Ukraine, one of Europe’s most eastern countries, is a primarily agricultural nation. Its cuisine is based on grains, including wheat and rye, as well as staple vegetables, like cabbage, potatoes, and mushrooms.
Ukrainian food is characterized by a rich array of flavors, influenced by many different cultures and regions throughout history. It’s a homestyle, family-style cooking that reflects generations of hard work, bringing together the best ingredients and techniques from around the country.
Savory and sweet dishes are the heart of traditional Ukrainian cuisine. The cuisine has its roots in ancient peasant cooking, centered around grain resources and staple vegetables, as well as a large variety of ethnic influences.
The cuisine is known to be rich in nutrient dense ingredients, as well as diverse flavor combinations, and is considered to be the tastiest of European cooking styles. A wide range of meat and poultry dishes are accompanied by traditional vegetables, fruits, and pickles.
Stewed Beef & Potatoes
The comforting dish of stewed beef and potatoes is an essential part of Ukrainian culture, and a perfect meal for any occasion. It’s a hearty meal that will satisfy even the pickiest eater, and pairs perfectly with some pickled vegetables and a big bowl of crusty bread to soak up all those delicious gravy juices!
Originally made from pounded chicken breasts stuffed with cold herb-infused butter, this traditional dish has become an English-speaking favourite. The football-shaped kiev is coated in flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs and deep fried or baked before serving.
Typically eaten with sour cream, deruni are a Ukrainian version of latkes (potato pancakes) that also feature dill as a common seasoning. They can be filled with savoury or sweet stuffings, and are often enjoyed as an appetizer or a snack in the Ukraine.
Variations of this classic Ukrainian dish vary by region, but they are always filled with either savoury or sweet fillings. Some versions are stuffed with olives or pumpkin, while others use nettle, strawberries or sauerkraut.
Aspics are a type of gelatine savory dish, but they are much more complicated than that! They involve boiling meat for hours to extract the gelatin, and then refrigerating it until it sets. Once it’s done, you cut into it and let it melt in your mouth, making for a delectable treat!
Walnut Stuffed Prunes
If you’ve never tried walnut stuffed prunes, you need to do so at some point. The easiest way to make them involves soaking the prunes in hot water for a few hours before filling them with a walnut. However, if you’re more ambitious, you can boil the prunes in red wine and sugar for a sweeter version of this traditional Ukrainian dessert.
Borscht is a popular national dish in Ukraine that’s eaten both warm and cold, and can be served as a clear broth or a smooth drink. It can be made with a variety of herbs, including dill, and beets are often used.