has a rich history and offers a wide variety of dishes. The cuisine of modern Ukraine
is based on traditional Ukrainian recipes, but also bears influences of its neighbours' cuisines like Russian
, and what can be called the soviet cuisine (dishes of mixed origins popular in the USSR
). Meat (especially pork), potatoes, vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, berries, and herbs play a major part. Ukrainian food is intended to be filling, and should be served in large quantities.
- Borscht — vegetable soup (most common form made with beets), popular among eastern Slavic nations. There are more than thirty regional recipes for cooking Borshch, often with meat).
- Hrybivka — mushroom soup, served with vushka in Volyn region.
- Kapusniak and solyanka — sauerkraut soups.
- Rosolnyk — soup with pickles.
- Yushka — fish soup, made of fresh-water fish, usually carp.
- Vushka or holushky — "little ears" rolled triangular dumplings, sometimes stuffed with mushrooms in soup or on the side .
- Olivye (from French "Olivier") — called the "Russian salad" in the West.
- Vinihret (from French "Vinaigrette") — red beet root salad with peas, onions and beans.
- Pickles — Pickled cucumbers (kvasheni ohirky) or tomatoes (kvasheni pomidory) are usually made with garlic and dill. Also, sauerkraut (kvashena kapusta).
- Kapustianyi — sauerkraut or fresh shredded cabbage, served with mayonnaise, oil, topped with klukva or grated walnuts.
- Vesnianyi — diced cucumbers and tomatoes, topped with dill or parsley, when in season.
- Oseledets — pickled herring, usually served with onions, black pepper and sunflower oil.
- Pid-shuboyu — beetroot salad with pickled herring, apple and onion, topped with mayonnaise.
- Marinated mushrooms — usually served as an appetizer, also garnished with oil and onions.
Breads and wheat products are very important to Ukrainian cuisine. Decorations on the top can be very elaborate for celebrations.
- Paska — traditional rich Easter bread. It is shaped in a short round form. The top of the paska is decorated with typical Easter symbols, such as roses or crosses.
- Babka - another Easter bread, usually a sweet dough with raisins and other dried fruit. It is usually baked in a tall, cylindrical form.
- Kolach - ring-shaped bread typically served at Christmas and funerals. The dough is braided, often with three strands representing the Holy Trinity. The braid is then shaped into a circle (circle = kolo in Ukrainian) representing the circle of life and family.
- Korovai - a round, braided bread, similar to the kolach. It is most often baked for weddings and its top decorated with birds and periwinkle.
- Pyrohy — baked/fried dumplings. Usually more of a dessert-type with fruit or poppy seed fillings and a sour dough than that of the Varenyky.
- Varenyky — boiled dumplings, usually filled with potatoes, cabbage, cheese, or seasonal fruits, topped with butter and sugar or shkvarky (fried bits of salo and onions), accompanied with sour cream.
- Cabbage rolls (holubtsi) — cabbage (or vine) leaves stuffed with minced meat and rice or millet (pshono), or buckwheat-stuffed beet leaves.
- Syrnyky — cottage cheese fritters, sometimes with raisins.
- Mlyntsi — crepes (blyntsi or nalisnyky), filled usually with cottage cheese, meat, caviar or fruits.
- Stuffed duck or goose with apples.
- Game — hare, quail, wild boar and moose meat is also prepared when available.
- Roast meat (pechenya) — pork, veal, beef or lamb roast.
- Fish (ryba) — fried in egg and flour; cooked in oven with mushrooms, cheese and lemon; marinaded, dried or smoked variety.
- Studynets — jellied fish (zalyvne) or meat (kholodets).
- Stuffed zucchini or eggplant—oven-roasted, stuffed with tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, and/or rice.
- Kasha hrechana zi shkvarkamy — buckwheat cereal with chopped, fried bacon and/or onion.
- Potato (kartoplia, also barabolia or bulba) — young or peeled, served with butter, sour cream, dill; a more exclusive variety includes raw egg.
- Huliash — refers to stew in general, or specifically Hungarian goulash.
- Sausage (kovbasa or sosysky) — various kinds of smoked or boiled pork, beef or chicken sausage.
- Salo — salted (or occasionally raw) unrendered pork lard, which is similar to bacon, but with significantly higher ratio of fat to meat. Salo is sometimes jokingly referred to as Ukraine's signature food. Other Slavs sometimes mock Ukrainians "salo-eaters", although many of them enjoy salo as much. Other European analogs of salo are the German speck and Italian lardo.
- Kotlety (cutlets) — (plural; singular - kotleta) minced meat or fish fritters, sometimes rolled in breadcrumbs.
- Shashlyk — a Georgian shish kebab: lamb and vegetables/mushrooms marinated in vinegar and grilled on skewers under white wine.
- Deruny or pliatsky — potato pancakes, usually served with rich servings of sour cream; another variation of a dish – deruny stuffed with cottage cheese.
- Kanapky — either black or white bread (fresh or slightly grilled)-based canapés, topped with mayo or butter, caviar, smoked herring, cucumber/tomato slices garnished with dill or parsley.
