Belarusian cuisine: our guide in the world of food

Old Belarusian recipes have survived to the present day, and the county’s visitors show an increased interest in them. Restaurants serving Belarusian traditional food offer not only peasant cuisine of the Belarusian countryside but also elaborate dishes served to Belarusian magnates.

Jur is a very special unusual Belarusian soup. Its recipe goes back to the old traditional Belarusian cuisine. The basis of the soup is “oatmeal stock” that gives this soup a specific jelly consistency/texture and a specific souerish taste. There are several variants of this soup: Lenten, milk, meat jur.

Potatoes play a very important role in the national cuisine and are called “the second bread” in Belarus. This can be explained by history – potatoes were brought to Belarus about 75-90 years earlier than into Russia. Besides climate conditions in Belarus are very good for growing the types of potatoes that contain high level of starch, are tender and really delicious.

Dishes from potatoes are used as the main dish or garnish. The most well known potato dish is draniki – pancakes from grated potatoes. Draniki come in many variants with various fillings such as mushrooms, meat, sour kraut, fish or with various toppings – creamy machanka (meat or mushrooms machanka), sour cream, cheese etc.

Belarusians didn’t use yeast in Traditional Old Belarusian cuisine thus they didn’t cook pirogi (pies) or blini in those times. However Belarusians had their own type of blini called “raschinnie” (nalistniki) and made from oatmeal flour. To cook such blini Belarusians would mix oatmeal flour with water and let it get sour.

Babka is a national Belarusian dish out of grated potato and dressed with fried bacon, onion and meat. The dish is baked in the oven and served with sour cream and milk. However, certainly, potato is not the only one that the Belarusians eat. Carrot, cabbage, peas, sorrel, mushrooms, berries, river fish, as well as cultured milk foods are also widely used in the cuisine.

Traditional meat dishes are vereshchaka (or machanka) - pieces of short ribs and sausage stewed with water or rye beer and brewed in flour, sour cream and onion and served with pancakes. Machanka is a sauce that is cooked from multiple ingredients – different types of meat, vegetables, flour and water.

The traditional Belarusian non-alcohol drinks are – kvass and cranberry juice. The alcoholic ones are medovukha, khrenovukha and samogon (homemade equal to vodka) and normally substitute it in the modern Belarusian province.

Belarusian cuisine is characterized by the fact that we like cold soups. This soup we can make from beets, sorrel, nettles. Cold soups — it's the Belarusian culinary tradition.

Most of Belarusain traditional deserts are made from forest berries or garden fruits such as apples and plums etc. Using the berries Belarusains make kisel (thick sweet drink), kulaga, puddings.

However nowadays when you vesit Belarus you can enjoy a big variety of delicious very creative cakes, pies, cookies, pastries, puddings and other deserts.You should try baked apples filled with honey, apple pancakes, belarusian kulaga (made with some fresh berries), sirniki with raisins

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