Food Culture and Tradition

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Belarus Foods Glossary


Buraki: a simple beet soup made with a rich meat stock, sliced cooked beets, a splash of lemon juice, and garnished with sour cream and sprigs of fresh dill.

Chiebny Kvas: A kind of cider drink prepared from dry rye bread. The dry bread is crumbled into a crock and boiling water is poured over. When it cools, dissolved yeast is added. The mixture is strained through a cloth, sugar and raisins are added and it is poured into bottles and tightly corked. After chilling for two days, the beverage is ready to drink. A little more sugar and some lemon juice is added to taste.

Chleb: bread.

Halubcy: cabbage rolls prepared with ground meat, beaten eggs, raw rice, and seasoning wrapped in steamed cabbage leaves. After frying the rolls in butter, diluted canned tomato sauce is poured over them and they are simmered for several hours over very low heat. These are usually served with cooked potatoes or fluffy boiled grains such as barley or kasha (buckwheat).

Hurkovy Rosol: a soup made with a meat stock and potatoes then flavored with chopped dill pickles and cooked chopped potatoes. A simple roux of flour and butter may be used to thicken the soup.

Kapusta: means cabbage but more often refers to sauerkraut.

Sauerkraut is usually prepared in some way before serving as a side dish for a meal. Sauerkraut is often drained, blended with butter-fried onions and a sprinkle of sugar then simmered slowly before serving hot. Other sauerkraut dishes combine cooked beets and/or potatoes as well as browned onions. Sauerkraut that has been fermented with apples and cranberries is also a favorite dish served with sour cream.

Kattlety: ground meat patties flavored with chopped onion and mushrooms, salt and pepper and bound with beaten raw egg. These are boiled or pan-fried or can be shaped then baked in the oven.

Kisiel: this fruit dessert can be prepared from any cooked summer fruits or berries. The hot cooked fruit is pressed through a sieve then returned to the heat and thickened with cornstarch and sweetened with sugar. While still hot, it is spooned into serving dishes to cool then served with light cream.

Kislaja Kapusta: soup made with pork stock and sauerkraut finished with sweet cream and slightly thickened with flour.

Krupnik z Hrybami a Miasam: barley and mush-room soup, thick and satisfying, usually prepared with a beef stock and garnished with sour cream.

Miadounik: a honey cake rich with sour cream, eggs, honey, and mixed spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. The top of the cooled cake may be frosted with chocolate icing.

Nadziavanaja Bulba: stuffed baked potatoes pre-pared by peeling large baking potatoes and baking till tender. The centers are gently scooped out and mashed with finely chopped boiled meat (usually from meat stock), onions, seasonings, and beaten eggs. The mixture is then heaped back into the potato shells, basted with butter and baked till lightly browned. These are served as a main dish.

Pirazki: little balls of unbaked yeast dough with fillings pressed into the center and the dough pulled over to seal. Left on a cloth to air-dry for about 20 minutes, they are deep-fried to a crispy brown, then served hot with sour cream as a main dish. Prepared smaller, they may be served in clear soup.

Piroh iz Hreckich Krup iz Tvoraham: a main dish or a side dish prepared from cooked buckwheat mixed with cottage cheese, eggs, and sugar. This mixture is pressed into a buttered pan and topped with a custard mixture of beaten eggs, sugar, and cream. It is baked until the topping is set. Then melted butter is poured over as a finishing touch, and sour cream is added.

Scaujo Chaladnik: a springtime soup made with fresh sorrel, chopped and boiled. The soup is seasoned with salt and pepper then served with chopped green onions, cubed cucumbers, hard-cooked egg slices, and sprigs of fresh dill.

Zacirka: general name for egg barley, prepared by blending flour and a little salt into beaten eggs to form a thick mixture. This is then pressed through a coarse sieve or dropped in small bits from a spoon into boiling broth or water to form tiny dumplings. These can be served in soups, mixed with grains such as cooked barley or kasha (buckwheat), or served as a side dish to be topped with melted but-ter and sour cream.

Zapianka z Jablykami: a baked rice pudding dessert with apples. After slow baking, a buttery brown rice crust is formed and the apples cook fragrant and tender. The dessert is cut into large squares and served with sweet cream or sour cream stirred with sugar. Such a dessert often makes a light meal when served after a bowl of soup.

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