Ukrainian food and cuisine is famous for its variety, nutritive value, and, to be perfectly frank, its deliciousness.
Notwithstanding increasing interest in Asian and European cuisines, traditional Ukrainian dishes remain to be the most popular food of local people, which is proved by innumerable amount of Ukrainian restaurants, fast-foods, kolybas etc.
Ukrainian food and cuisine traditions are formed due to the favorable geographic position (Ukraine has an exceptionally fertile soil – chornozem) and climate conditions perfect for cultivation of various grains and plants and animal domestication. It is also influenced by foreign cuisines as a result of numerous conquests and trade relationships within its longhistory.
Bread is definitely a staple Ukrainian food. Its significance oversteps simple nourishing merits: bread is regarded as a holy gift of God, and all Ukrainian traditional celebrations include bread as an object of reverence.
For the celebration of Easter Ukrainians bake paska – traditional sweet rich bread with raisins, decorated on the top; for other occasions they make babka, kalach, korovai and many other types of bread.
Upon arriving to Ukraine, you will be, most probably, invited to try Ukrainian borsch,varenykyand, optionally, salo.
Ukrainian borsch is the most popular vegetable soup, made of almost 20 different ingredients, such as beets, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, dill, often includes meat and served with sour cream. During the spring and summer time you can try zeleniy (green) borsch made of various vegetables, sorrel, boiled eggs, and served with the sour cream. Some restaurants serve borsch in the bowl mad of bread, which is also very entertaining.
Varenyky can be simply described as boiled dumplings with different fillings: potatoes, cottage cheese, meat, liver, even cherries or bilberries.
Salo is fresh or smoked salted pig fat or lard. Don’t be scared to try salo – nibbling it with brown bread you won’t even have time to understand it taste. Exceptionally delicious for somebody and disgusting for others. However, it is proved (perhaps by Ukrainian scientists) that salo is a healthy product, which can even prevent atherosclerosis.
The most popular Ukrainian vegetable is potato. It is used in all soups, salads, served boiled, fried or baked as a garnish, and could also be a main course, such as deruny (potato pancakes).
In general, from spring to autumn Ukrainians eat mainly fresh vegetables, while during the winter time they make salads with boiled vegetables (for instance,vinigret) or pickled vegetables.
Mushrooms are also used in Ukrainian food, however, more widely in the Western and, especially, mountain regions.
Among other Ukrainian dishes the most popular are: holubtsi (fresh cabbage leaves rolled with force-meant and rice filling, served with sour cream), pechenya(roast meat), kholodets(jellied meat), kotlety (meat balls with onions, garlic, eggs, breadcrumbs, fried in oil).
For dessert you should try nalisnyky or syrnyky made of cottage cheese.
Any meal should be accomplished with good beverages. Typical non-alcoholic drinks areuzvar and kompot, made of dry or fresh fruits.
Ukraine produces good beer and not as good wine. If you want to drink something stronger, try horilka (Ukrainian vodka), samogon (moonshine) or medovukha(mead).
Be aware, that Ukrainian men usually drink a lot, so don’t try to compete with them ;-P
***You can also find some great info about Ukraininan cuisine on FoodByCounty.com