Russian cuisine was just one area that benefited from Peter the Great's wide-ranging 18th century program to Westernize his country. Peter encouraged European chefs to come and practice their art in Russia and promoted the importation of European foods. Many dishes we associate with Russian cuisine were developed and refined during this time.
In a land of harsh winters, it's no surprise that soul-warming soups are a mainstay. Undoubtedly the most recognizable to Westerners is borscht, a beet soup served with sour cream. Cabbage, potato, fish and mushroom soups provide additional comfort during the long Russian winter.
Other familiar traditional Russian foods include blinis (thin, yeast-risen pancakes traditionally made with buckwheat flour) and pirozhki (sweet or savory turnovers), Caspian caviar and beef stroganoff. Cucumbers, sour cream and mushrooms are also important ingredients, as are dill, horseradish and pickled vegetables."Read More"
Ukrainian cuisine has had a number of influences including Russian, Polish, German and Turkish. Popular ingredients in the cuisine of Ukraine are meat, mushrooms, vegetables, berries, fruit and herbs. As Ukrainians are extremely hospitable their meals are served in very generous quantities.
Some of the best Ukrainian cuisine is actually very simple. Many ingredients are used in what some mayit fo consider unusual combinations, creating a unique and sumptuous dish. Considered the “breadbasket of Europe”, it follows that bread is a staple in Ukraine. There are dozens of methods used in preparing breads, which are often used in rituals and customs. Dishes often contain pickled vegetables when these are not in season and certain dishes can only be made when ingredients are available. Pastries and cakes are popular, but not very sweet."Read More"