Postcard: First taste of Ukraine | Brussels Travel Photographer

A bowl of Ukrainian borsch with a roll and a bottle of beer.

What comes to mind when you think of Ukraine? Since I travel with my stomach, one of the first things I thought of was food, more specifically, beets. So naturally our first meal in Ukraine needed to be борщ (borsch). Being fairly new to Slavic cuisine, I thought all borsch was basically the same from country to country. This could not be farther from the truth. Just in Ukraine alone there are several different types: hot and cold, red and green. A good bowl of typical Ukrainian borsch usually contains a hearty helping of beets, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, tomatoes and sometimes meat, seasoned with dill and garlic, simmered in a rich meat stock and topped with a dollop of smetana (homemade sour cream). It’s eaten year round, but is especially welcome on those frigid winter nights, I’m sure. It’s substantial enough as a meal in itself and is usually served with bread.