- Shpyndra - pork with beets.
- Sicheniki - minced beef with omelette and fried onions.
- Kutia — traditional Christmas dish, made of poppy seeds, wheat, nuts, honey, and delicacies.
- Pampushky — fried, rich sweet dough similar to doughnut holes. Frequently tossed with cinnamon sugar. Pampushky (pl., singular is pampusho'k) can also be filled with poppy seed or other sweet fillings.
- Syrniki - fried curd fritters.
- Cake — many varieties of cakes, from moist to puffy, most typical ones being Kyjivskyj, Prazhskyj, and Trufelnyj. They are frequently made without flour, instead using ground walnuts or almonds.
- Zhele — (plural and singular) jellied fruits, like cherries, pears, etc. or "Ptashyne moloko"—milk/chocolate jelly.
- Strong spirits (horilka, vodka in Russian) — Samohon (moonshine) is also popular, including with infusions of fruit, spices or hot peppers.
- Beer (pyvo) — the largest producers of beer are Obolon, Lvivske, Chernihivske, Slavutych, Sarmat and Rogan, which partly export their products.
- Wine (vyno) — from Europe and Ukraine (particularly from Crimea).
- Mead (mid, or medovuha) — a fermented alcoholic beverage made from honey, water, and yeast, which is regaining popularity. It tastes similar to cider, but its flavour depends on the plants frequented by the honeybees, the length of time and method of aging, and the specific strain of yeast used. Its alcohol content may vary from maker to maker depending on the method of production. Mead was originally home-brewed by housewives, but it is now usually purchased.
- Kompot (компот) — a sweet beverage made of dried or fresh fruits and/or berries boiled in water.
- Uzvar (узвар) — a traditional compote made of dried fruit, mainly apples, pears and prunes.
- Kvas (квас) — a sweet-and-sour sparkling beverage brewed from yeast, sugar and dried rye bread.
- Kefir (кефир) — milk fermented by both yeast and lactobacillus bacteria and having a similar taste to yoghurt. Homemade kefir may contain a slight amount of alcohol.
- Mineral water — well-known brands are Truskavetska, Morshynska and Myrhorodska. They usually come strongly carbonated.
- Ryazhanka (ряжанка) — another kind of natural yoghurt made of baked milk.
Ukrainian settlers from Galicia and Bukovyna arrived in Canada in the late 1890s. Many of the ingredients they had been used to cooking with (such as wheat flour, barley, rye, cabbage, and root vegetables) could be grown in their new land, but others could not. Although the parklands of the Prairie Provinces were fertile, they were also much further north and higher in altitude than the settlers' old homeland, and the growing season was consequently much shorter. This made the cultivation of crops such as buckwheat, plums, grapes, nuts, and poppies difficult if not impossible. The shorter growing season also meant that the traditional spring and autumn festivals meant to celebrate the beginning and end of the growing season often fell in the dead of winter. In addition, the semi-arid climate reduced the amount of honey and mushrooms available.
The settlers adapted to local conditions, substituting available ingredients for those not obtainable. Dried fruit such as prunes and raisins were used instead of fresh; short-season vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers were incorporated into recipes. Meats such as turkey, goose, duck, and local species of fish were originally used in substitution for pork, as there were initially few pork producers; later on, the immense amount of beef available on the Western Canadian (and especially the Alberta) market and its correspondingly low price meant that Ukrainian cooks were more likely to cook with beef than with pork or, especially, lamb. Attempts, many successful, were made to cultivate traditional ingredients such as poppy seed, honey, and mushrooms; once the settlers had begun to sell their grain crops and had ready cash, they often imported these items from further East as well.
These changes are evidenced in Ukrainian Canadian cuisine. Cabbage rolls or holubtsi may be made from parboiled or from pickled cabbage leaves - both fresh and pickled whole cabbage is available in almost all supermarkets on the Prairies - but the most common filling is a mixture of ground beef and rice, with pork a less common substitute. The rolls are usually cooked in a tomato sauce which may be flavoured with peppers. Perogies (the standard Canadian English word for varenyky) are usually filled with a combination of potato, onion, and Canadian-made cheeses such as Cheddar, Colby, or Monterey Jack, but are rarely filled with fruit or grains. (The popularity of perogies reaches far beyond the Ukrainian Canadian community; most supermarkets carry a dozen or more different kinds of mass-produced frozen perogies, and they are a common side dish.) Borscht may be beet-based or tomato-based. Desserts are less likely to be made primarily from ground nuts, and may instead be made from plain flour. Ukrainian sausage (known as kubasa) is heavily seasoned with garlic and Hungarian paprika and is used both in home cooking, restaurant cooking, and even fast food.
- Stechishin, Savella ( 1995). Traditional Ukrainian Cookery. 18th ed., Winnipeg: Trident Press. ISBN 0-919490-36-0.
- Stechishin, Savella Traditional Foods. Encyclopedia of Ukraine. Retrieved on 2007-08-10..
- (1984). Ukrainian Daughters' Cookbook. 1st ed., Winnipeg: Centax of Canada. ISBN 0919845134.