Borscht

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Borshch2.jpg
Ukrainian borscht with smetana sour cream, pampushkas and shkvarkas
TypeSoup
Place of originUkraine
Associated national cuisine
Cooking time2 hours to 5 hours
ComplexityDifficult
Serving temperatureHot or cold
Main ingredientsPotato, cabbage, beet, carrots, onion, smetana, salt
Ingredients generally usedMeat, fish, tomatoes, bean, mushrooms, garlic, spices, bay leaf
Food energy
(per serving)
49 kcal (205 kJ)
Nutritional value
(per serving)
Protein1,1 g
Fat2,2 g
Carbohydrate6,7 g
Glycemic index30 (low)
Similar dishesShchi
Cookbook:  Borscht
 
Jump to: navigation, search
For other uses, see Borsh (disambiguation).
Borshch2.jpg
Ukrainian borscht with smetana sour cream, pampushkas and shkvarkas
TypeSoup
Place of originUkraine
Associated national cuisine
Cooking time2 hours to 5 hours
ComplexityDifficult
Serving temperatureHot or cold
Main ingredientsPotato, cabbage, beet, carrots, onion, smetana, salt
Ingredients generally usedMeat, fish, tomatoes, bean, mushrooms, garlic, spices, bay leaf
Food energy
(per serving)
49 kcal (205 kJ)
Nutritional value
(per serving)
Protein1,1 g
Fat2,2 g
Carbohydrate6,7 g
Glycemic index30 (low)
Similar dishesShchi
Cookbook:  Borscht

Borscht (also borsch, bortsch, borstch, borsh, borshch; Ukrainian: борщ) is a soup of Ukrainian[1] origin that is popular in many Eastern and Central European countries. In most of these countries, it is made with beetroot as the main ingredient. In some countries, tomato is used as the main ingredient, while beetroot acts as a secondary ingredient. Other, non-beet varieties also exist, such as the tomato paste-based orange borscht and green borscht (sorrel soup).[citation needed] Potatoes and cabbage are also standard; some regions have green borscht where cabbage is substituted with green spinach.[2][3]

Etymology[edit]

The soup made its way into North American cuisine and the word into English vernacular by way of Slavic and Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe. Alternative spellings are borshch[4] and borsch.[5]

It is called in various languages: Azerbaijani: borș, Belarusian: боршч, boršč, borshch, Bulgarian: борш, borsh, Czech: boršč, Estonian: borš, German: Borschtsch / Beetenbartsch, Latvian: borščs, Lithuanian: barščiai, Polish: barszcz, Romanian: borș rusesc, Russian: борщ, borshch, Slovak: boršč, Turkish: Borç (due to the emigration of White Russians to Turkey after their defeat in the Russian Civil War), Ukrainian: борщ, Yiddish: באָרשט, borsht and Syriac: ܒܪܫ, "borsh".

The name was earlier applied to hogweed soup,[6][7] and originally to the hogweed plant itself.

While the original Ukrainian word ends in "shch", not "sht", the "t" was substituted when the word was borrowed into Yiddish; note that in Bulgarian the combination "sht" corresponds to "shch" in other Slavic language - the Bulgarian pronunciation is likely an archaic one, retained from Proto-Slavic. The word was then borrowed into American English from Yiddish.[8]

Hot and cold borscht[edit]

The two main variants of borscht are generally referred to as hot and cold. Both are based on beets, but are otherwise prepared and served differently.

Hot borscht[edit]

Hot borscht, the kind most popular in the majority of cultures, is a hearty soup. It is almost always made with a beef or pork broth. It usually contains heavy starchy vegetables including potatoes and beets, but may also contain carrots and peppers. It may be eaten as a meal in itself, but is usually eaten as an appetizer with dark rye bread.[citation needed]

Cold borscht[edit]

Cold borscht (Šaltibarščiai) in Lithuanian restaurant

Borscht is served cold in many different culinary traditions, including Belarusian (Chaładnik, Хaлaднiк), Latvian (Aukstā zupa), Lithuanian (Šaltibarščiai), Polish (Chłodnik, Chłodnik litewski, Chłodnik wileński), Russian (Свекольник) and Ukrainian (Kholodnyk, Холодник). Other cooked soups are served cold in various parts of Europe, such as Hungarian cold tomato and cucumber soups, and sour cherry soup (meggyleves).

Its preparation starts with young beets being chopped and boiled, together with their leaves when available. After cooling down, sour cream, soured milk, kefir, or yogurt may be added, depending on regional preferences. Typically, raw chopped vegetables, such as radishes or cucumbers, are added and the soup is garnished and flavored with dill or parsley. Chopped, hard-boiled eggs are often added. The soup has a rich pink color which varies in intensity depending on the ratio of beets to dairy ingredients.

Polish variants[edit]

The basic Polish borscht (barszcz) recipe includes red beetroot, onions, garlic, and other vegetables, such as carrots and celery or root parsley. The ingredients are cooked for some time together to produce a clear broth (when strained), and the soup is then served as bouillon in cups or in other ways. Some recipes include bacon, as well, which gives the soup a distinctive "smoky" taste. Other way to achieve "smoky" flavor is to boil borscht with broth left after cooking homemade smoked ham.

Other versions are richer and include meat and cut vegetables of various kinds, with beetroot not necessarily dominating (though this soup is not always called barszcz, but rather beetroot soup). This variation of barszcz is not strained, and the vegetable contents are left in. Such soup can constitute the main course of a Polish obiad (the main meal eaten in the early afternoon).

Polish barszcz with uszka

Barszcz in its strictly vegetarian version is the first course during the Christmas Eve feast, served with ravioli-type dumplings called uszka (lit. "little ears") with mushroom filling (sauerkraut can be used, as well, again depending on the family tradition). Typically, this version does not include any meat ingredients, although some variants do.

The beet basis is not required. There is a sour rye soup called żurek; the wheat-flour-based variant of this soup is called barszcz biały ("white barszcz"), made from a base of fermented wheat, usually added to a broth of boiled white fresh sausage (biała kiełbasa). It is served hot with cubed rye bread and diced hard-boiled eggs added to the broth, and horseradish is often added to taste.

A key component to the taste of barszcz is acidity. While it can be made easily within a few hours by simply cooking the ingredients and adding vinegar, lemon juice, or citric acid, the traditional way is to prepare barszcz several days in advance and to allow it to naturally sour. Depending on the technique, the level of acidity required, and the ingredients available, barszcz takes three to seven days to prepare in this way.

Other regional recipes[edit]

Russian Borscht soup in a tube, consumed by cosmonauts in space

There are local variations in the basic borscht recipe:

Ukrainian miniature sheet displaying condiments for the traditional ukrainian borscht

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sydney Schultze. Culture and customs of Russia. Greenwood Pub Group(2008) pp. 65-66
  2. ^ Definition of Borscht by Vladimir Dal (in Russian)
  3. ^ William Pokhlyobkin about borshch (in Russian)
  4. ^ Oxford English Dictionary
  5. ^ Merriam Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
  6. ^ Lukasz Luczaj Guide to Wild Edible Plants, English language website.
  7. ^ Luczaj, Lukasz. Dzikie Rosliny Jadalne Polski. Przewodnik Survivalowy (Wild Edible Plants of Poland. A Survival Handbook). Chemigrafia 2002. (in Polish)
  8. ^ The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language

External links[edit]