Sunday, November 24, 2013

На кухне 12: Odds and Ends

Support your local sausage industry

Ой, it's been six months since the last edition of на кухне (in the kitchen)! To be honest, it feels like it's been that long since I actually cooked something. Is there anyone else out there guilty of shirking their womanly kitchen duties? Since the entire summer and fall have looked like this:
Banjo café, Prospect Gagarina
... I don't have any delicious recipes to share this time, sorry. But I do have some other tasty odds and ends for you!

Drink your soup

Actually, the last recipe I remember trying to make was a disastrous attempt at okroshka, a chilled soup that's popular in Ukraine.
This is how okroshka should look. Disclaimer: not my okroshka. It's from the cafeteria.
Most people nowadays seem to use a milk product (i.e. kefir, sour cream, buttermilk, even mayo [if you can believe my friends]) as a base but this Baltika beer ad suggested using non-alcoholic beer instead.
"okroshka with shrimp in beer" Looks good in the ad, doesn't it? (Can you see where this is going?)

Using beer is probably not too far off the mark since kvass is a traditional component of this summer soup. But in lieu of the non-alcoholic Baltika 0... what the heck, I thought, let's use Baltika 7! The English teachers in town are always raving about this beer. Time to give it a try.

How to make okroshka: 1) assemble ingredients. 2) mix together. 3) chill and eat.
And as you can guess, it turned out that soup is probably not the best place for beer. Not by a long shot.

That soup was not so much "okroshka" as it was beer + sour cream, eaten with a spoon. Ugh ; )


Gratuitous shot of the chocolate-bar-filled-shelves at the supermarket. You're welcome!
Ooooh, souvenir chocolates, yum!


No GMO here

The "без ГМО" (GMO-free) label is ubiquitous here.
It's even proudly displayed on bottles of drinking water! But according to an article published last year, it's no longer mandatory that GMO-free products in Ukraine be labeled as such. Several of my students have said that this label is more of a way for money to be made (by those who certify the products) and less of a public health campaign. The Kyiv Post also weighs in on this issue.

Supermarket finds

This Cossack rocking out on a package of spaghetti-
"Buy Ukrainian" proclaims the banner.
Hemp oil!

A Ukrainian bloggy friend introduced me to something she called "crack cheese" (dubbed this because of its addictiveness):
I know what you're thinking, but no, it's nothing like string cheese.
I didn't like the "crack cheese" but there's a similar cheese that's quite tasty.

Saw this in the frozen foods aisle one day:
"Ravioli for a friendly family." No truth in advertising here: sadly, eating this ravioli does not give you the kind of cleavage this woman is sporting. Trust me, I tried.

Speaking of cleavage...

Pretty standard ad for a brewery, right?
Cafe Chanson. Hmm.


  1. Humorous commentary always appreciated :-)

  2. I can't do okroshka -- the kvas aspect just grosses me out! I do, however, love crack cheese :)