- Who is the Ukrainian Kossacks?
- What is the traditional Kozak food?
- The most popular Ukrainian Cossacks dish Teterya
- Cossak traditional food Kulish
- Cossack fish soup Yushka
- Cossack special meat dish Pork head with horseradish
- Cossack everyday dish Halushky
- Cossack red beet soup Borshch
- Red beets Cossack dish Shpundra
- The Cossack sour dish Putria
- Kvasha: one of the best Cossack desserts
- The sweetest Cossack dish Shulyky
Who is the Ukrainian Kossacks?
As it is well known, Cossacks (Kozaks) were the Ukrainian elite warriors with a powerful democratic semi-military stratocratic state called Zaporozhian Sich in the 15th – 18th centuries. They inhabited the territories of central and eastern Ukraine, islands of the Dnipro river, and the territory of the Wild Fields in the Ukrainian steppe.
The unique Cossack traditions have come to our times and are the part of the cultural heritage of Ukraine.
“The steppe and freedom is the Cossack luck.” – the Ukrainian Cossack proverb
What is the traditional Kozak food?
Ukrainian Cossacks were courageous in battles, had an ideal discipline in campaigns. However, their incomparable heroism during fights with the enemy was combined with a very frugal everyday life and food.
In fact, because of their special style of life, full of training, workouts, military campaigns and battles, Cossacks developed peculiar taste stereotypes and habits. Actually, Zaporozhian Cossacks consumed mostly boiled, stewed and baked food. To cook it they made in the ground a little oven or carried a temporary portable stove on two wheels, called “kabytsya”. Ukrainian Cossacks ate very healthy and tasty food, using a lot of fresh ingredients, game and fish, and spices that they got during campaigns.
Etnocook made a list of the most popular Cossack dishes the recipes of which came to our day.
The most popular Ukrainian Cossacks dish Teterya
What is the traditional Teteria cereal kozak dish?
Teterya (Teteria) is made of millet porridge and sour rye dough. It was an extremely popular Cossack dish, especially during military campaigns when it was cooked in advance and consumed without warming up.
History of Teterya Ukrainian Kozak food
There is a testimony of the French cartographer, engineer and architect Guillaume Levasseur de Beauplan, who wrote in 1646 about Cossacks:
“… frost is no less scorching and destructively omnipotent… They [suffer from frost] are more likely to be exposed when they do not drink or eat any hot food. They [locals] usually consume it three times a day; it consists of hot beer with a small addition of butter, pepper and bread, which replaces their soup and protects the internal organs from the cold.” – Beauplan
Historians note that here Beauplan mentions one of the most famous first dishes – “Cossack Teterya”. It is known that the Cossacks carried rye flour dough with them in barrels along with millet porridge. This served them as their only food on boats or on guard when it was impossible to light a fire so as not to open up to enemies.
The recipe of the ethnic Kozak food Teteria
By the way, there are a lot of variants of Cossack Teterya. Sometimes it’s cooked without sour part and called Bratko, sometimes the rye dough was replaced by buckwheat. In addition, during holidays fish or meat broth was taken instead of water.
Read the recipe of the Ukrainian Cossack dish Teterya on Etnocook website
Cossak traditional food Kulish
What is Kulish?
Kulish is a very tasty and nutrient Ukrainian millet porridge. It was cooked by Cossacks during military campaigns. The traditional Kulish recipe is very simple and came to our days in different variants. Millet was known to the Ukrainian ancestors a long time before. There are researches that it had been cultivated on the territories of modern Ukraine since 5000 BCE. However, Ukrainian Cossacks made the salty millet porridge a special Kozaks dish liked by even very strict gourmets. Usually, this delicious Cossack dish was prepared over an open fire, so Kulish has another name – field porridge. A very thick Kulish was called Kuleba.
History of Kulish, the Kozak dish
Actually, Kulish is associated with Cossacks as Ukrainians with Varenyky and Borshch. The famous Ukrainian writer, poet and playwright, social activist Ivan Petrovych Kotliarevsky in 1798 mentioned Kulish in his poem about Cossaks Eneyida. Eneida (Ukrainian for “Aeneid”) is a mock-heroic poem in which Trojan heroes were transformed into Zaporozhian Cossacks.
“Here with lard dumplings were licked,
Lemishku and Kulish were swallowed.” – Ivan Kotliarevsky. Eneida
How to cook Kulish
There are different ethnic recipes of the Cossack dish Kulish. The most simple is to add millet to boiling water and cook until it’s done. For holidays Kozak’s dish Kulish was cooked on the meat or fish broth and served hot, sometimes with salty cheese and sour cream smetana.
Find more about Kulish in the Etnocook article about famous Ukrainian dishes
Cossack fish soup Yushka
What is the traditional Kozak’s Yushka?
