Ukraine is a country of beautiful landscapes, stunning lakes and rivers, and a rich and vibrant culture. But it also has its share of challenges and problems, including a war that has pitted the country against Russia for more than 20 years.
Crime in Ukraine
The country continues to undergo a significant economic, political and social transformation that makes it an attractive target for criminals. Street crime in Ukraine is often more serious than that in Western European countries, and U.S. citizens are particularly vulnerable, especially if they stand out because of their wealth.
Food and Drink
Ukrainian cuisine is a mix of centuries-old traditions and modern influences. Many of the dishes are based on traditional peasant meals, which have been adapted to the region’s climatic conditions and resources. The cuisine is also influenced by its proximity to neighboring Poland, Belarus and Russia.
Solyanka is a deliciously hearty soup that is made with vegetables and meat. It can be either a meat-based or mushroom version, and it’s typically served with breadcrumbs or butter on top. It’s a favorite dish in both the country and its capital, Kiev.
Pierogies are a Ukrainian staple, and they’re easy to find in most grocery stores. The savory fillings of the traditional pies range from ground beef to cabbage, and the sweet versions are often filled with cottage cheese or cherries.
Traditionally, varenyky is eaten at breakfast or as an afternoon snack. However, they’re also a popular dessert in Ukraine.
You’ll find this dish in most restaurants in Ukraine, and it’s considered a culinary business card of the nation’s capital. It’s simple to prepare: pound a chicken cutlet, place it on top of an herb butter, roll the chicken around the butter and cover it in egg and breadcrumbs before frying or baking.
Kolach and Korovai
The ring-shaped bread is a traditional part of many Ukrainian weddings and funerals, and it can be topped with flowers or periwinkle. It’s also a great choice for an appetizer or side dish.
Holodets and aspic
One of the most popular cold dishes in Ukraine is holodets, or aspic. It’s made from fresh pork leg, which is cleaned and boiled for a long time to form a thick jelly. It’s a common dish at winter festivals and Easter in the country, but it’s not as well known outside of Ukraine.
Other dishes that can be found at most Ukrainian weddings include bublik, kolach and korovai. The kolach is braided, and the top can be decorated with birds or periwinkle.
Another classic Ukrainian dish is pig pierogies, which are made with ground pork and potatoes. They are a delicious, satisfying snack and make an excellent meal for large groups of people.
Other savory foods in Ukraine include kapusniak and varenyky. Both of these recipes use the same ingredients: a meat or vegetable broth, potatoes, onions, and carrots. The kapusniak has a savory flavor and is often served with sour cream, while the varenyky can be eaten as a main course or dessert.