Culture Palate: Dishes from Ukraine
Made with dry, pressed cottage cheese known as tvorog, these delicious pancakes, known as syrniki, are often served for breakfast or dessert alongside a ubiquitous dollop of sour cream, and jam. They may seem complex because of their delicious taste, but they only take a few ingredients to make — tvorog, sugar, and eggs. Some people add flour, but it’s not necessary. Depending on your taste, you can eat them plain or with a filling of chopped fresh fruit, dried fruit, or nuts.
If you’re in Ukraine over Christmas Eve, you’ll definitely be served kutia. This sweet pudding is made with wheat berries, poppy seeds, and honey, and is the first dish served at the Sviata Vecheria, a ceremonial Christmas Eve feast where guests are served 12 specific dishes. Traditionally, none of these dishes contain meat or dairy. The plentiful poppy seeds in kutia are thought to symbolize abundance and prosperity, and the entire dish is considered lucky, so every person in the house must have at least a spoonful.
One of the most popular Ukrainian tipples is horilka, a word which refers to any kind of neutral spirit distilled from either wheat, potato, rye, or even sugar beets. Horilka is often flavored with different ingredients, which are taken out prior to serving.
One of the most popular types of horilka is pertsivka, which is liquor that’s flavored with hot peppers. It’s most often served by the shot but be careful, it’s extremely spicy.
[Our guest shares] About Ukraine 🇺🇦
Horilka is our version of vodka. It can be distilled from sugar beets, honey, potatoes. People freeze pork fat in the fridge, slice the meat into thin layers and eat with this vodka. Source of photo: https://t.co/keepdasijz#Ukraine #food pic.twitter.com/jmTR5JvF2Y
— Explore Culture Inside Out (@XploreCulture) January 30, 2019