Ukraine’s Most Popular Foods You Should Know
Many have said that local people use Ukrainian food as a way to show off their fertile soil, abundant crops, and healthy livestock.
And it is true that about 60 per cent of Ukraine’s land is ready for vegetable production, which ensures the availability of wheat, sugar and potatoes throughout the year. The Carpathian Mountains also have large cattle pastures, which provide high-quality beef products of many Ukrainian recipes.
So if you have the opportunity to visit Ukraine, without looking at the magnificent landscape with beautiful mountains, remember to enjoy their unique traditional dishes, such as the ones I mentioned below!
Do Not Miss the Appetizers in Ukraine!
It is very common to enjoy an appetizer or starter before the main meal in European cuisine. Read this section and learn what Ukrainian people usually eat at this time.
1. Salo–Cured Pork Fat
Everyone knows that the people of Ukraine love their Salo, not only because of its unique taste but also for the health benefits it brings. Pork fat contains vitamins D and A, which aid in brain function, digestion, and detoxification.
Although this dish is rare, Salo is often regarded as one of the main symbols of Ukraine. In fact, it is so popular that local people hold two annual festivals, one in February and the other in September.
Salo can be eaten raw or cooked. The locals often roast or grind garlic and combine it with the famous beetroot soup called Borscht. Ukrainians love to eat this nutritious meal with Horilka (a popular Ukrainian drink).
Another option is to cut Salo into thin slices and place it on top of rye rubbed with garlic.
In case you want to learn to cook Salo, this tutorial is here to help you!
2. Holodets / Kholodets – Meat Jelly
These gelatinized pork chops with horseradish are very common in Eastern European countries, not just in Ukraine. Although, yes, the word “flesh gel” may not be so appealing, you can change your mind with a single bite!
The name of the dish comes from the Ukrainian word holodnyii, which means “cold”. You can often see this dish at important festivals such as the New Year.
The locals often use beef chuck, pork legs, hocks, bone broth, and other spices to make this delicious meat jelly dish.
In ancient times, people had to cook meat for a long time to turn it into jelly. Today, using store-bought gelatin is very common because it is time-consuming and easy.
3. Olivye – Ukrainian Potato Salad
The first form of salad was created in the 1860’s by Belgian-born chef Lucien Olivier. He offered this refreshing drink to the general public of his restaurant called Hermitage, one of the most famous restaurants in Moscow.
This salad quickly became a favorite at Hermitage. It eventually became a staple restaurant and one of Ukraine’s most famous drinks.
Olivye recipe requires diced vegetables, eggs, dill pickles, and other types of meat. After mixing the ingredients, it will be coated with mayonnaise and added with mustard, salt and pepper.
4. Pampushky – Ukrainian Garlic Bread
Pampushky is an example of garlic bread! With a soft pillow texture and delicious garlic ingredients, Ukrainian garlic bread will make your mouth watery.
These delicious leavened buns from Ukraine come in both delicious and delicious varieties. The delicious form is usually loaded with jam, berries, cottage cheese, and fresh fruit, while the delicious variety is often added with garlic sauce and served with Borscht (Ukrainian beetroot soup).
It is possible that German colonies were the ones who brought Pampushky to Ukraine. These delicious buns became a popular national dish in the late 19th century, eventually gaining “status” as a typical Ukrainian dish.
5. Bublik – Ukrainian style Bagel
If you consider yourself a fan of the bagel, Bublik is undoubtedly a must have! Bublik is a term used in Eastern European countries, especially Ukraine and Russia, to describe a round, boiled bun that looks like an American badge.
Although the Bublik look is similar to American bagels, this Ukrainian dish is thick and chewy texture. Also, Bublik is not considered for breakfast as bagels.
Many believe that Bublik originated in Kraków (a city in Poland) as it was first mentioned in the city’s Community Regulations in 1610. The bagel traveled through Poland to all parts of the Jewish population and eventually reached Ukraine.
This Ukrainian breakfast recipe was first sold on the street, where it was hung on street carts and given to passersby. But now, it has become a simple appetizer or a simple meal that everyone can enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.
Ukraine’s Main Dishes Worth Desiring
The main courses in Ukraine are usually full of protein proteins and other meat-based dishes. Beef, pork, or chicken; this place has it all! So there will be at least one meal that perfectly suits your preferences and current situation.
