Ukrainian food has had a number of influences including Russian, Polish, German and Turkish. Ukrainian food has developed over many centuries and is considered one of the most diversified and tasty of all the Slavic cuisines.
The food reflects the countries location, climate and historical association with Russia. Ukraine is very regional with many variations of the same dish.
Popular ingredients in the foods of Ukraine are meat (particularly pork, closely followed by beef and chicken), mushrooms, vegetables, berries, fruit and herbs. Potatoes form the basis of many Ukrainian recipes. Bread is a staple in Ukraine and there are dozens of methods used in preparing it. Ukrainians enjoy a wide selection of tasty pickled vegetables. For those of you watching your waist-line, fresh tasty salads are popular and plentiful. Dishes often contain pickled vegetables when these are not in season and certain dishes can only be made when ingredients are available. Pastries and cakes are popular, but not very sweet.
Some common dishes include: "Pelmini", a kind of ravioli served most often with sour cream and a splash of vinegar versus a tomato based sauce, there are different varieties including pork, chicken, beef, mushroom and cheese varieties; "Borsch" is a soup, the main ingredients are beetroot, cabbage, potatoes, onions, garlic and sour cream; "Shashlik", is usually made from beef or pork that has been marinated in a mixture of vinegar, water and some spices, it is often cooked over wood coals versus charcoal and is eaten with a dipping sauce; "Kvassz" which is sold by street vendors and is a delicious cold and refreshing beer like soft drink which is brewed from bread with a very low alcoholic content.
Tea and coffee are popular drinks as is the ubiquitous Vodka as well as beer.