Fish soup Yushka is a liquid Kozak food cooked in a huge cauldron over an open fire. It was very aromatic because a fish broth for an ethnic Kozak soup Yushka was cooked with a lot of different roots (carrot, parsley, onion) and spices like pepper, with a minimum of salt. Yushka is a nonofficial symbol of the Cossacks food, as well as Kulish and Halushky.
History of the Kozak food Yushka
In fact, Yushka was a traditional Slavic soup cooked by Ukrainian ancestors. During Kyivan Rus (IX-XIII centuries) any soup, except Borshch, was called Yushka and this word still can be found in other Slavic languages. In our days Yushka is associated with fish dish, as in Cossack’s times.
Cossaks had a very busy life, however, they had very healthy nutrition. In kozak menu fish took a special place as the Ukrainian rivers and ponds were rich in crucian carp, tench, perch, bream, ruffe, catfish.
Kozak Ukrainian food Yushka recipe
For the best Cossack soup Yushka only the purist spring water is taken. The fish is cleaned and put into the big pot of water with peeled carrot, parsley root and brought to boil. When it is ready, spices and salt to taste is added. Serve the Cossack soup Yushka hot, with big portions of boiled fish, adding chopped greens of parsley on top.
Read about the Ukrainian Cossack fish soup Yushka on the Etnocook website
Cossack special meat dish Pork head with horseradish
What is the Kozak food cooked pork head?
Pork head with horseradish is a simple yet delicious Cossack food made of cleaned and boiled pig’s head and flashy root of a horseradish plant. This is a very healthy and nutrient dish cooked usually for holidays
History of cooking a pork head by Ukrainian Cossacks
It is a very interesting fact, that among Ukrainian ancestors Slavs the wild boar, and then a domestic pig considered to be a sacred animal. Actually, dishes made of pig were a sacral meal and usually cooked on holidays.
“Pork head with horseradish and noodles for a change” – Ivan Kotliarevsky. Eneida
Cossacks kept ancient traditions, and pork was cooked rarely but it was great. By the way, meat dishes weren’t the everyday Cossack meal, usually, they were cooked from game meat.
The unique Kozak recipe of pork head with horseradish
The pork head should be cleaned and boiled. Then grate horseradish, cook it with butter, until it is slightly golden brown. Add flour to the horseradish, some little broth put sour cream, and boil with a little salt. When the pork head is done, take it out of the broth, separate the lower jaw from it, and cut the meat into portions. Serve hot or cold, with the spicy horseradish sauce and Halushky as a side dish.
Cossack everyday dish Halushky
What is a Kozak food Halušky?
Halushka (pl.Halushky) is a little thick soft dumpling without filling. It is a famous Ukrainian traditional dish. As usual, Halushky have a salty taste, but there are also sweet variants. Ukrainian Cossacks had Halushky for dinner, they can be made of different flour. Halushky is a perfect Kozak simple meal that made a warrior feel full after a long day.
History of a Cossack dish Halushky
Halushky were so popular among Cossacks that they are mentioned in a famous poem Eneida by Kotliarevskyi:
“White wheaten dumplings filled their plates
And puffy rolls with caviare;
Garlic and borsch and sauerkraut,
Mushrooms and berries joined the rout”
Ivan Kotliarevsky. Eneida.
Among all the variations of Halushky the most popular were made of buckwheat flour. Kozak Halushky were usually cooked not during military campaigns but when Cossacks stayed at Sich and had a more stable life and places to cook.
The ethnic recipe of Kozak dumplings Halushky
The traditional recipe of the Ukrainian Haluski is very simple. All you need is dough and a lot of water to boil little handmade round dumplings. Serve hot, with sour cream and pieces of boiled or stewed meat and fish, with greens and fried onions on top.
Read the whole ethnic recipe of Halushky on Etnocook website
Cossack red beet soup Borshch
What is the Kozak soup Borscht?
The Ukrainian red Borshch is a traditional soup made of roots of red beets. Borsch is a world-known national Ukrainian dish cooked by Ukrainian ancestors since ancient times.
History of the Ukrainian Borshch
The Ukrainian Borshch has a long and incredible history. On the Etnocook website you can find a lot of interesting facts and researches about this ancient Ukrainian “varyvo z zillya” – plant potion . Among different variants, Cossacks cooked the classic Ukrainian Borshch with red beets and cabbage. This was a popular dish when Cossacks stayed at Sich, as for good Borshch a lot of ingredients were needed and the best one is cooked in a stone oven.
