Food in Russian and Ukraine: Of Trees and Pigs

August 30th, 2009 by Mark Leave a reply »
A common food in Ukraine

The worst food in Russia - Salo

One of you guys asked about the FOOD IN UKRAINE, which I’ll get to, at least in part. Today I’ll cover the worst Russian food. The reader also asked about sports here, but all I’ve seen is soccer, soccer,soccer, and a bit of street hoops. Ok, so here’s today’s blog post:

This city is so green and lush. If the trees had it their way, there wouldn’t be a building or even a brick in sight, but instead one endless forest. And since there’s virtually no landscaping whatsoever (which is GREAT, by the way. How I despise those noisy, polluting leafblowers which are ubiquitous in the U.S. and do nothing other than blow leaves and debris from the sidewalk, onto the street and into the air. Can anyone say broom?) What was I saying? Oh, yeah, so since there’s no landscaping, the grass grows full length. As do the weeds. It’s a jungle out here. And it often looks like it’s snowing; there’s some tree from which falls this cottony/snowy substance. Anyway, it’s been a long time since I’ve lived in so verdant a city.

This is a bit of a non-sequitor, but they eat pig fat here. In my opinion Salo (pig fat) is the worst food in Russian/Ukraine. It’s not pickled, not fried, not prepared in any way, in fact. Just a white slab of pig fat, which they then slice into thin strips and eat on bread or crackers. I’ve been offered it more than once in the little time I’ve been here. My landlord Oleg offered to leave me his pig fat in the fridge, as incentive for moving in. Pig fat, you say? Hand me that lease immediately!

Anyway, more about food in Ukraine: For breakfast I either cook kasha (which is boiled oats. That makes it porridge, I guess? Tastes decent enough, and cheap.) Or I eat muslix cereal.
The other meals vary. Every day I have Greek Salad, which is delicious and consists of the following: diced tomatoes and cukes, olives, fetta cheese, diced yellow peppers, and a very tasty light dressing similar to Italian. So, that’s a given, whether I make it at home or buy it in some cafe.

I like pelmeni, which are basically small raviolis with various fillings. They cook in seconds. I occasionally make pasta, but you can’t find spaghetti sauce here. I’ve bought several versions of their spaghetti sauce, and they’re simply ketchup. Yuch. I also do chicken and rice sometimes. And smoked fish on fresh bread. I would kill for good cheese just haven’t found any cheese whatsoever that’s worth commenting on. And toss in lots of baked bread products. The other day the bakery made this mini loaf of what was basically pound cake with a thicker, darker crust. Oh my God was that delicious. I have GOT to find a different route home!

And there you have it. A snapshot of the food in Ukraine.

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