Ukrainian Food Preparation
We get a lot of questions about how to cook our great Ukrainian food so we’ve made this page that contains a little bit of history on each dish, as well as cooking instructions and suggested sauces. Hopefully with this information you can get that “just like Baba used to make it” taste. Smachnoho!
Perogy ( Pierogi or Varenyky)
Few things are more Ukrainian than the Perogy. The origin of the dish is debated with numerous Slavic cultures having close ties to this pinched-dough-delight. The etymological origin of Perogy comes from the proto-Slavic ‘piru’ and means feast and has traditionally been seen as much more than simply delicious half-moon carbohydrates. The dish played a ritualistic role by being a talisman and was taken to the fields to help bring harvest riches.
Sour Cabbage Rolls (Holubtsi)
Cabbage rolls have an international history dating back over 2,000 years ago. They came from the Middle East and moved to Eastern Europe as trade routes flourished and various ethnic groups migrated. The sour nature of these cabbage rolls come from fermenting cabbage and is common in Eastern-European food traditions.
Sweet Cabbage Rolls (Holubtsi)
Holubtsi are a popular dish for both everyday meal and as special occasion treat. For Sviata Vecheria (Christmas Eve Supper) in many regions of Ukraine holubtsi constitute one of the twelve traditional dishes served on the night. Although called sweet cabbage rolls they are not sweet, rather they are labelled sweet in opposition to sour cabbage rolls.
We all know the savoury perogy – those delicious Ukrainian dumplings – but what about sweet? These blueberry-filled perogies are a unique and fruity after-dinner dessert. Although not as traditional as blueberry, other fruits can substituted like peaches, cherries, or other stone fruit.
Some say that anything deep fried tastes better, you can be the judge of that. Although not a traditional dish, you can deep-fry any savoury perogy flavour. These crispy savoury perogies featured above are filled with our Potato & Cheddar filling and are sold in our delis.
Cheese Buns (Perishke)
Perishke are baked or fried yeast-leavened boat-shaped buns were once a popular street food in Ukraine. Known more affectionately to some Canadian-Ukrainians as cheese buns, they are be filled with a variety of items – ours feature dried cottage cheese & potato.
Cheese Crepe (Nalysnyky)
At the core of this traditional Ukrainian dish is the thin crepe or ‘mlyntsi’, as it’s known to Ukrainians. Some sources suggest the crepe was adopted from the French region of Brittany in the 12th Century and has since become a staple of Ukrainian cuisine. Ours are filled with cottage cheese and dill, is best topped with traditional dill sauce.
Ukrainian Sausage (Kielbasa or Kovbasa)
Sausage making can be dated back to 3100 BC in Mesopotamia. Since then it has travelled to Europe where it has become a meat staple of numerous countries. The exact regional origins of Ukrainian garlic ham sausage (or Kielbasa) are still debated but that’s ok, we all can enjoy this fantastic smoked and cured delight.
Kutia or Kutya is a ceremonial grain dish with honey-based sauce traditionally served by Eastern Orthodox Christians in Ukraine, Belarus and Russia during the Christmas – Feast of Jordan holiday season and/or as part of a funeral feast. The word with a descriptor is also used to describe the eves of Christmas, New Year, and Feast of Jordan days.
Beet Soup (Borscht)
Borscht derives from an ancient soup originally cooked from pickled stems, leaves and umbels of common hogweed, a herbaceous plant growing in damp meadows, which gives the dish its Slavic name. With time, it evolved into a diverse array of tart soups, among which the beet-based red borscht has become the most popular.
Cabbage Soup (Kapusnyak)
Cabbage soup may refer to any of the variety of soups that use cabbage or sauerkraut as a base. Cabbage soup is a regional dish that has numerous national names and can be prepared from vegetarian or meat (often pork or fish) stocks.
Although very little is written on the history of creamy dill sauce, what is known is that Ukrainians love this cream-based sauce for topping cheese buns and cheese crepes and other items. It’s very easy to make just click the button above for our Baba’s (not so secret) recipe.