Food and Culture

Food

Food in Ukraine is dominated by three top cuisines. The borsch, varenyky and salo. Borsch is the traditional soup basically made of beets, cabbage, meat, potato, tomato, pepper and so on. There is a saying that no woman can get married unless she knows how to cook this menu. Varenyky, which is also known as Pierogi, are dumplings. They are made of unleavened dough cooked in boiling water. Salo, against a widespread stereotype, contains only traces of cholesterol that causes atherosclerosis and obesity. It is consisted of slabs of fatback, with or without skin.

The two major vegetable in Ukraine are potatoes and cabbages. They are always present in every recipe cooked especially the potato. The popular meats are pork, chicken and fish. Unlike other nations who regarded breakfast as the heaviest meal, breakfast is Ukraine is usually light. Their main meal is on the mid-day.

Ukrainians preference of food is more on the quality or freshness, then taste and price. Trying to eat healthy as a choice in food would be around fourth priority, followed by the preferences of the family, availability, slimming and so on. Furthermore, they eat with fork in the left hand and a knife on the right hand. And it is impoliteness if elbows are placed on the table while eating.

Bread plays an important role in all Ukrainian folk customs. No significant Ukrainian can take place without it. Kalach is the bread for Christmas, korovai bread for Wedding and paska bread for Easter.

Tradition

Christianity is the dominant religion in Ukraine. It is a religious place. Ukrainians use Julian calendar so their religious holidays such as Christmas falls on January 7. But Easter follows the orthodox schedule, even in catholic churches.

On the Christmas evening, people gather at the family table. They share a traditional vegetarian 12-dish supper, likened to the holy supper, Sviata Vecheria in Ukraine. During this season, Ukrainians love to do caroling. In fact, kids do not go trick or treat instead, they go for caroling on the Christmas Eve. They do not look for gifts under the Christmas tree on Christmas day but wait for Saint Nicolas on St. Nicolas day, 19th of December.

People in Ukraine greet their honored guests with bread and salt. As it was mentioned earlier, bread has always a special meaning for Ukrainian people. It is also considered to be a holy gift to God. Also, weddings are full of rituals. Their clothes are full of embroidery. Crafting is widely characterized in Ukraine that includes wood carving, straw weaving, tapestry, rod weaving, painting, pottery and bead works.