Features of Belarusian cuisine
Belarusian cuisine is famous for appetizing and hearty, but at the same time quite simple dishes. What are the main culinary traditions of this country?
A bit of history
Belarusian cuisine has been forming for quite a long time: for several centuries. And its originality is determined, first of all, by climatic conditions. But the location also had a certain influence, because the country, in fact, is practically on the border of several geopolitical regions, it was influenced by different cultures, so various traditions, including culinary traditions, took root here.
For example, the trends of the Muslim southern nations, the Catholic West, the Baltic northern culture, the Orthodox East, and the Jewish peoples are traced. And since the people of Belarus have always differed significantly, both by class and by religion, national characteristics were formed only by the end of the XIX century.
The main components of the dishes
The following products are commonly used for cooking:
- Vegetables.Since they were grown here almost always, they were part of most dishes. But a special role at all times played potatoes, here it is considered almost the second bread, and sometimes it replaces it. But cabbage is also popular (especially white cabbage, other varieties are little known and rarely used), pumpkin, tomatoes, turnips, garlic and onions, rutabaga, beets, carrots, and so on.
- Fat. Previously, it replaced the Belarusians meat and was considered the main nutritional product. Most often it was salted, and also added to dishes instead of butter.
- Legumes are quite common, Belarusians love them and add them to different dishes with pleasure.
- Mushrooms can be either a component of some dish, or its main part or even an independent snack.
- Dairy products in Belarus are practically not consumed and are not used for cooking, but sour-milk products are valued and actively used in various forms.
- A fish. Since there are many rivers in the country, the fish is also one of the main products beloved by Belarusians. From it they cook different soups, prepare hot dishes and snacks.
- Meat is also popular. Previously, it was not very common, but gradually became available for the middle strata of the population.Moreover, in the modern kitchen most species are used: beef and veal, pork, poultry, and even game (for example, beavers, roe deer, wild boars, and moose).
- Cereals. Especially popular are oats, barley, rye, buckwheat.
- Flour. It is prepared not only from wheat, but also from other grains and even beans, which is why rye, buckwheat, oat and even pea are often used. Flour, by the way, can be used not only for baking, but also to be included in many other dishes, for example, snacks (thanks to this they become more nourishing and acquire a special texture).
- Various fruits and berries are part of the baking and various drinks. Especially popular are plum, apples, pears, blueberries, cranberries, blueberries, viburnum, wild rose, raspberries, mountain ash.
- Spices are added, but only for a pleasant taste and aroma, so that spicy dishes are usually not.
Listing the traditional national features of the Belarusian cuisine, we can note the methods of heat treatment. Typically, the cooking is quite long, mainly used by boiling and stewing, as a result, many dishes are similar to porridge (this, incidentally, is also a culinary feature). Frying is also welcome. And sometimes the methods are combined or alternated.
In almost all dishes, the ingredients are well ground, and this is especially true for potatoes. It is rarely cut and much more often rubbed on a grater or even pounded.
The main components of traditional cuisine
Now it is worthwhile to list the most popular dishes of the Belarusian cuisine.
The first dishes, which usually begins any meal, are divided into hot and cold. Here are the most common:
- The fridge is made from beets (with tops), onions, kvass, sour cream, often cucumbers and spices.
- The so-called mushroom kvass is a cold soup, the basis of which is kvass. Also added to the dish are mushrooms, onions and spices.
- Jour has several cooking options, but the base is always the same; it is an oat meal — a filtered oat flour solution. Jour is dairy, meat or lean.
- Gryzhanka is made from turnips, onions, carrots, potatoes, vandlins (as in Belarus is called the combination of salted and smoked products from pork, which are cut and mixed) and fat.
- Garbuzok - soup made from pumpkin, onion, whey, vandlin, sour cream and bacon with the addition of parsley and dill.
- Krupenia is made from some kind of cereals and other ingredients, for example, vandliny or mushrooms.
The most popular recipes for main dishes usually involve the use of meat, fish, vegetables.
The most common are vantrobyanka (a dish of pork offal, that is, "vantrobkov" that are boiled and placed in the pork stomach) , rabbit hare, various stew (meat, vegetable), mokanka (a dish of meat cuts, bacon, water and flour), boiled or baked fish and so on.
We should also write about potato dishes, because there are a lot of them in Belarusian cuisine, and they are all nourishing and tasty. For the preparation, the potato mass is usually used in three forms: tarkovany, boiled, crushed and bladed.
The first is a raw grated potato with juice. The bladed mass is a raw, grated, but pressed potato. And boiled and crushed mass is, in fact, puree.
- Tarkovka - a dish made of tarkovaya mass with the addition of lard, milk, dried fruit, onion and pepper.
- Pancakes are, in fact, pancakes made from sacked mass, eggs and flour.
- Parked pancakes.
- Kapityka is something like small fried pancakes, seasoned in salted boiling water for a while.
- Jackdaws - boiled and then fried balls with a filling, made from a bladed potato mass.
- Cirbics - fried potato balls of bladed mass.
- Gulbishnik - a dish resembling Russian mashed potatoes.
Salads, as a rule, are made from boiled and fresh vegetables, filling them with sour cream, butter or mayonnaise. Among the appetizers special place occupied by mushrooms, they, for example, stuffed eggs.
Desserts are mainly baked goods, as well as thick drinks. The most popular are pies, loaves, pancakes, pancakes, as well as kulaga - thick jelly from sugar, flour, honey and berries.
The most popular drinks are kvasses and compotes made from berries and fruits, berka (birch sap), as well as alcoholic infusions (for example, krambambula), garelka (vodka) and bison.
Impressive? Then try to cook some dish of Belarusian cuisine!
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