National Ukrainian cuisine has long been historically noted for a wide variety appetizing dishes and its originality expressed
in the widespread use of ingredients such as pork fat, beet, cabbage, wheat flour as well as other
basic food substances and secondly through the combination of different recipes and preparing them in varied ways.
The principle of ingredient selection, common knowledge and practice for all Ukrainians, irrespective of their location through
out the world has helped make Ukrainian cuisine both unique and original.
For instance… the use of salted pork fat in food has a rich historical past. Its use was introduced in the XVI - XVIII centuries
by Ukrainian Cossacks, beginning the popular use of pork fat in food in spite of the "busurmany" (mocking) from their enemies the
Turks and Tatars. The history of the Cossacks records they had a strengthened camp and island-fortress down river on Dnieper -
"Sich" from which they made attacks against "busurmany" thus protecting freedom, life and Christian's faith.
As a result of history, salted pork fat - "Salo" - is the favorite and most widely used product in Ukraine -
as a independent food, mostly served in a fried form called Shkvarki (cracklings), and may also be combined with various spices,
salted, boiled, smoked as well as the fatty basis for diversified dishes. Salo - is traditional Ukrainian appetizer often forming the central part of Ukrainian
"toast". Eggs fried on pork fat are a popular fast food.
This tradition of history may be a bit alarming to visitors from more cholestoraI-conscious cultures, in particular if your first introduction to this
tradition is seeing thick white rolls of pork lard on the butcher blocks in open markets. The salted and sometimes smoked pork fat crowned by a chewy
rind can be extremely tasty - in small quantities. However, should pay close attention that "salo" is completely assimilated meal (in contrast to meat)
and by using it, you do not grow stout.
I shall not tire my dear visitors with the long introduction and I invite you to try
traditional dishes of the Ukrainian cuisine. Only want to note that cookery recipes vary according to region of Ukraine,
the season, and family tradition.