6. Okroshka – Summer Soup / Cold Soup
Okroshka is called “cold soup” for a reason! All in all, Okroshka is a very refreshing dish that combines light green vegetables with a fresh taste of Kvass (a real Russian drink) made from ripe bread).
Without its Russian origins, you cannot deny the popularity of this ancient soup in Ukraine and almost every other nation throughout Eastern Europe and North Asia.
Locals love to enjoy this soup in the summer to fight the heat in Ukraine. They often feed it in the cold, and sometimes they even put ice cubes in it to keep it cool in the heat.
7. Borscht – Beetroot Soup
This may not be the first time I mention the name of this dish, but this iconic soup needs to stand out more. The most popular version of this soup requires ripe beetroot juice, sautéed vegetables, and bone or meat.
There are also many variations of this popular dish throughout the world. Some are made of fish, while others use a variety of vegetables. Outside of Ukraine, beetroot soup is a popular delicacy in Moldova.
Despite the differences in the choice of broth from region to region, ripe beetroot juice is an irreplaceable element of this diet. Beetroot or beetroot juice adds a distinct red color to the meal as well as a sweet and sour taste that everyone enjoys.
Borscht can be a hearty daily meal, however, it can also be used for holidays and even funeral ceremonies.
8. Solyanka – Delicious And Sour Soup
Ukrainian food is heavily influenced by Russian gastronomy, a neighboring country. That is why many of the most popular dishes in Ukraine came from Russia, and Solyanka is one of them.
This dish usually comes with sour cream, slices of lime and dill. And it is an effective hangover treatment for the amount of pickle juice in this soup.
There are three types of Solyanka: Solyanka meat, Solyanka fish, and Solyanka mushroom. They are all fun and different in their own ways.
The meat version has ham, beef, chicken breast, and sausages as the main component. It also contains other ingredients such as chopped tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and olives.
Solyanka fish need salmon, sturgeon, and crayfish for fresh water. Vegetables are like a meat-based Solyanka recipe.
Continuing on the Solyanka mushroom, the locals use chopped cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, and, of course, mushrooms. They also briefly bake the soup with bread crumbs and butter to taste.
9. Kotleta Po-Kyivsky – Chicken Kiev
If you crave a chicken dish, you should probably try Chicken Kiev. This dish is very easy to make at home, just take a flat chicken breast, wrap it in cold vegetable butter, cover it with crumbs and fry it well.
Although a modern recipe requires cold vegetable butter and plain chicken breast, it was often made with many ingredients and chicken bone.
Despite its popularity in Ukraine and many other countries, no one knows where Chicken Kiev came from or how it got its name. However, many people believe that Russian chefs in the 19th century developed.
It flourished in popularity around the 1970’s, but with the development of nouvelle cuisine in the late 1980’s, it quickly disappeared from popularity.
If this meal inspires you, here is a Kiev homemade chicken recipe!
10. Deruny – Ukrainian Potato Cake
There are many delicious potato dishes in Ukraine, but the most popular should be these delicious fried pancakes. Deruny can be found at any Ukrainian restaurant throughout the country. However, you can easily make some at home using simple ingredients.
With a soft interior and a shiny exterior, Deruny is definitely a must-have for all potato fans out there. Remember to eat pancakes in the hot season and combine them with a sour cream doll.
11. Holubtsi – Ukrainian Cabbage Roll
Almost every nation on earth has its own version of stuffed cabbage rolls. For example, Turkey has Sarma, Romania has Sarmale, and China has Báicài Juǎn ,. At the same time, the dish is called Kaalikääryleet in Finnish gastronomy and Holubtsi in Ukrainian cuisine.
Depending on what is available in the region, cabbage rolls can be filled with minced meat, veggie, or a combination of both. The filling of the stuffed cabbage rolls in Ukraine usually contains grain.
Besides, the way the Iranians use cabbage leaves is not the same in different places. Some areas use whole cabbage leaf while others split the leaf into smaller pieces. Occasionally, people will replace cabbage leaves with beetroot leaves or small grape leaves.
In the Right Bank of Ukraine, this dish is considered a holiday food and is a staple food in some regions.
Holubtsi is one of the most well-known Ukrainian dinner recipes. So if you are looking for a healthy and simple dinner option, learn how to wrap Holubtsi. Like Deruny, these sweet rolls go well with sour cream.
12. Banush – Ukrainian Hutsul Dish
This Ukrainian silk corn porridge is not only a popular delicacy throughout Ukraine but also an important part of the nation’s traditional diet.
