Ukrainian foods taste great and their texture is exquisite. Ukrainian food is a big part of their culture. You may have had some of these foods like Borscht, Perogies, and Cabbage rolls. But when you look into the background of these foods there is some interesting history about these foods.
Borshch (the way Ukrainians typically spell it) originated in Ukraine and is important to Ukrainian identity. In fact, there is a saying that no Ukrainian girl can get married if they can’t make Borshch. But Russia, Poland, and a few other countries also make their own versions. Each country has their own name for Borshch. Russia uses Borscht and Poland uses Barszcz. But since it’s extremely popular in other countries, people have long fought over who gets to claim it as their own.
The name Borshch came from the Slavic word for Cow Parsnip. Later, the Beet replaced the Cow Parsnip as the main ingredient in Borscht because it was more palatable and cultivated These days.
Borshch is a creamy soup containing different types of vegetables and some meat, but the main ingredient for Borshch is Beets. The Beets give the soup a purple colour. Potatoes, Carrots, and Cabbage give the soup greater consistency. The type of meat is typically ham but some people forgo the ham to create a vegetarian version of Borshch. And on Christmas Eve Ukrainians use Fish Stock for Borshch. It is usually served with sour cream on top, or they mix in normal cream.
Another great Ukrainian food is a special type of dumpling called Vareniki (Varenyky). in Canada it is called Perogy. Like Borshch there are a lot of different countries that make Perogies. A basic Perogy consists of dough cut out into a circle shape. Cooked and mashed potato is put into the middle and the dough is folded over and pinched closed. Then it is boiled. The Perogy is usually served with fried Onions, Bacon, and Sour cream.
There are a variety of different types of Perogies. You can fill them with almost anything. Some people use different types of berries or fruits in their Perogy to make it more of a dessert-style dumpling. There are versions with meat and versions with only vegetables.
Perogies are a comfort food to many Ukrainians. They eat it when they are sick as well as healthy and say that it comforts the person. Ukrainians also eat Borshch for the same reason. Ukrainians eat Perogies as a main dish or as a dessert. peasants thought that Perogies would give them an abundant harvest, so they took Perogies out with them while harvesting.
The third Ukrainian food is a vegetarian one because peasants often couldn’t afford meat. Cabbage rolls are one of the most delicious options. They are made with pickled or parboiled cabbage. Ukrainian cabbage rolls were originally stuffed only with Rice because the meat was expensive. But today, they are filled with Rice and beef or bacon. After the cabbage rolls are rolled up and stuffed with goods, they are simmered in Tomato Juice, Beef Stock, Vegetable Stock, or Miso Broth, and usually served with Perogies.
Cabbage rolls were originally Jewish but the Jews from different countries like different things, so Romanians and northern Poles prefer a savory sauce, while Jews from Galicia and Ukraine favor sweet-and-sour sauce. Cabbage rolls were made from multiple Jewish communities, but in Ukraine they tended to go for a sweet and sour taste.
Ukraine has a lot of different foods, but these are some of the most popular ones. I personally eat them frequently. These foods are interesting and delicious at the same time. A lot of Ukrainians immigrated to Canada, so there is a possibility that you have tried these foods before, but now next time you eat these foods you will a little bit more about where these foods came from.