In culinary spat with Russia, Ukraine seeks UN status for 'borscht'

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Oct 22, 2020, 11:03 PM(IST)

Beetroot soup Borscht. Photograph:( Twitter )

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Although borscht is important in Russian and Polish cuisines, Ukraine is frequently cited as its place of origin.

After the simmering dispute between Russia and Ukraine over the origins of borscht, the reddish soup has recently emerged as the latest battleground in Ukraine’s struggle to assert an independent national identity and shake off centuries of Russian domination.

According to the encyclopedia, Borscht also spelled borsch, borsht, or bortsch, beet soup of the Slavic countries, is a humble, reddish beet soup, often served with a generous dollop of sour cream on top. Although borscht is important in Russian and Polish cuisines, Ukraine is frequently cited as its place of origin.

Ukraine claims borscht as its own it has added the soup to a list of intangible elements of Ukrainian culture. 

 

The goal is to declare Ukraine as the home of borscht for this, it will have to be listed as a UNESCO heritage item. 

The origin of this campaign is quite interesting, it was led by Yevhen Klopotenko, a celebrity chef based in Kiev.

At one expert council meeting -- he arrived with 5 litres of borscht placed the bowl on the table and said -- we need to recognise this today but standing in Ukraine’s way is Russia.

Moscow claims the borscht as part of Russia’s national cuisine, it's unlikely to surrender its claim without a fight. Beneath this face-off for a soup is a clash of national identities. Ukraine has long opposed Russia’s dominant historical narratives. 

Moscow often seeks to belittle Ukrainian culture and language so much so that President Putin once told George Bush that Ukraine is not a country. The cultural faultiness between Ukraine and Russia are not well-defined, both countries were part of the same regime through much of history.

(With inputs from agencies)

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