Ukraine is one of Eastern Europe’s greatest treasures. This country has a long and rich history and beautiful landmarks, which guarantees for an exciting trip!
They say that the best way to learn about a country is to see it through the perspective of locals. You should visit their favorite cafes, learn about their customs and put yourself in their shoes.
One of the ways to do that is to try the traditional food that they grew up with.
Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe and it has a well developed agriculture. Its many plains allow locals to grow their own food and use fresh ingredients in their diet. If you’re a lover of real, organic food, Ukraine is the right place for you!
Here’s a list of some of the best Ukrainian dishes to try on your next trip there!
One of the most famous dishes in Ukraine is borscht. It has a very long tradition, so you could say they perfected it by now!
There’s over 30 types of this soup and they’re all based on vegetables, such as beets, cabbage and potatoes. Even though this is a great vegan dish, certain recipes include some type of meat or fish. It will give you such a warm, homey feeling that you’ll feel like you’re in your grandma’s dining room!
This is the dish that you’ll surely try if you spend New Year’s Eve in an Ukrainian restaurant. They traditionally serve it as an appetizer on this holiday. It’s essentially a jelly pudding made with fish or meat stock and various vegetables. The texture might be something you’ll have to get used to, but every foodie must try it!
Ukrainians are the best when it comes to specialties made with dough! One of them are, without a doubt, piroshki. Piroshki are buns usually filled with meat, vegetables or cheese and often served with sour cream. They can either be fried or baked but both are equally as good. These are a perfect breakfast on-the-go, as well as a filling lunch – the choice is yours!
Here’s a combination you’ve probably never tried before – pork lard, rye bread and herbs. Besides being full of vitamins, pork lard (salo) has a surprisingly rich flavor. You can choose your toppings based on your preferences. If you combine salo with onions you’ll recreate an old-school Ukrainian appetizer!
These potato pancakes are your ideal breakfast food! Made with grated potatoes, eggs and onions, they’re a perfect combination of rich and crunchy. However, eating them as a side for lunch is not unusual. Ukrainians often top them with sour cream or mushroom sauce. You can’t go wrong with potatoes!
The dish that carries the name of the Ukrainian capital just has to be exceptional. Even though at first sight it might seem like chicken you’ve eaten before, the key is in the method of preparation.
Chicken breast is rolled around cold butter first and then covered with eggs and bread crumbs. Chicken Kiev can also be stuffed, but sometimes, the simple recipe is best.
You can try this dish in various restaurants around the world, but trying it in Ukraine is something else!
Kovbasa is Ukrainian homemade sausage. Many families that live in villages still make their own kovbasa, with organic chicken or pork. Besides meat, it is prepared with fats and spices that give it a wonderful aroma. It is so much better than store bought sausages.
If you thought good crepes only existed in France, you were so wrong! Ukrainians have their own version and they are absolutely delicious. They can be filled with some type of cheese or even minced meat. They’re best when eaten fresh with sour cream on the side. The sweet ones are filled with fruit jam or a unique traditional combination – cottage cheese and raisins.
Varenyky are Ukrainian dumplings made with various fillings: ground meat, mashed potatoes, fried sauerkraut and many more. They’re often served as a part of Christmas Eve dinner. The sweet version of varenyky is filled with fruit and drenched in butter. Make sure you try both!
Even though it’s not a dish, you mustn’t leave Ukraine without trying their bread. It’s deeply rooted in their culture, hence the traditional form of showing hospitality by giving your guests bread and salt.
Ukrainians are famous for their crops, especially rye, barley and buckwheat. They put so much love in the process of making bread and we guarantee that Ukrainian bread will be among the best you’ve ever tried!
This is another thick hearty soup Ukrainians love. There are three kinds of solyanka, depending on what you choose as your main ingredient – meat, fish or mushrooms.
If you choose meat, you can also add sausages, pickles, onions, capers and many other ingredients.
The one with mushrooms is baked in the oven after cooking and covered with breadcrumbs.
Fish solyanka has a fresh taste thanks to the lemon juice that’s added at the end.
If you love doughnuts, you’ll love pampushky. They’re little balls of dough filled with berries, rose preserve or poppy seeds and topped with powdered sugar. If you’re eating borscht, it will sometimes be served with savoury pampushky and garlic sauce on the side. These will make your mouth water.
Ukrainians have been eating kutia since the prehistoric times. It’s a mix of wheatberries, poppy seeds and honey, and sometimes nuts. It is always served during Christmas dinner. However, you can still eat it for breakfast or as a dessert after your meal. Not only is it tasty but very healthy as well.
Golubtsi are just plain delicious! They’re sauerkraut rolls filled with minced meat and rice. Of course, Ukrainians add various spices and herbs.
The rolls are then either cooked or baked until the meat is done. Making golubtsi requires skills, so make sure you search for a good cook. They are worth the effort!