For those of you who read my travel articles, it’s no secret that I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for off-the-beaten-track destinations. I visit places that aren’t typically favoured by tourists. London, Paris and Rome are three European cities that receive millions of tourists on an average year, whereas Kiev, Ukraine received a 48% drop in tourists between 2013 and 2014. In this post, I will be recommending some traditional Ukrainian dishes.
European cities with less tourists provide a much more pleasant experience, if I am going to be perfectly honest. The crowds are significantly less, the locals are more welcoming, and the culture tends to be more well-preserved.
Another passion of mine is trying the local cuisine when visiting a new place. In Brazil I ate chicken hearts at a churrascaria, in Paris I ate snails, and in Portugal I ate goat. The snails and chicken hearts I wasn’t much of a fan of, but at least I tried them. Anyway, whether you’re planning a trip to Ukraine in 2017, or if you’re just curious about the local cuisine, here are some traditional Ukrainian dishes that you’d be silly not to try.
Must Try Traditional Ukrainian Dishes
Made with beetroot and up to 20 other ingredients, borshch is a soup, which Ukrainians enjoy hot or cold, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Borshch is a staple food of a typical Ukrainian’s diet. This dish is typically made by stir-frying grated beetroot and tomatoes and adding this to a soup of vegetables, including onions, carrots, cabbage, peppers, and whatever else is to hand. You’ll definitely be getting your five a day!
Typically served with a bowl of steaming borshch, varenyky is also commonly known as pierogis. Varenyky is enjoyed by Ukrainians on every occasion. Varenyky is essentially dumplings made from flour, water and salt, stuffed with mashed potatoes and mushrooms or fried onions and mincemeat. There’s even a sweet version of this staple Ukrainian food. The dumplings are stuffed with cherries, and served with sour cream and honey. Deeeee-lish.
…Or chicken kiev, to us. If you’re not that adventurous with your food choices but still want to try Ukrainian cuisine; this world-popular Ukrainian food is essentially a boneless chicken breast that’s been pounded and rolled around in a special garlic and herb butter, breaded, and either baked or fried. Chicken Kyiv is delicious, too!
If you’re a Meat lover, you’ll definitely enjoy kovbasa, a traditional Ukrainian home-made sausage. Kovbasa is renowned for being substantially better than your typical store-bought sausages. Stuffed with ground meats, spices and fats, Kovbasa is then baked in the oven or fried. Mmmmm.
Considered to be a highly elegant dish in Ukraine, Nalysnyky is a type of cheese crepe. Crepes can include a range of fillings, although the most common is soft cheese, or meat and mushrooms. Nalysnyky can even be served as a dessert, in which they are filled with berries and topped with sour cream.