Posts Tagged ‘Ukraine’

The Kharkov/Kharkiv circus! It is still popular today with kids and families. Tickets range between 20 and 100 hryvnias. For more information, check out this site.


Evstafiev-russian-circus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


New Kharkov Circus. Вид через реку Харьков



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It was one of the few cities in the Soviet Union that saw the performances of many top performers in one certain area of entertainment… Can you guess what type of performance it is? (Hint: Face makeup and props with jokes were heavily involved)

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Ready for Round 2? Instead of pairing together countries with similar food traditions, let’s look at two cities with vastly different culinary tastes. In this week’s edition, Kharkiv is in one corner representing Ukraine, and in the other corner is Liuzhou, the representative for China. Let’s get started!

Kharkiv, Ukraine

Ukraine has an abundantly vibrant food culture, to the point where picking out a few dishes to talk about is particularly difficult! So as not to ramble on indefinitely, I chose two main dishes that are essential for any Ukrainian cook.


For example, did you know that Borscht is a Ukrainian dish? A vegetable soup characterized by the main ingredients of: cabbage, beets, potatoes, onions, garlic, sour cream, and dill. There are millions of recipes out there for different types of Borscht, but there is no right way to make it. Nonetheless, it is a national soup of Ukraine! Here is one site, and another, that have more information about Borscht (with recipes).


Borscht with a side of bread is one meal Ukrainians eat. Another is Varenyky. Varenyky is similar to Polish pierogi, Italian ravioli, or Chinese wantons. They are pockets of dough filled with some form of stuffing. Common fillings are potato, potato and cheese, cottage cheese, blueberries, and cherries. Typically, Varenyky are boiled and served with onions and sour cream. Instead of ham or turkey, Varenyky are the traditional Christmas Eve meal in Ukraine. You can find a recipe here.

Liuzhou, China

Chinese food in the US can range from Kung Pao Chicken to Pork Fried Rice to fusion restaurants mixing Chinese dishes with those from another culture. Although it is not too surprising that the regional specialties of Liuzhou tend to be missing from these menus. Liuzhou, in general, is known for two foods: snails and dogs.

Yes, that does say dog. No, there will be no recipe provided for a dog-based dish. If you are visiting Liuzhou, no need to panic, you will not be served dog without your knowledge.

English: snail shell

Instead, let’s focus on the snail dish called Luosifen. Finding a recipe for this dish has proven rather difficult, as when you type the name into Google, it thinks you mean “Lucifer.” Luckily, there are a few sources that at least describe this dish. It is a snail soup with chili, vegetables, and rice noodles. Luosifen is considered a unique street food from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (which happens to be where Liuzhou is located). In a news article featuring a specialty restaurant called Mr. Luosifen, the ingredients are listed as: rice noodles, fermented bamboo shoots, dried turnip, and dried papaya. You can also add eggs stewed in snail soup or pickled beans. Here is more information about Mr. Luosifen and the other specialties they offer.

中文: 小籠包(上海市) 日本語: 小籠包 English: Xiaolongbao Bah...

Liuzhou’s location and diverse population mean that traditional foods differ between each household and each restaurant. Cantonese style cooking has been influential, with Dim Sum and Char Siu available on many menus. Hunan style cooking is also prevalent, with spicy chilies and garlic featuring in many meals. Households from the Dong and Miao minorities have separate specialty dishes that are also rather unknown in the US.

So as not to overwhelm everyone, I’ll leave a more in-depth search of these specialties for a later post.

Have a good day!


Liuzhou Eating

Cantonese Cooking

Hunan Cooking

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A fun-looking playset in Kharkiv, Ukraine!

Source: jacobms’ Flickr

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A really neat blue picture of Kharkiv, Ukraine.

Source: L-plate big cheese’s Flickr

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Photo a Day

“A dream is sweeter than honey.” — a Ukranian proverb.

Source: CincinnatiSisterCity.org

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Kharkiv, also spelled Kharkov, was founded in 1654 by the Cossacks to defend Moscow from angry nomads.

It rose in prominence from 1917-1934 when Kharkiv was the Capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

During WWII (the Great Patriotic War in Russia), Kharkiv lost more civilians than any place in the Soviet Union!

Also, there is a memorial commemorating the Jewish civilians killed in Kharkiv during Nazi occupation.

Can you guess what religion is most popular in Kharkiv?

A) Lutheranism

B) Eastern Orthodox Christianity

C) Roman Catholicism

D) The Greek Pantheon


B! (If the picture above did not give that away)

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