“The Cossack on the stove is the enemy of the Sich.” – a Cossack proverb
The recipe of Kozak redbeet soup Borshch
To cook the Ukrainian Borshcht the Cossack chefs had to have a good meat broth, dried mushrooms, cabbage, red beets, beans, beet root kvass and a lot of other ingredients, spices and roots. Borshch was served hot, with sour creams and bread, like Pampushka buns or a little flatbread Perepichka.
Read the traditional Ukrainian Borshch recipe on the ethnic Ukrainian food website Etnocook
Red beets Cossack dish Shpundra
What is a Kozak dish Shpundra?
Shpundra is a unique old Ukrainian Cossack dish made of pork stewed in beet kvass with red beet roots. Unfortunately, not popular today, it is very tasty and much simpler to cook, than, for example, Ukrainian Borshch. There is a very similar Cossack dish Vereshchaka, but it is cooked without beets and with flour for thickness.
History of Shpundra
Shpundra had been cooked in Ukraine as a fast and simple dish since the appearance of beet on the territory of Ukraine. Mentions of Shpundra can be found in the pages of the poem about Cossacks “Eneida” by Ivan Kotlyarevsky, written in the late XVIII century:
“There was Borsch to Shpundry with beets”. – Ivan Kotliarevsky. Eneida
Recipe of Kozak food Shpundra
To cook the Cossack food Shpundra take a good piece of pork meat, cut it into cubes, add pilled and cut red beet roots, beet kvass, spices, and stew until it’s done. Serve Shpundra dish hot, sometimes with millet porridge.
Read the authentic Shpundra Kozak recipe on Etnocook website
The Cossack sour dish Putria
What is the Kozak food Putria?
Putrya is a meatless dish made of whole barley groats. It has a very mild natural sour taste, because of fermenting process, and a special texture that can’t be confused with anything else.
History of the Kozak porridge Putria
Putria had been a well-known Ukrainian dish since the Kyivan Rus times (IX-XIII centuries). As well as other intersting unique Cossack foods it is mentioned in the Eneida poem:
“Here they ate various dishes, And all from ceramic glazed bowls, … For a snack Kulish and porridge, Lemishka, Zubtsi, Putria, Kvasha. And with poppy seeds honey Shulyk.” – Ivan Kotliarevsky. Eneida
How to cook Kozak ethnic dish Putrya
For Putrya whole barley groats were boiled, poured into a wooden trough, sprinkled with rye malt, mixed, placed in a wooden barrel, filled with water in half with bread kvass and placed in a warm place. After souring, kept in the cold.
Putria was consumed mainly during periods when meat wasn’t eaten. Now this dish is no longer cooked in everyday Ukrainian cuisine.
Kvasha: one of the best Cossack desserts
What is Ukrainian Kozak dish Kvasha?
Kvasha is a dish made of buckwheat and rye flour with malt, similar to thick Kysil (fruit jelly). It has a very smoothy texture, with light sour and sweet taste.
“Who did not drink Danube water, did not eat Cossack porridge.” – the Cossack proverb
History of Ukrainian worriers Kozaks ethnic dish Kvasha
In fact, Kvasha was cooked by the Ukrainian ancestors long time before Cossacks times. There are different mentions of it in historian researches, tales and legends. Cossacks made Kvasha regular in the menu and liked it very much. Kvasha was eaten for breakfast or dinner or as a sweet lunch dish.
How to cook Kvasha
Kvasha was prepared from two parts rye and one part buckwheat flour, as well as a small amount of rye malt flour. The flour was mixed, steamed with boiling water. Kvasha had a texture of liquid dough and placed overnight in a warm place for souring. This sweet and sour dough was cooked in a pot in the morning. The Cossack chef made sure that the Kvasha dough did not “escape” from the pot. Usually, Kvasha was served warm from the oven. In summer, Kvasha was seasoned with fresh fruits and berries, in winter – fresh viburnum berries, dried plumps, pears, apples.
The sweetest Cossack dish Shulyky
What is the Kozak sweet dessert Shulyky?
Shulyky are little pieces of flatbread in poppy seeds sauce. Often cooked for summer holidays also known as Spas.
History of Shulyky
Shulyky was a sacral Slav dish cooked by Ukrainians for ritual holidays and very . As the Cossack dish it is mentioned in the Kotlyarevskyi “Eneida” in the end of the list of dishes as the sweetest. Shulyky were a popular treat on holidays and big feasts.
How to cook Shuliky
Shulyky are made of little Ukrainian flatbread like Perepichky cut into pieces, put in a deep clay bowl, pour a sauce made of poppy seeds soaked in milk, grounded with a pestle, and add honey to taste. Serve Shuliky right after cooking, with a big cup of a traditional Ukrainian compote Uzvar.
Ukrainian Cossacks were the elite warriors who had a unique lifestyle and healthy nutrition, with a lot of different dishes in a delicious Cossack cuisine.