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Sometimes known as halushky, varenyky are small boiled dumplings made with
rolled dough and filled with a special type of potato and cheese or some
other filling. Almost all restaurants serve them, usually with either cheese
or meat, and almost always with sour cream or a buttery sauce. Pyrohy
usually refers to larger baked, pie-like varenyky filled with the same kinds
of ingredients. Smaller, appetizer-sized versions of pyrohy are called
pyrizhky, which are either baked or fried.
The national soup, which has also been adopted by other Slavic cultures,
borsch is based on a beet and mixed vegetable broth that comes in dozens of
varieties. The most popular version is a clear broth, but sour cream is
Translated as "little doves," holubtsi are cabbage rolls stuffed with
seasoned rice and meat or buckwheat. The dish is usually topped with a
Known to the English-speaking world as Chicken Kiev, kotleta po-Kylvsky is a
chunk of boneless chicken stuffed with butter, then seasoned, floured, and
Kasha is basically a grain-based cereal. The most common kind is hrechana
kasha, a buckwheat porridge, seasoned and eaten with a sauce as a side dish
or as a stuffing.
Khleeb is the Ukrainian word for bread. Sweet breads and rolls (bulochky)
are steeped with honey and are often associated with holidays or ceremonies.
Babka is a sweet egg bread popular during Easter, but available all year.
Kalach is similar to babka, but denser and braided into a circular shape.
Paska is the official Easter bread, usually decorated and shaped into a
cross. Korovay is a tall, cylindrical traditional wedding bread. Pampushki
can be fresh rolls soaked in crushed garlic and oil, or a sort of sweet jam
or fruit-filled baked roll. Makivnik is a sweet poppy-seed bread flavored
with honey and molasses, popular around Christmas. Khrusty are deep-fried
strips of sweet dough coated with sugar, and medivnyk is a honey cake that
can keep for days without going stale.
Sterile bottled water is widely available for sale. It is also ok to drink
tapped water and well water. There is no detectable radiation in the water.
Alcohol is consumed in great quantities in Ukraine. In many cases, alcohol
is served during business lunches and dinners. It is expected that a man
will be able to down a shot of vodka (horilka), although women can usually
ask to drink wine or champagne instead. Shots are often chased by water or
soda. Drinking is usually accompanied by toasts, for which there are certain
rituals. Toasts are drunk to health of the assembled company, to friendship,
to success, to love, and so on. Alcohol is quite
inexpensive and easily accessible. It is illegal to drink and drive
throughout Ukraine. The fines are substantial. It is also not always safe to
buy alcohol in kiosks and/or on the street.