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Traditional Belarusian Cuisine Vocabulary

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Belarusian cuisine is a distinctive culinary tradition that offers an array of hearty and filling dishes, many of which are reflective of the country’s agricultural heritage. Here are some key words related to traditional Belarusian cuisine, complete with definitions and example sentences.

Дранікі (Dranyky)
These are thick potato pancakes, grated and fried until crisp and golden. They are often served with sour cream and can be a side dish or a main course.
Як толькі я паспрабавала дранікі, я зараз захацела іх зноў. (As soon as I tried the dranyky, I immediately wanted them again.)

Халаднік (Khaladnik)
Khaladnik is a cold beet soup, typically made with a sour base (such as kefir or sour milk), and served with boiled potatoes, cucumbers, dill, and eggs.
У спякотны летні дзень няма нічога лепшага, чым ахаладжальны халаднік. (On a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than a cooling bowl of khaladnik.)

Бабка (Babka)
This is a potato-based casserole or a loaf, which can include meat, mushrooms, or just potatoes, baked until it has a crispy crust.
Мая бабуля робіць самую смачную бабку у свеце. (My grandmother makes the tastiest babka in the world.)

Смажаныя пірашкі (Smazhenyia Piroshki)
Small, fried or baked pastries filled with a variety of ingredients such as meat, onion, eggs, rice, or even fruits or jam.
Сёння на абед я з’еў смажаныя пірашкі з мясам і цыбуляй, і яны былі неверагодныя! (Today for lunch I had fried piroshki with meat and onions, and they were incredible!)

Бігас (Bigos)
Often referred to as ‘hunter’s stew,’ it’s a hearty dish made from sauerkraut and meat, customarily slow-cooked for several hours and frequently enjoyed during the winter months.
На вячэры мы елі бігас, які павальваў заўсёды ў доме маёй бабулі. (For dinner, we ate bigos, a dish that always simmered in my grandmother’s home.)

Шклянка (Shklyanka)
Literally translating to a “glass,” this term is used in a culinary context to refer to a serving of a drink, most commonly associated with Belarusian homemade vodka, also known as samogon.
За кожнай вячэрай, дзядуля ліў сабе невялікую шклянку самагона. (At every dinner, grandfather would pour himself a small glass of samogon.)

Сырнікі (Syrniki)
Syrniki are fried quark pancakes, which are slightly sweet and typically served for breakfast or dessert. They can be accompanied by sour cream, jam, honey, or fresh berries.
На сняданак я выбіраю сырнікі з ягадамі і мёдам, бо яны лёгкія і смачныя. (For breakfast, I choose syrniki with berries and honey because they’re light and delicious.)

By familiarizing yourself with these traditional Belarusian dishes, not only will you expand your culinary horizons, but you’ll also enrich your vocabulary and understanding of Belarusian culture. Enjoy your exploration of Belarusian cuisine, and be sure to impress locals with your knowledge the next time you visit or dine at a Belarusian restaurant.

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