served together with different first courses and as a separate second course. Most popular are such vegetables as beets, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, pumpkins, marrows, eggplants, peppers. Leguminous vegetables are often used in the Ukrainian cuisine. They are added to other vegetables, in the first courses and in minced meat. They can also constitute a separate course.

Dishes made of egg enjoy an enormous popularity in the Ukrainian cuisine. First of all it is fried eggs with lard. One of the most loved products is lard. Lard is eaten not only fried, but also raw, salted, boiled or smoked; it is used to stuff other meat, not pork, to make it more succulent. It is even used in desserts together with sugar or syrup.

Since 16-18th centuries an important place in nutrition is occupied by oil as a fat basis for cooking. Today it is next to impossible to imagine a Ukrainian table with oil. Oil can be of two kinds: of hot press with a pronounced smell of fried seeds and of cold press. Oil of hot press is usually used to season cold dishes such as salads while oil of cold press is better for frying.

The favorite Ukrainian spices are garlic, onion, dill, parsley, celery, anise, cumin, mint, sulfurwort, savory, red pepper, bay leaf, black pepper, vinegar, horseradish, mustard. Ukrainian cuisine is also known for its desserts made of fruit and vegetables. Fruit is eaten both raw and smoked, dried and soaked. Most popular are cherries, plums, pears, current, raspberries, strawberries. Melons and watermelons are also often served as a dessert.

Ukrainian popular cuisine penetrates into cuisines of other peoples. So Russians have borrowed from Ukrainians borsch, vareniks, stuffed vegetables, thick pancakes, larded meat, home sausage, stuffed fish and many other dishes.
Dmytro Chernenko
14.10.2009

Thematic news

Broken record of Ukraine and the world record for cooking borscht 04.10.2010

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