Belarusian cuisine was formed over many centuries and only in the last 150 years it was able to find its final appearance. The Belarusian national cuisine has much in common with the cuisine of neighboring countries, in particular with Russian, Polish and Ukrainian cuisines, and Belarusian dishes have absorbed many of the national cuisine of Lithuanians and Latvians. In many ways, the traditional recipes of Belarusian dishes were formed on the basis of the characteristics of agriculture, namely the prevalence of grain, potatoes, vegetables and fatty meat.
Dishes from potatoes and vegetables
Thinking about Belarusian cuisine, most of us are remember dishes from potatoes, and this is not surprising, since it is the potato that can be safely called a national product. This is explained by the historical past: in Belarus, potatoes appeared earlier than in neighboring countries, and eventually became better established due to a favorable climate. A good climate also contributed to the breeding of new delicious varieties of potatoes. In the Belarusian culture, potatoes have the same importance as bread.
The peculiarity of the potato dishes of the Belarusian cuisine is, firstly, the preferential use of grated potatoes in them, and not a whole potato, and secondly, several ways of preparing grated potato mass, and, thirdly, the use of necessarily combined heat treatment. Distinguish tarkovannuyu (raw potatoes, grated, and not squeezed), knifed (grated raw potatoes, carefully, completely rejected) and boiled-pounded masses and their combination with flour and soda. Special popularity among Belarusians is enjoyed by traditional potato pancakes – potato pancakes, which are served with sour cream, fried lard (bacon), mushrooms and various sauces. Draniki is, perhaps, the most famous Belarusian dish.
From the potato, casseroles and cakes with various fillings are prepared (for example, another famous dish is a potato head). Whole potatoes are consumed only in two types – boiled in a uniform and braised. From vegetables it is possible to allocate cabbage, carrots, peas, beans and a radish. Of them, prepare salads, add casseroles and pies, stew or fry along with meat and potatoes.
Flour dishes in the Belarusian cuisine are not necessarily considered a dessert, as in the national cuisines of other countries. For example, Belarusian pancakes sachni or nalistniki can be both dessert and an independent dish, depending on the filling (cottage cheese, berries, meat, potatoes, etc.). From flour dishes, it is also worth noting the famous kletski – boiled dough balls, served with sour cream, cracklings or fried onion onions.
Belarusian dishes from meat
The use and preparation of meat in the Belarusian cuisine also has a number of features. Belarusians are fond of pork, beef and other fatty kinds of meat, and they will not pass by the roasted fat – the most desired seasoning for any Belarusian dishes.
Pork is often used for making home-made sausages. Traditionally, in the Belarusian cuisine meat is often stewed or fried, soaked in water or in kvass, served as a filling for pancakes or as an independent dish, often using meat by-products (kidneys, heart, lungs, etc.) and even dried together with spices. With the meat often prepared sorcerers – potato products, stuffed with meat or minced meat with seasonings.
Mushrooms are often served with meat, they are used as a flavoring that can diversify the taste of the main dish. Among the popular dishes is a roast (stew in vegetables and mushrooms) and cabbage soup (cabbage soup with mushrooms and meat).
Among the national Belarusian drinks, various types of kvass have gained particular popularity: traditional kvass from malt, as well as kvass based on birch or maple juice. Of alcoholic beverages is popular medovuha (a drink of honey, berries and herbs, prepared by fermentation) and sbiten (a hot drink made from honey and spices).
It should be noted that the main thing in traditional national Belarusian dishes is the process of preparation. Baking, boiling, languishing, stewing – these are just some of the traditional ways of cooking in the national cuisine of Belarus. Most dishes are served in earthenware, which gives the meal a special entourage.
That’s all we wanted to tell you about the Belarusian cuisine. If you want to learn more about traditional dishes, then read our article about Top 10 Delicious Belarusian Dishes!