Ukrainian cuisine has a very rich history and boasts a wide variety of special dishes. Ukrainian recipes show influence from Russia, Germany, Turkey, Poland, and Lithuania. “Soviet” cuisine, or dishes of several origins popular in the USSR, also influenced Ukrainian cooking.
Main ingredients of Ukrainian cooking include meat (pork especially), potatoes, vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, and berries. Ukrainian food is intended to be served in large quantities, and it is incredibly filling.
Borscht is a popular vegetable soup made most commonly from beets. Hrybivka is a mushroom soup sometimes served with vushka (small triangular dumplings). Vinihret is a salad made from red beets, peas, onions and beans. Other salads include vesnianyi (diced cucumbers and tomatoes) and marinated mushrooms.
Traditional main courses include pyrohy (baked or fried dumplings with fruit or poppyseed filling) and varenyky (boiled dumplings filled with potato, cabbage, cheese or seasonal fruits). Roast meat, especially pork, beef, or lamb, and game are a part of Ukrainian meals. Fish is fried in egg and flour, or cooked in the oven with cheese, lemon and mushrooms.
Ukrainian desserts include pampushky, which are similar to doughnut holes. They are fried and tossed with cinnamon sugar. Jellied fruits and cake are also popular ways to end a meal.
Breads are a very important part of Ukrainian cooking. Traditional Easter breads include paska and babka; kolach is a ring shaped bread served at Christmastime.