Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hello from Ukraine!

I'm in Kiev right now! It's difficult to stay in shape on the road and I don't have any tips for you so I'm just going to write about some of the good food that I've eaten. My co-workers have been here many times before so they've taken me to some good Ukrainian restaurants, although tonight we are headed to an Irish pub. My family is from Slovakia, which borders the Ukraine, so I'm actually pretty familiar with the culture and food here, and I can even understand quite a few words (unless they're written because I don't know the cyrillic alphabet). The architecture (especially Soviet-era) is also pretty familiar. Below is a picture of a cathedral that I saw while taking a walk.

Below is a picture of a traditional Ukrainian dish called deruny. They are basically just potato pancakes, and these came with mushrooms inside of them. There haven't been a lot of vegetarian options so I've eaten these at almost every meal, plus they are delicious!

Rus Borshch (pictured below) is a type of beet stew that is also a traditional and very popular Ukrainian dish. It's probably not vegetarian because most soups here are made with chicken broth (I know that from my grandma's cooking), but still delicious! The basis of the soup is beets, and it's often served with sour cream, which gives it a pink color. I tried to stay away from the sour cream because dairy makes my stomach hurt! I might try to make this soup at home.

Being in Kiev has really made me miss Slovakia. I haven't visited in almost four years, and I used to go every year! Grad school and internships have really interfered with my travel. I haven't seen most of my extended family in forever and I haven't even met some of my cousin's new kids. But my family is planning to go next summer so I'm looking forward to it!

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