Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Postcrossing card from Kyiv:
A meal of varenyky and uzvar

Sender: Slava in Kyiv, Ukraine

Message: "Hi Chris! Greetings from Ukraine! On frontside of this postcard is Ukrainian cossack who eat varenyky with uzvar (I guess)."


Varenyky are stuffed dumplings that are popular in Ukrainian cooking. They are quite similar to pierogi, which is what Americans would be most familiar with. According to Wikipedia, varenyky are made of unleavened dough and "stuffed with mashed potato, sauerkraut, cheese, cabbage, meat, hard-boiled egg ... or a combination of these, or with a fruit filling." Other fillings could include mushrooms, cottage cheese, salty white cheese, fish, liver and offal.

Varenyky translates, quite elegantly, to "boiled thing."

You can check out some recipes for varenyky at All Things Ukrainian and AllRecipes.com. And there's a recipe for sweet blueberry varenyky on About.com.

Meanwhile, uzvar is, again according to Wikipedia, "a kompot [clear juice] prepared from several kinds of dried fruits ... and sometimes berries sweetened with honey or sugar. Uzvar is a traditional Christmas Eve supper drink in Ukraine."

You can read a recipe for uzvar on Food.com and there is also a neat post on The Kat & The Falling Leaves blog about Ukrainian Christmas Eve, which includes varenyky, uzvar, whole roasted stuffed fish and much more.

But lost in all this talk about food is a startling thing about this postcard. Go back and look at it again. The cossack appears to be using psionic powers to guide the varenyky into his mouth!

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