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.
Ifyou’ve ever heard of Ukrainian food this is probably the very firstdish people mention. It’s a delicious beetroot based soup, but italso contains other vegetables like cabbage and potatoes and theclassic version usually has beef in it, but there are variations withother types of meat and a vegetarian variation that’s very commonlyserved during lent. Borsch is also often served with pampushky whichis like a savoury garlic bread bun.
Varenykyare Ukrainian dumplings. There are many variations of this dish andit can be made sweet or savoury. You also might’ve heard ofpierogi, it’s essentially the same thing. The most classic varenykyare made with mashed potato filling, they’re then boiled and servedwith sour cream. Other popular variations of varenyky are made withcabbage filling, cottage cheese, and the most popular sweet ones aremade with cherries, apples or blueberries. Sweet varenyky are usuallyserved drizzled with honey instead of sour cream.
Derunyare savoury pancakes made from grated potatoes, onions and eggs.They’re essentially hashbrowns, but so much better and way moreflavourful. The classic deruny are made with just potatoes, but thereare 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.
Holubtsiis a traditional Ukrainian dish that’s very popular and is oftenserved during the Christmas holidays, but they’re not limited tojust the holiday season. You can make these whenever but they aremore popular during the winter month. They’re basically cabbagerolls with rice and meat filling. But during the lent they’re madewithout meat, instead, the filling consists of rice, carrots, andonions.
Kholodetsis one of the weirder dishes that foreigners might encounter. It canbe made from various types of meat. Sometimes it’s made with veal,sometimes pork, but the most common kind is made with chicken orspecifically rooster. The idea is to boil the meat with bones, onion,pieces of carrot and spices to create a really potent broth. The meatis then separated from the bones and placed in a bowl along withboiled pieces of carrot and then covered with a broth. The bowl isthen left in a cool (but not freezing) place to cool down and brothsolidifies into jelly. If you’ve never tried anything like it —Ukraine is definitely the place to give kholodets a try.
Banoshis a dish specific to the very western part of Ukraine. It’s acornmeal porridge that’s cooked in milk or cream rather than waterand is always served with cheese made from sheep’s milk and bits ofbacon. Traditional banosh is meant to be cooked in a big cauldron onan open fire outside and only stirred with a wooden spoon. Everyfamily has their own preferred recipe of banosh and they’re alwaysvery proud of it and guard that secret recipe because they believeit’s the most delicious one.
Swiftlytransitioning to sweet dishes — Paska is a special sweet breadthat’s traditionally made for Easter. It’s soft and sweet andoften beautifully decorated with dried fruit, nuts and a sugar glaze.You can only find it in stores around Easter, so everyone alwayslooks forward to Easter all year to have as much Paska as they wantuntil 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.