Located in between Poland, Belarus and Russia, Ukraine stands alone as the second-largest country in Europe. The geography of Ukraine, including its stunningly scenic landscape with gorgeous mountains and the Black Sea coastline, allows for Ukrainians to plant and grow their crops on fertile grasslands. Ukraine receives approximately 28 inches of rain, which produces a healthy and strong harvest. Nearly 60% of the soil in Ukraine can produce vegetables, which means an abundance of wheat, sugar, and potatoes are accessible year-round.
Ukrainian Culinary History
Researchers have documented that cultivation, as well as hunting & gathering in the Ukrainian regions, goes back as early as 4000 BC. The bountiful & fertile soil made the Ukraine and lucrative place to settle, and when settlements were arranged, there was an increase in pig and cattle herding. If you were to travel to western Ukraine, you would discover the Carpathian Mountains, which supply wide meadows for cows to graze – the care and ethical treatment of livestock produce tender and juicy beef products for Ukraine. Although Ukraine was under the control of other regional powers up until 1991, the culinary traditions never wavered and remain a staple in Ukrainian culture today! So many revered dishes come from Ukraine, such as potato dumplings – the preparation of such dishes stems entirely from Ukrainian tradition.
Our Delicious Ukrainian Recipes
If you were to journey to the southern region of Ukraine, you would stumble upon steppes that boast the healthiest and uttermost fruitful soil in the entire world. In fact, due to the abundance of rain, Ukraine may be best known for its Chernozem, which, when translated into English, means “black soil.” Ukraine is commonly referred to as the “Breadbasket of Europe.”
Most delicious meals are derived from homegrown grains and hearty vegetables. In many of our soups and salads, you will find an array of different ingredients like grapes, mushrooms and cabbage! Ukrainian culinary tradition typically calls for all dough products to be either baked, boiled, or fried, the latter being how some of the most savoury ‘Varenyky,’ otherwise referred to as dumplings or pierogies. The unique thing about Ukrainian dishes is that while all dishes follow the same blueprint, the difference lies in the personalized preparation by Ukrainian families & restaurants.
Ukrainians typically eat light breakfasts, which generally consist of coffee or tea, a pastry or cereal. Main courses are commonly eaten in the middle of the afternoon and contain dishes like soup and a plate of beef, pork or chicken. Following the main meal, Ukrainians will commonly consume their third meal in the evening around 6 or 7 pm and should be considered a family affair. This meal is where brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers all sit down to catch up on the day’s events and laugh over a hearty meal.
As you can tell, Ukrainians are passionate about their food, not just the flavour, but the preparation and history behind their cuisine as well. Yo Baba is proud to bring the tastes of Ukraine to Canada! For more information, contact Yo Baba today!