Ukrainian cuisine is known far beyond the borders of the country, and those who have been here at least once can hardly forget the delicious taste of borscht or sweet dumplings. The last dish, by the way, is one of the most popular desserts in all regions of the country.
We have compiled a list of the 6 most popular Ukrainian desserts which could be found in cafes and restaurants all over Odessa.
Syrniki (Cheesecakes )
Fluffy cheesecakes are often called the Ukrainian analogue of cheesecake. Cheesecakes are fried pancakes made with homemade cheese, flour, eggs, and salt and sugar. Known since the 18th century and popular in all regions of Ukraine, cheesecakes can be both fresh and sweet, depending on the serving.
If you want to find something about cheesecakes on the Internet on English-language sites, look not only for the transcription of Syrniki, but also for the words cheese fritters. English-speaking people believe that cheesecakes are “cheese pancakes”, but they also give advice on the pronunciation of our native: SYR-nee-kee.
For foreigners, cheesecakes are associated with home-made Russian cuisine, just like pancakes, with grandmothers and traditional cuisine of the post-Soviet space.
So sweet syrniki can be sprinkled with icing sugar, honey and various jams. Syrniki are often served in city cafes with varied cuisine for breakfast or as a dessert.
Varenyki (Dumplings) with cherries
Let’s start with the simplest but most favorite dessert. Varenyky are also mentioned in Ukrainian folklore. This food even had a ritual significance – in ancient times, pagan Ukrainians brought it as a gift to the goddess of the moon, so they resemble the moon in shape. Moreover, women have always prepared varenyky as a symbol of creation and birth. Nowadays, delicious varenyky with cherries and other berries appear on the menus of many Ukrainian cafes and restaurants, and of course, they are often prepared at home.
It is best to serve sour cream or Greek yogurt with cherry dumplings.
Thin pancakes – Nalistniki
Interestingly that many think that nalistniki are just pancakes with a filling. In fact, the casing for the nalistniki differs from the pancake in taste and properties. Plain pancakes are thinner, more elastic, almost tasteless, they are needed so that it is convenient to serve the filling, so that its taste is not overshadowed by anything.
Nalistniki with jam and berries is one of the best examples of Ukrainian traditional cuisine. The dish is essentially rolled out thin pancakes with cottage cheese, sometimes topped with jam or sour cream for added sweetness.
The sweet filling is spread over the surface of the pancake and only then the pancake is folded or rolled up in a “tube”. After filling nalistniki are often poured with sour cream or sauce and baked.
Sochniki are prepared from a thin layer of dough stuffed with cottage cheese. In shape, sochnik is always originally semicircular. In Soviet times, this desserts were a very popular type of bakery.
Cottage cheese is often used in Ukrainian cuisine. If you look carefully at the beautifully made sochnik you can note its crumbly, slightly damp dough, as well as a soft, homogeneous and moderately sweet filling. The jagged edges of the dough and the shiny barrel are also striking. Sochnik with a glass of milk or a cup of tea is a great breakfast or an afternoon snack.
Previously sochniki were often included in the school menu.
The first honey cake was made by German chefs in the 12th century. Later, it spread throughout Europe, however, in each country it was modified. Almost every pastry shop baked a honey cake with its own ingredients, such as chocolate, nuts, dried apricots and others.
A delicious Ukrainian honey cake, known to Ukrainians as a Medovik, is a real Ukrainian dessert cake that we still love today. Many housewives prepare honey cake for birthdays or non-religious holidays that do not require pomp.
The technology of honey baking is “as old as the world” and originates in the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome. And this is understandable: honey is valued not only for its sweetness, but also for its ability to prolong the freshness of baking for a long time. After all, honey is a liquid absorbent.
There are different proportions when preparing the dough for Medovik, Each housewife gets their own cakes – from very thin to soft biscuits. Cream, too, with variations: sour cream, butter cream or custard.
We cannot forget to tell you about “Kyiv cake”. After all a round box with chestnuts has visited almost all countries of the world. This is undoubtedly a hit of sales “for a gift to relatives” from “abroad” and a favorite cake, which is ordered for the holidays.
The recipe for “Kyiv cake” is top secret, almost like a national secret. An employee of the Roshen corporation (once a factory named after Karl Marx), which owns the copyright for this culinary masterpiece, even signs a nondisclosure agreement, everything is so serious.
In due time they did not surrender secret knowledge even to Brezhnev. A five-kilogram Kyiv cake was presented to him for his 70th birthday by representatives of the then URSR. The General secretary was delighted and demanded to know the recipe, but here the Ukrainian confectioners remained unshakable.
Also, the factory is actively refuting the legend of careless workers who did not put the whipped egg whites mass in the freezer, thus creating the legendary crispy crust. It was in 1956, but the cake was patented in 1965. The recipe was slightly adjusted over the years, but the fantastic taste remained unchanged.