Kyiv Post staff on what we like and dislike about Ukraine – KyivPost
Freshly made pasta, fresh local Parmesan, local Ukrainian sausages, making this a perfect Italian “alla carbonara”, accompanied by a lightly cooked egg. This dish was prepared in a not particularly fancy restaurant in Kherson a few days ago. The drink was a classic Italian Aperol Spritz – also excellent. It was Maria’s birthday I think.
In most Western countries, such authentic Italian traditions are unknown – but in Ukraine, at least when it comes to food, bad knockoffs just aren’t enough.
Whether it is Russian / Ukrainian, Italian, Tatar, Turkish cuisine, it seems impossible to get something that is not cooked to perfection.
I once had the best homemade pizzas outside of Italy at a place in Nikolaev called “Roller Center” – a children’s amusement center. Freshly made by a young man, who rolled up fresh dough to make the base, and used a tomato base made by his babushka which was to die for, with fresh sausage and local mozzarella, all heated in the oven. In my country, they would have been frozen in a packet and reheated in the microwave, which would have been horrible. I’m not exaggerating: this young man grabbed some fresh dough, and a rolling pin, sprinkled flour on a plinth, kneaded the dough to air it, rolled it up and spread the dough on the mold . All while selling tickets for the amusement machines and the ice rink.
I have traveled all over the world, but when it comes to food my two favorite places are Northern Italy and Ukraine. And as I have often said – I once had a bad meal in Italy (near the Austrian border – in Tyrol), but I never – not once – had a bad meal in Ukraine . I have never had bad coffee and most of the Ukrainian wines and beers I have had have been excellent as well. Most, except that garbage from Yalta – Massandra – who thought adding sugar to wine made it good? – Come the revolution they will be the first against the wall! MDR
So imagine if the Ukrainians could do the governance, or the roads as well as they can do the food?
For a country where people can cooperate so well to pay a marshutkra driver (as a foreigner it is amazing to see money flowing forward and currency going back), it seems difficult to understand why so many things that should be done are not.
But it does not matter. When the pandemic allows me to travel to Ukraine again, I will have dinner in restaurants, or I will be fed like a goose for Christmas by various babushkas, and I will drink excellent wines or cheap Ukrainian beers, with my friends Viktor and Petr. , while munching on stringy salty cheese, or shaslik, or …
Since 2014, I see improvements in Ukraine with every visit – but my friends who live there day to day do not see it – the evolution is slow – and when you live it, you do not see it. But I do.
Can’t wait for my mouth and nose to be sent to heaven again – can’t wait to visit Odessa, Nikolaev and Kherson again. To stroll through the markets: Privoz and New Markets in Odessa, Kolos near Nikolaev Zoo, to watch the yedushkas pull huge fish from the Dnieper to Kherson.
And to see how things have improved since my last stay before the pandemic (November 2019)