Hailing from the Carpathian mountains, Banush was once associated with a number of Hutsul, and men were assigned to make food.
This traditional Hutsul dish is made from cornflour and sour cream. Occasionally, it is topped with ingredients such as slices of fried bacon, crispy cracklings, mushroom sauce, and crushed Bryndza.
13. Kutia – Christmas porridge
When it comes to well-known Ukrainian delicacies, you can’t ignore Kutia. This delicious cereal is often served as part of the pre-Christmas meal of 12 lessons, despite the pre-Christian creation.
This delicious meal requires wheat, almonds, poppy seeds, dried, and fruit. Kutia can also be added with honey or sugar.
The way the local people eat this Christmas meal is also very interesting. Kutia is left on the table all night with spoons of deceased ancestors after dinner. The people of Ukraine also used this meal to bribe Father Frost and ensure agricultural prosperity the following year.
14. Varenyky – Ukrainian Pierogies
These soft, creamy dumplings will satisfy your craving. Varenyky is a Ukrainian spin of the world-famous European cuisine Pierogies and plays an important role in Ukrainian culture. The town of Cherkasy even donated a monument to this meal!
Because of their neat shape, Ukrainian ancestors likened Varenyky to a small moon and used this meal in pagan rituals and sacrifices. Farmers also believed that Varenyky could bring a good harvest, so they often took some to the fields.
Cottage cheese, potatoes, cabbage, peas, and beans are the most common traditional Varenyky fillings.
In the past, Ukrainians used fermented milk (or Kysle Moloko) to knead the dough together, separating it from the same Pierogies from other tribes. However, locals often use eggs instead as they are cheaper and more accessible.
This dish is often seen in traditional Ukrainian festivals, such as the pre-Christmas meal. But it is also a common daily meal, either as a filling course or as a delightful appetizer.
What are you waiting for? Check out this tutorial and make Varenyky now!
Ukrainians use cornflour, butter, salt and water to make these foods. When ready to eat, it will be cut with a knife and served with Bryndza cheese (traditional food in Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, and Poland), bacon, pork chops, or mushrooms.
Polenta has several names. In the central part, it was known as the Malamal, but the Carpathians called it Kulesha. Despite name differences in different parts of the world, the Ukrainian Polenta recipe remains the same.
16. Pirozhki – Ukrainian Hand Pies
If you are looking for a simple but filling recipe for Ukrainian lunch, find Pirozhki! These yeast-shaped buns are a staple food in this country, especially when serving hot bowls of soup.
Although this dish originated in Russia, the popularity of these Ukrainian pies is undeniable. Pirozhki’s recipes are the same in two countries as well.
Pirozhki can be baked or fried, and is available in both sweet and savory flavors. Minced pies contain mashed potatoes, minced meat, boiled eggs, mushrooms, onions and cabbage. On the other hand, a delicious filling may require jam, quark cheese, and fruit.
Ukraine’s Most Popular Foods You Should Know -Finish Your Diet with Delicious Ukrainian Foods
Let us conclude this article with some of the most popular and popular Ukrainian desserts. From casual cakes or bread to different festive dishes and delicacies, these desserts will surely put a big smile on your face.
17. Pysanka – Ukrainian Easter Eggs
Easter in Ukraine would not be complete without these colorful Easter eggs. The name of this treatment is derived from the verb pysaty, meaning “to write” or “to write” as the designs are written with beeswax rather than painted.
Ukraine is not the only place to practice this Easter tradition. Several other tribes in Central and Eastern Europe also paint or decorate their eggs at Easter using wax resistance.
Many experts believe that the art of decorating the wax-resistant egg dates back to pre-Christian times. But since the shell of the eggs is fragile, there is no ancient evidence of true Pysanka.
18. Paska – Sweet Easter Bread
This delicious and fragrant Easter cake is considered a delicacy in this country. As the name implies, Easter is often celebrated during Easter. It is a tradition in Ukraine to fill the koshyk (Easter basket) with Easter and Pysanka, as well as other festive foods.
The Easter recipe calls for only simple ingredients like flour, egg, butter and milk. Some families, however, may add orange juice, ginger, rum, vanilla, or dried grapes to make it more palatable and unique.
Ukrainians believe that whispering positive thoughts while working on the dough will make the bread more delicious.
Traditionally, the place of bread was adorned with festive ornaments such as flowers or crosses, while modern versions were usually decorated with egg-white glaze, sprinkle, or poppy seeds.
