The 8 Tastiest Ukrainian Dishes

Food&Travel

Ukrainian cuisine is unique, varied, but at the same time very specific. If you’ve never tried any Ukrainian dishes you should definitely try some when travelling to Ukraine. There’s a traditional dish for everyone. Meaty dishes for carnivores, traditional vegetarian and vegan dishes are widely available during lent, sweet cakes and desserts are finger-licking-good here too, so you’re bound to find a new favourite in Ukrainian cuisine.

1. Borshch

If
you’ve ever heard of Ukrainian food this is probably the very first
dish people mention. It’s a delicious beetroot based soup, but it
also contains other vegetables like cabbage and potatoes and the
classic version usually has beef in it, but there are variations with
other types of meat and a vegetarian variation that’s very commonly
served during lent. Borsch is also often served with pampushky which
is like a savoury garlic bread bun.

2. Varenyky

Varenyky
are Ukrainian dumplings. There are many variations of this dish and
it can be made sweet or savoury. You also might’ve heard of
pierogi, it’s essentially the same thing. The most classic varenyky
are made with mashed potato filling, they’re then boiled and served
with sour cream. Other popular variations of varenyky are made with
cabbage filling, cottage cheese, and the most popular sweet ones are
made with cherries, apples or blueberries. Sweet varenyky are usually
served drizzled with honey instead of sour cream.

3. Deruny

Deruny
are savoury pancakes made from grated potatoes, onions and eggs.
They’re essentially hashbrowns, but so much better and way more
flavourful. The classic deruny are made with just potatoes, but there
are many other ways to make them that are popular around the country.
People often add parsley and dill into the potato mix to add flavour,
others like to add some mushrooms to the mix too.

4. Holubtsi

Holubtsi
is a traditional Ukrainian dish that’s very popular and is often
served during the Christmas holidays, but they’re not limited to
just the holiday season. You can make these whenever but they are
more popular during the winter month. They’re basically cabbage
rolls with rice and meat filling. But during the lent they’re made
without meat, instead, the filling consists of rice, carrots, and
onions.

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5. Kholodets

Kholodets
is one of the weirder dishes that foreigners might encounter. It can
be made from various types of meat. Sometimes it’s made with veal,
sometimes pork, but the most common kind is made with chicken or
specifically rooster. The idea is to boil the meat with bones, onion,
pieces of carrot and spices to create a really potent broth. The meat
is then separated from the bones and placed in a bowl along with
boiled pieces of carrot and then covered with a broth. The bowl is
then left in a cool (but not freezing) place to cool down and broth
solidifies into jelly. If you’ve never tried anything like it —
Ukraine is definitely the place to give kholodets a try.

6. Banosh

Banosh
is a dish specific to the very western part of Ukraine. It’s a
cornmeal porridge that’s cooked in milk or cream rather than water
and is always served with cheese made from sheep’s milk and bits of
bacon. Traditional banosh is meant to be cooked in a big cauldron on
an open fire outside and only stirred with a wooden spoon. Every
family has their own preferred recipe of banosh and they’re always
very proud of it and guard that secret recipe because they believe
it’s the most delicious one.

7. Paska

Swiftly
transitioning to sweet dishes — Paska is a special sweet bread
that’s traditionally made for Easter. It’s soft and sweet and
often beautifully decorated with dried fruit, nuts and a sugar glaze.
You can only find it in stores around Easter, so everyone always
looks forward to Easter all year to have as much Paska as they want
until it disappears off the shelves.

8. Lviv Syrnyk

Lviv Syrnyk is a type of cheesecake that originated in the west of Ukraine. It’s made from fatty cottage cheese and covered in chocolate. If you think of yourself as a cheesecake aficionado we highly recommend you try Lviv Syrnyk. It’s light, it’s delicious, it’s nutritious, and it tastes like no other cheesecake you’ve ever tried.

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