Currently, it is very popular to claim that many Ukrainian dishes are popular abroad and have their equivalents in many cultures. We should not spend too much time in proving who was first to put meat into the dough and boil it to make varenyky – which are stuffed dumplings. It is much more important to add something new to every dish to make it unique. For example, Ukrainians prefer adding potatoes or various fruits to varenyky. Where else you can find such stuffing?
Borsch definitely has a long history in Ukraine and there is no point in trying to clarify that there was someone else who discovered it. If you could taste borsch cooked in the eighteenth century you would hardly recognize it. Back then, the main ingredients were sour beetroots, but without any tomatoes, which gave it its distinctive sour flavour. Nowadays this flavour is achieved with the help of sour tomatoes. Also, initially borsch did not contain any potatoes but now you will not find it without them.
It happened that after the dissolution of the USSR many Ukrainians’ achievements, including culinary ones, were inherited, or perhaps I should say stolen, by Russia.
In the southern part of Ukraine you would not find any women in a kitchen. For instance, only male Crimean Tatars cooked rice and fried meat on a fire and no women were allowed to enter the “sacred” place.
As for table traditions, it was the Ukrainian custom for the whole family to sit at the table. The father was usually the first to help himself to the food, and often everyone ate from one plate, as there was a distinct lack of flatware in many peasant families. Having dinner or lunches together as a family was traditional not only in the countryside but in the city as well. Soviet authorities did their best to ruin such rituals by introducing the cafeteria system at factories that encourage workers to dine together. Eating was seen as being important only to satisfy the physiological need of humans for protein and carbohydrates. Tasting the food’s flavour and enjoying it was unimportant. The employees should simply eat well to work well.
Read more in my book UKRAINE, I WROTE ABOUT
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I can boast about my latest reviews:
5.0 out of 5 stars
Ukraine, I Wrote About worth a read.
September 30, 2018
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Very enjoyable read. A concise view of Ukraine by a Ukrainian. A brief history of the country, the people, cuisine, fashion, customs, and culture, presented deftly by the author. So much unique information such as the last toast at the table is known as “na konya”, meaning “for the horse” along with the history of the phrase. The author’s love for her country comes shining through and the reader will come away with a greater appreciation and knowledge of Ukraine. I highly recommend.
5.0 out of 5 stars
About Ukraine from first hands
September 11, 2018
The book is very interesting and entertaining book. It is not a novel and not a travel guide! It is more. If you are curious about the country, Ukraine, or ukrainian people, habits, places and food (I am culinary dependent), then you should read. You will not regret to read. The Ukrainian author provides information about her country from her special point of view with full of patrionism. Reading the book you will find interesting information and facts about the whole country. If you could not travel there, through the book still you will receive a nice and complete picture about Ukraine!
Congratulations for the author!