Updated: Dec 28, 2022
Borscht is a Ukrainian soup made from chopped beets, and cabbage with the addition of potatoes and various seasonings. Borsсht is a traditional dish in different Slavic countries. It is very tasty because of its many great components. Sour cream and salo add flavor to this dish. Most often, the word "borscht" means just red borscht.
The name “borscht” most likely comes from the borscht plant that was used in its preparation. This plant gave the dish a sour taste. But this plant has changed a lot nowadays and most of the modern species are poisonous, they can leave burns on the skin.
According to one version, borscht was first cooked on the territory of Kievan Rus in the 14th century. The richness, flavors, and variety of Ukrainian borschts were developed during the 18th century.
Borscht is famous for its sourness. But before the borscht was seasoned with tomatoes or tomato paste the borsht taste was obtained thanks to the use of beet kvass.
There are three types of borscht in Ukraine: red borscht, green borscht and cold borscht. Red borscht is the most popular borscht in Ukraine, it is prepared from cabbage, potatoes (from the second half of the 19th century), carrots, onions, parsley, dill, and beets.
Green borscht is a sorrel or spring borscht. It is cooked in the spring, with young greens. It is prepared from young sorrel, potatoes, and a chopped boiled egg. Usually, we serve it with sour cream.
Borscht is undoubtedly one of the cultural symbols of Ukraine. It is not only an everyday food, but also a ritual food: borscht was cooked for weddings, christenings, and funerals. In rites of invoking rain, a pot of borscht was offered as a sacrifice. The taste of the dish depended on the season, the calendar of holidays and fasts, and last but not least, on the social status of the owner. Ukrainian borscht prepared according to authentic recipes is a unique dish. The ratio of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in it is such that it is difficult to find a more balanced dish.The balance of nutrients in this dish provides a choleretic agent, which has a positive effect on the liver, where the blood is purified. Such food is also useful because it has a beneficial effect on the work of blood vessels and the heart.
Usually, we serve borscht with pampushkas (small garlic buns), sour cream, green, garlic, and green onion, black bread, and, of course, salo (pork fat).
July 1, 2022, can become a truly international Ukrainian borscht day. The most popular dish in Ukraine is included in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The famous Ukrainian Chef Yevhen Klopotenko submitted such a proposal for consideration by UNESCO.
His team undertook expeditions in Ukraine and collected more than 700 pages of evidence that borscht belongs to Ukraine. He believes that borscht is more than just food. Borscht represents traditions that are passed down within the family, as well as between different families, communities, and regions.
In the video below, we have told something about Ukrainian borscht in Ukrainian (with subtitles in many languages) and showed you our own recipe (from VERBA school) for the borscht. Enjoy the video and send us pictures of your borscht! :)