Ukrainian cuisine is unique, varied, but at the same time very specific. If you have never tried any Ukrainian dishes, you should definitely try some when you travel to Ukraine. There is a traditional dish for everyone. Carnivorous dishes, traditional vegetarian and vegan dishes are widely available during Lent, sweet pastries and desserts are also scrumptious, so you are sure to find a new favorite in Ukrainian cuisine.
If you’ve ever heard of Ukrainian food, this is probably the first dish that people mention. It is a delicious beet-based soup, but it also contains other vegetables such as cabbage and potatoes and the classic version usually has beef, but there are variations with other types of meat and a vegetarian variation that is very commonly served during Lent. Borsch is also often served with pampushky, which is like a savory garlic bread roll.
Varenyky are Ukrainian dumplings. There are many variations of this dish and it can be made sweet or savory. You may have also heard of pierogi, it’s essentially the same thing. The most classic varenyky are made with mashed potato filling, then boiled and served with sour cream. Other popular variations of varenyky are made with cabbage and cottage cheese filling, and the most popular sweet ones are made with cherries, apples or cranberries. Sweet varenyky are usually served drizzled with honey instead of sour cream.
Deruny are savory pancakes made with grated potatoes, onions and eggs. They are essentially French fries, but much better and much tastier. The classic deruny are made only with potatoes, but there are many other ways of preparing them that are popular throughout the country. People often add parsley and dill to the potato mixture for flavor, others also like to add some mushrooms to the mix.
Holubtsi is a very popular traditional Ukrainian dish often served during the Christmas holidays, but it is not limited to just the Christmas season. You can make them whenever you want, but they are most popular during the winter month. They are basically cabbage rolls filled with rice and meat. But during Lent they are made without meat, instead the filling consists of rice, carrots and onions.