The Ukrainian influence on the Polish cuisine - Ukrainian borscht

For me one of the best cuisine  is the Ukrainian one. I love  Ukrainian soups and pierogi. Ukrainian cuisine has had a big impact on Polish cuisine. Some dishes which come from  Ukraine are known in Poland very well, and nobody usually wonders about where they come from. I mean dishes such as slips wrapped , Ukrainian borscht, boiled pierogi, stuffed cabbage, and kutia which Poles commonly think of as theirs.
The fertile Ukrainian soil yielded plenty of cereals and oilseeds, vegetables and fruit as well as honey. The chancellor Duchy Ruthenian Yuri Nemyrych confirmed the agricultural richness of Ukraine in the Polish Parliament during the approval of the Treaty of Hadiach.

In Ukraine  the production of cereals was relatively easy and it meant that the diet was based on farinaceous of dishes. In the seventeenth and eighteenth century there  was enough grain, not only for the Ukrainian and Polish population but the Ukrainian people were the most nourished population of Western Europe.  Ukraine was the granary of Europe, and Gdansk was the gate to this granary. This city was a centre of handling and transport of cereals.
The Ukrainian wheat flour was highly valued by Polish cooks.  Very popular in Poland “pierogi ruskie” (Ruthenian dumpling) originate from Ukraine.
In Poland  dumplings are often served with greaves from bacon - this way  comes from the Eastern neighbours of Poland.
One of thecharacteristics of Ukrainian cuisine is the use of animal fat not only to bake and fry, but they were also used to garnish dishes. Lard also is added to borscht, cabbage soup and broth. Greaves of  bacon are very tasty gravy for some meals, hałuszek and dumplings. In many Eastern regions of Ukraine  lard was eaten with bread, cucumbers and garlic for breakfast or afternoon tea.

Stewing dishes is another characteristic thing from Ukrainian cuisine which has had a big impact on Polish cuisine.  In Ukraine, since time immemorial the oven has had multiple functions. It was used to heat cook, bace, stew. Stewing is a method of preparing meals in the stove and it allows to preserve the natural taste and smell and it is much healthierthan frying or roasting on an open fire.

Currently the Ukrainian cuisine is known in Poland but only with the influence of Polish cuisine. The main soup of Ukrainians, the Ukrainian borscht,  is prepared very often in Poland.  In my country there are just a few restaurants where truly Ukrainian meals are served.  One of them is in Krakow.

How to make the Ukrainian borscht? Below you'll find a recipe. 

    0,5 kg  of beef with bone
    0.5 cup dry beans
    3 medium beet root
    0.5 medium cabbage
    5 medium potatoes
    3 medium carrots
    2 medium onions
    2 medium parsley roots
    2-3 bay leaves
    2-3 tbsp tomato paste
    1  garlic clove
   1tsp vinegar
    2 tbsp sunflower oil
3 tbsp fresh ceram
     salt, black pepper
   You will need a 5-6 liter cooking pot in order to contain your borscht.

   1. Soak dry beans for 2-3 hours.
   2. Cut the meat into pieces and place them in a pot filled with cold water. Bring to a boil and skim off any fat on the surface. In 30 minutes add the soaked beans, cover and cook for about 1 hour.
   3. While the meat is cooking, chop the beet as thin as you can. Place the beet slices into a frying pan with sunflower or vegetable oil and fry until soft (but be careful not to make it too soft!). You can add 1 tea spoon of vinegar to save beet color if you'd like.
   4. Chop the cabbage (also trying to make the slices thin), peel and chop the potatoes.
   5. Chop 3 carrots, 2 onions and 2 parsley roots. Fry them until the onion is becoming golden.
   6. When the meat is ready add some salt, your 2-3 bay leaves, peppercorns and potatoes.
   7. In 5-10 minutes add your fried carrots, onions, parsley roots and beets. Also add the chopped cabbage. Now slow cook for about 10 minutes.
   8. Add 2-3 table spoons of tomato paste, wait until it boils.Add a little bit of sugar if it is too sour for you. Add fresh cream and stir soup and cook 3 minutes.  Serve hot.


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