Ukrainians celebrate both Christmas and New Year, serving generous dinners for the whole family and guests.
Despite Christmas dinner (which focuses on traditional Ukrainian food), the New Year feast is mainly presented by the Soviet dishes. During Soviet times in Ukraine, the New Year dominated over Christmas due to the ideological views of the communists. Nowadays, it is up to each family or person to decide how to celebrate these holidays. The majority of Ukrainians prefer to stay together with their family on the New Year Eve, which makes this feast a cozy family holiday.
Here are six dishes that one would find on the table of any Ukrainian family on New Year Eve.
Kholodets, or meat jelly, is a dish from meat broth. It gets its name from the word холод (kholod), which means cold in Ukrainian. Usually, it is served during winter holidays in Ukraine and other post-Soviet countries.
Kholodets is served cold as an appetizer with a hot mustard or strong horseradish sauce.
Салат “Шуба” –Shuba Salad
Shuba salad (dressed herring, herring under a fur coat) became a popular New Year dish in the 1970s. It is a layered salad made from salted herring, beet, potato, carrot, and dressed with mayonnaise.
The name шуба (shuba) means a fur coat that is why it is also called оселедець під шубою – herring under a fur coat.
Салат “Олів’є” –Olivier Salad
Olivier is the most popular salad in post-Soviet countries. The original recipe by French chef Lucien Olivier includes capers, quail, crab, and mayonnaise made from olive oil, but during Soviet times these rather expensive and exotic ingredients were changed to simple green peas, chicken, and sausage.
The ingredients of Olivier salad: boiled potatoes, dill pickles, peas, eggs, carrots, and boiled beef/chicken or sausage.
Бутерброди з ікрою / шпротами –Tartines with caviar / sprats
Tartines are appetizers on the New Year table. Usually, people put butter and a teaspoon of caviar or two sprats on slices of white bread.
The smell of tangerines is a symbol of winter holidays in Ukraine. This tradition also takes its roots from the Soviet times. Every December, the Caucasian USSR republics had a huge harvest of tangerines, so other republics could buy it and have as dessert during winter holidays.
Печінковий пиріг –Liver Pie
Сhicken/beef livers make the base of this traditional Ukrainian pie, made from crêpes, layered with garlicky, dill-infused mayonnaise/sour cream on it. Ingredients include liver, eggs, milk, flour, carrots, onions, garlic, and sour cream/mayonnaise. It is a very rich and nourishing dish.
What dishes have you tried from this Ukrainian New Year list? What do you still want to try? Share your thoughts in the comments.