Hi Roman! Welcome to Culture Rendezvous. First of all, what is the most popular dish in Ukraine that every Ukrainian lady can cook?
Like rice or noodles for the Vietnamese, Borscht is the food that Ukrainian eat every day. And pretty much, any Ukrainian household, any Ukrainian housewife has her own idea about how Borscht should be prepared. But the classic borscht has meat, a lot of beetroots, cabbages, carrots, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. It has to be really thick when you prepare Borscht. And then on top you put sour cream and then eat with spoon. And for me our borscht is like “Bo Kho” in Vietnam. It has lot vegetables in it and of course the color is red, because of beetroots. I can say Borscht is kind of the most famous Ukrainian dish.
|Borscht is the food the Ukrainian eat every day.
It sounds like a very tasty and healthy dish. Are there any other famous foods from Ukraine?
And other Ukrainian famous food is dumpling but we call it Pierogi. You can make this dumpling with so many things inside, it can be mashed potato, it can be homemade cheese, or it can be liver or meat, it also can be cherries, strawberries, or apples. In some restaurants, they have like hundred and twenty varieties of dumplings, Pierogi. Pierogi is another food that Ukraine is famous for.
|Pierogi is another food that Ukraine is famous for.
Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe. It is known for its rich soil and favorable climate. Ukrainian food varies by region, right?
You have different foods for different regions for example Sapa in the North of Vietnam, the central, and to Saigon in the South so do we. We have significantly different foods for different regions of Ukraine like you have here in Vietnam, right. On the mountain, they have more lamp related dish. In the South down to the Black Sea, they have more food made from fish and seafood, of course. In the central of Ukraine, there are more foods made from potatoes. One food, that is particularly famous from Ukraine, like the world famous, and in any fine dining you can find is Chicken Kiev. Kiev is the capital of Ukraine. Chicken Kiev is chicken fillet wrapped around butter and then covered with crust. Then it is fried. When you cut through it, it has tender chicken fillet with melted butter inside.
No wonder Chicken Kiev is a world famous dish. Are there any signature drinks that we should try?
In Ukraine, there are a lot of fruit and cherries and berries drinks. The most popular one is made from dried fruits, and it is called Uzvar. The Uzvar is a national Ukrainian beverage. I think you can try this Uzvar in some Ukrainian restaurants in Hanoi. I guess they must have it. I think you must taste it to first of all get an idea about it and then you can tell your impression, right?
We also have Kompot which is made from fresh fruit. Kompot can be made from fresh apples, different kinds of berries and cherries. Kompot is a tasty fruity drink. Even in Vietnam we sometimes make Kompot with Vietnamese fruit. During the lychee season, we can do Kompot with lychee as well.
|Chicken Kiev is a world famous dish.
Can you share your recipe for a real tasty Kompot?
The simplest way you can do is that you just cut the fruit. You can cut the berries, cherries, or apples, you can do a mix. The more different kinds of fruit you put in the tastier your Kompot is. You can mix some sweet fruit and some sour fruit. And at the end your Kompot can have both sweet and sour taste. That is the most interesting taste. So when you make Kompot you just cut all fruit you have into small pieces. If you have some small berries, don’t cut, just leave them like that. And then you boil enough water, for example, if you have one kilogram of fruit and can make three or three and a half liter of Kompot. When the water is boiled, you put your fruit inside and sugar. Remember, sugar is all about taste, if you like sweeter taste, you can put more sugar and the first time, your Kompot maybe sweet or too sweet and then you can understand your taste and make it better the next time, with less or more sugar, right? You then leave it boil for about five minutes with a lid on. After it is cool down, you can put your Kompot in a jar and put it in a fridge or just drink with ice.