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Ukrainian Cuisine

Ukrainian dishes show a sophisticated simplicity based on pleasing combinations of fresh, pickled, and smoked ingredients.

shubaWhile cooking techniques are not complicated, dishes may contain a great number of ingredients and unusual combinations, such as "shuba" (herring in a "fur-coat") salad which combines pickled herring and beets. Food is neither highly spiced nor bland, but skillfully seasoned to perfection.
Bread
is of course the mainstay of the Ukrainian diet. The country's reputation as the "breadbasket of Europe" is well deserved. The French writer Honore de Balzac, who lived in Ukraine for four years, counted 77 different ways of preparing bread. It is such a central part of the diet here that there is a custom to give honored guests and departing or arriving travelers the gift of a loaf of bread and salt. This tradition is still used in welcoming ceremonies for dignitaries and other important persons.
Borsch
shubais certainly the national dish of Ukraine, even Borschmaking its appearance on the menus of Chinese and Italian restaurants in Kyiv. This uniquely Ukrainian soup has been adopted by other countries in the region, but as recently as 45 years ago it could not even be found in restaurants in other Soviet republics. The many versions of borsch served throughout the country reflect the individuality of Ukrainians as well as their ingenuity. The beet-based soup can contain as many as 20 different ingredients, depending on the season, region, and of course, personal preference of the cook. It can be meatless or prepared from a rich meat stock and contain either beef or smoked pork.
Salads
shubaare often prepared with mayonnaise. The most favorite Oliviersalad in Russia is called "olivier" and its recipe was created by a French cook living in Russia in the 19th century. This salad is known in the West as "Russian salad". The Olivier salad is made of boiled vegetables, eggs and meat seasoned with mayonnaise. And is also a very popular salad in Ukraine. Salads are very common, but rather than being lettuce-based, combinations of fresh, cooked, and preserved vegetables may be mixed with meat, cheese, or fish. With so many different recipes, the only constant of Ukrainian salads are the presence of vinegar or mayonnaise.
Vareniki
shubaare dumplings made from boiled or fried dough, Varenikiresembling ravioli without red sauce. They can be filled with meat, potatoes, cabbage, and sometimes mushrooms for as an entree, or sour cherries or sweetened cottage cheese and raisins as a dessert. Any kind can be accompanied by butter or sour cream.
Golubtsy
shubaThe word golubtsy can be translated as "little pigeons" Golubtsybut really has nothing to do with fowl of any kind. They are cabbage rolls stuffed with meat and rice or buckwheat and often covered with a thin tomato sauce.
Cake
shubaThere are many different kinds of pastries and cakes. Cake Kievsky is a local specialty, made of layers of crumbly raised wafers, hazelnuts, and it even comes in its own special green box.
Drinks
For a uniquely Ukrainian drink, try kvas, a slightly sweetKvas Horilkanon-alcoholic beverage with a wheat-like
shubashubataste sold from giant tanks on wheels in the summer throughout the cities. Also, coffee and tea (with sugar and lemon) are popular. And of course, you should try horilka (Ukrainian vodka) but don't drink too much!!!! Vodka is always served cold; and of course - the most popular Ukrainian brand also very popular is Champagne and cognac which Odessa is famous for both.

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