We recently wrote that the RDS group created a unique “Gourmet Routes” project, including a gastronomic map and guide. We are interested in discovering which locations of the southern part of the Odessa region entered this year’s guide.
It is time to take a ride by the new roads and discover craft Ukraine. Every year, new craft farms emerge in Ukraine. And the existing ones open their doors to guests.
It is not always easy to learn about Ukrainian craft farms. Small manufacturers do not have the advertising funds to become known in the whole of Ukraine. That is why RDS group have decided to help food connoisseurs to experience Ukrainian craft food right where it is made, and to help craft producers to find admirers of their products.
Odessa region. South
Soups, cabbage rolls, pirozhki buns, pizza, pilau, pelmeni, and even rolls — all with snails. These are dishes offered at the first Bessarabian snail farm. A special delicacy for gourmets is snail caviar resembling osetra caviar and having a romantic name — ‘Aphrodite’s pearls’. But here, it has a special taste because the snails feed on Budzhak steppe herbs
Ivan Plachkov is known to many Ukrainians as a statesman. Now, the Plachkovs are famous thanks to Kolonist — their family winery in the eastern part of Odesa oblast. Their vineyards are located along the south-western shore of Lake Yalpuh. The Kolonist wines have been given multiple awards at Ukrainian and international wine competitions. Besides wine, the Plachkov family produce ‘Bessarabiko’ balsamic vinegar.
Bolhrad is referred to as the “Ukrainian Bulgaria”, and it is Bulgarian cuisine and hospitality that is offered at Balkanski Yastia mehana. Mehana has nothing to do with mechanics. This is a Bulgarian word standing for a traditional food outlet, something similar to a Ukrainian korchma (inn). You should try local dry-cured sausages — sujuk, karnak, sushenytsia and dried pork and beef. At the site, you will find a museum of traditional costume and household items.
Vesela Dolyna village
The vast Frumushika-Nova complex offers everything the south west of Ukraine is famous for. Here, you will find a winery, a sheep farm, open-air museums, and the green village tourism centre for family recreation. The complex is named after a Moldovan village that stood here until mid-XX century when it was settled out to make room for a military training area.
The cheese dairy is located near an ancient Roman earthworks — Trajan’s Wall. The tasting sessions take place in a cool cellar where various sorts of cheese are ripening. They produce cow, goat and sheep cheeses from whole milk and original ferments using a proprietary technology. Guests can take part in the cheese production process.
Frenchman Christophe Lacarin came to Ukraine in 2001 thinking his journey would be a short one. But he stayed here and established a full-cycle winery at the site where a farm of Swiss colonists used to be. During a wine degustation, guests will be treated to brynza cheese, family recipe French pâté, and home-baked bread.
Experienced Ukrainian masters use Dutch equipment to create incredible cheeses: hard and soft ones, cheese for frying and even sweets made of a ricotta and Gouda mix. Here, something unique is offered — a hot tasting session. You will be taught to fry Cypriote halloumi cheese and will be treated to raclette — hot potatoes with ham doused in melted Swiss cheese.