While many people are familiar with Ukraine from the recent news coverage, it is a country with much more to offer than what has been portrayed on television. In addition to its beautiful cities and landscapes, it is home to many delicious foods.
The country’s fertile land produces grains and wheat, which are central to its cuisine. Other staples include cabbage, potatoes and mushrooms. While some Ukrainian dishes resemble those of nearby countries, such as Poland and Slovakia, they are also distinctively Ukraine. Many of the recipes rely on vegetables, while others feature meat, such as holubtsi (cabbage rolls) and varenyky (dumplings).
Although Ukraine shares many similarities with other Slavic countries, its language is distinct. It uses the Cyrillic alphabet, similar to Russian and Belarusian. As a result of centuries of intense Russification, most residents are bilingual in Russian and Ukrainian, or speak a dialect known as “siurzhyk” that is a mixture of the two. However, most do not identify themselves as ethnic Russians or feel any allegiance to Russia.
While the country’s recent crisis has been caused primarily by disagreements with the West, its troubled history is also important to understand. During the Soviet period, Ukraine was treated as an integral part of the Soviet Union and was never recognized as a separate nation in its own right. This has led to competing interpretations of the country’s past, which have become a major factor in the ongoing conflict.
UNESCO has designated seven sites in Ukraine as World Heritage Sites, and it is worth visiting to see the architecture and learn more about the history of the country. However, it is important to remember that the disputed territory of Crimea was part of Ukraine prior to Russia’s invasion and that many locals do not want to be reincorporated into Russia.
The city of Lviv is one of the most popular places to visit in Ukraine. It has a rich culture and is known for its coffee, chocolate and beer, as well as for this sweet treat called syrnyk. While the dish is often associated with Lviv, its popularity has spread throughout the country.
The main religion in Ukraine is Christianity, with a large number of Ukrainians also belonging to the Orthodox Church. The holiday of Paska is celebrated during Easter and involves bringing bread to church to be blessed. There are a variety of types of paska, including cheese paska which is made from cottage cheese and has an iconic shape that resembles the Tomb of Jesus. Other types of paska include nut, poppy seed and honey buns.