Ukrainian: There are as many recipes for borscht as there are babushkas

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Bogdan Ljutjuk on "Ringvaade". Source: ERR

ETV's current affairs show "Ringvaade" was visited by Bogdan Ljutjuk, an Ukrainian living in Estonia, who commented on Ukraine's battle to have borscht soup be a recognized part of their country's cultural heritage.

Ljutjuk said borscht soup, a common beetroot soup also beloved in Estonia, is definitely a part of an Ukrainian kitchen. He also noted that if Ukrainians visit a restaurant and spot borscht listed under Russian national cuisine, they ask for the mistake to be corrected.

"It is our identity. Estonia has sprats and black bread - there is no question. We also have no question. If someone asks where it comes from, then my grandmother made it, his grandmother made it and so on," Ljutjuk said.

According to the Ukrainian, it is precisely grandmothers who are the masters of borscht. "Someone said a beautiful thing - that there are as many recipes for borscht as there are babushkas. Each babushka has their own recipe," Ljutjuk said.

He added that canned borscht is a solid option if your grandmother is not nearby.

While the soup is made with beetroot as the main ingredient, it has variations - borscht can be made with milk or fish, cherries, plums and apricots can also be added.

Last week, a chef in Ukraine took a pot of borscht to Ukraine's culture ministry to convince officials to submit an application to UNESCO to list borscht as an intangible part of the country's cultural heritage, according to France24.

The ministry agreed and said it was preparing the application to UNESCO before the March deadline, so it can be examined in December next year. The Russian government soon responded on its Twitter account, calling borscht "one of Russia's most famous and beloved dishes and a symbol of traditional cuisine".

A bowl of Ukrainian borscht soup. Source: Wikimedia Commons

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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