A taste of home: popular Ukrainian dishes

From beets to pancakes, food is an important part of Ukrainian culture. Many of the dishes are inspired by neighboring countries and Christian tradition. Bread is eaten almost daily and the most popular alcoholic beverages are beer and vodka.

With these two dishes you bring the Ukrainian homeland closer to the refugees:


Syrniki are thick, sweet pancakes usually served for breakfast. They are quick and easy to prepare and are often served with fruits such as raspberries or apples, fruit jam or honey and sour cream. These pancakes are especially popular during the week-long festival of Maslenitsa, which celebrates both the beginning of Lent and the end of winter or the beginning of spring.


Perhaps the most Ukrainian dish of all is borscht, a beet soup described as a symbol of Ukrainian unity, patriotism and peace. Traditionally cooked in an earthenware pot, this soup can be served hot or cold (ideally it should be suitable for the weather outside). Borscht is common in Ukrainian households, and many Ukrainians grow up eating it almost every week (or even every day). The soup is tasty and hearty and keeps for several days after cooking. It is usually prepared with beet and served with a dollop of sour cream.

Borscht recipe differs slightly depending on where in Ukraine you are from. In Poltavshchyna region, for example, chicken broth and soft noodle dumplings are added. People from the Carpathians add pickled cabbage, and those from the Zhytomyr region can add dried mushrooms or even dried fruit.