Culture Palate: Dishes from Ukraine

If you’ve ever been to Ukraine, you would probably understand why it’s often called the “breadbasket of Europe.” The Ukrainian people are rightly proud of all the crops that grow from their richly fertile “cherzonem” (black soil), and cooks love to use a wide variety of these ingredients in their cooking. Typically, Ukrainian dishes are hearty, filling and made with a variety of cooking techniques. In one dish, it’s not uncommon for cooks to have to boil or fry multiple ingredients before they’re finished together in the oven or in a bubbling stew.

If you’re visiting Ukraine, make sure to check out some of these dishes. If you get a chance to taste them in their ideal form, you can easily recreate them at home.

Borscht

One of the most recognizable dishes of Eastern Europe is borscht, a sour beetroot soup that’s made with meat stock and either whole beets or beet juice. It’s delicious and filling — perfect for a cold winter night.

In Ukraine, there are tons of different types of borscht, ranging from vegetarian borscht made with just vegetables and beets, to fish borscht, which uses fish stock instead of meat stock and is most often eaten on fasting holidays, where meat is forbidden. Every region of Ukraine has its own borscht, so if you’re a fan, you can sample a huge variety of these soups as you travel the country.

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