Inside may be a yellow and white circle; these colors represent the resurrection of Jesus and the Holy Spirit, respectively.
19. Nalesniki – Ukrainian Cheese Crepes
Here is another classic Ukrainian breakfast option suggested with cheese: Nalesniki! These pancakes can be filled with a variety of ingredients, such as canned berries and sweet cottage cheese. You can top them with sour cream and extra berries.
In some cases, these small pancakes can be served with nutritious fillings such as Bryndza cheese, salted fish, pâtés, and mushrooms. A delicious version of Nalesniki is usually eaten at the end of a major lesson.
Nalesniki are often seen on special occasions and holidays in Ukraine, such as Shrovetide or Maslenitsa.
20. Syrniki – Cottage Cheese Pancakes
For those who enjoy a delicious, easy, and healthy breakfast, Syrniki will not disappoint! Although pancakes are a staple food in many other nations, those in Ukraine still stand out with the addition of cottage cheese.
Although invented in the 18th century, it is still popular today without much modification from the original recipe. This traditional Ukrainian dessert can be found in almost every cafe and restaurant in the country. So be sure to order during your visit.
Making Syrniki easier than you think.
21. Walnut Stuffed Prunes
When people think of desserts, they often think of cakes, pastries, and sweets. However, there is a different Ukrainian dessert that you should try at least once when you visit this country: prunes stuffed with walnuts.
It is made by soaking dried prunes in water for a few hours and then frying them with fried walnuts. Then the prunes are added with sugar and whipped cream and sprinkled with chocolate and crushed walnuts.
This unique summer food is nutritious. It can provide the body with beta carotene and vitamin K. Walnut-cultivated tree plants are usually served at Christmas, New Year or mid-summer.
22. Kiev Cake
The Kiev cake is a delicious Ukrainian dessert made with cocoa, meringue, buttercream, and hazelnuts. This bright and airy cake comes with soft decorative details and meringues like toppings.
The dessert first came to light in 1956 when a chef tried to prepare a pile of frozen cakes by spreading buttercream on top and decorating it with flower ornaments.
Later, in the 1970’s, the recipe was finalized with a variety of nuts, the most popular choice being hazelnut.
23. Korovai – Ukrainian Wedding Bread
Instead of a wedding cake that is very popular in the Western media, the Ukrainian people have a wonderful unusual cake that serves as the main ingredient in a traditional Ukrainian wedding.
This luxury Ukrainian bread is specifically for weddings. Korovai usually contains many sections of bread as well as intricate decorative designs that are strongly inspired by nature.
Traditionally, seven married women from seven different places come together to make Korovai a happy couple as a way to send their blessing to the bride and groom.
Ukrainian people can have good superstitions when it comes to Korovai. It is believed that when bread is broken during baking, it means that the marriage will not last. Apart from that, the widows are considered unfit to make Korovai as their fate will affect the couple’s marriage.
The upper part of Korovai is given to a married couple. The next episode will go to the mother and father of the bride. The lower part can be shared between guests and band members as a symbol of good luck and wealth of the future.
Korovai deserves more attention; this will help you to learn more about this iconic dessert!
24. Kalach – Ukrainian Christmas Bread
Ukrainian loves their bread, and always seems special. During the Sacred Dinner (Sviat Vechir in Ukrainian) on the eve of Ukrainian Christmas, you can see Kalach being used as the basis for the Christmas table.
Kalach is commonly made by knitting wheat dough and forming a large ring, which resembles a Christmas crown. In fact, the word kalach is a variant of the ancient Slavonic word kolo, meaning “circle” or “wheel”.
Kalach symbolizes prosperity, fortune, and good fortune for the coming year. When setting up a Christmas table, Kalach is often embellished and decorated with candles on the inner ring of bread.
The decoration, including Kalach, is left until Christmas Day as Ukrainian culture requires fasting until midnight on Christmas Eve.
Although this is a Christmas cake, the meal is also served with fresh fruit at funerals as a symbol of the deceased’s good deeds throughout his life.
What Did You Learn?
As you can see, the people of Ukraine are proud of their food. And why not? After all, their traditional dishes are not only outstanding in taste, but also reflect the country’s culture and long history.
After reading this article, I hope you are inspired to travel to Eastern Europe and experience this delicious food for yourself. Share this with your friends and encourage them to take a trip with you and learn more about Ukrainian food.
Also, remember to love this post if you enjoyed it. And if you have any questions, I would love to be helpful.