Ukraine, a long and thin country that stretches into central Europe, is a place of wide agricultural plains and industrial cities. It has long straddled the line between seeking closer integration with Western institutions and being drawn into Russia’s orbit, where nationalist sentiment is strongest.
The nation’s cuisine reflects this history, and it is not hard to find delicious Ukrainian recipes from both regions. Many of the dishes are stuffed, which adds an extra layer of flavor and texture to these tasty meals. The meats that are used in Ukrainian cuisine often include beef, pork, and chicken. They also include rabbit, venison, and duck. One of the most important foods in Ukrainian cuisine is borscht. This vibrant red soup is an integral part of the country’s culture and is enjoyed by both young and old.
Besides borscht, there are plenty of other tasty Ukrainian recipes that you should try. Deruni are the Ukrainian version of potato pancakes. They are served as appetizers or side dishes, especially with sour cream accented with dill. They can also be made sweet and stuffed. Pampushky are yeast-raised buns or doughnuts that can be either savory or sweet, baked or fried. They are often paired with soups like borscht and salo, but they can be eaten on their own.
Another staple of the Ukrainian diet is kolbasa. This sausage is made from pork and beef and it has a very distinctive flavor that is not for everyone. It is popular in grilled form as well, which makes it a great snack or an appetizer.
Cabbage leaves are a popular way to wrap filling meat and vegetable combinations. They are usually simmered in a tomato sauce and are easy to make for a family meal. Ukraine’s fertile soil (chornozem) is ideal for growing a variety of crops, including wheat and sunflower seeds. In fact, Ukraine is the world’s largest producer of sunflower seeds. You can find stunning fields of the golden flowers in every region of the country.
Another scrumptious dish from Ukraine is blintzes. These small, pancake-like pastries are made from buckwheat flour and are often filled with sweet or savory ingredients. They are also commonly topped with fruit and whipped cream.
For dessert, you can’t go wrong with syrnyk. It is a traditional cheesecake from Lviv, which is the largest city in western Ukraine. In the past, this rich and creamy cheesecake was stuffed with cold herbed butter, but today it is more commonly topped with a quenelle of chocolate ice cream.
Ukraine is a beautiful and diverse country with an interesting and colorful culinary heritage. These tasty Ukrainian recipes are a great introduction to the nation’s unique flavors. You can try them at home or visit a local restaurant for an authentic taste of Ukraine. If you are interested in learning more about Ukraine, check out the article, A Brief History of Ukraine. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!