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Varenyky is a traditional dish of Cossack cuisine.

Cossack cuisine is a cuisine of the Cossacks.[1]

Foods and products

Cossack cuisine conveys the peculiarities of life and culture of the Cossack people.

Main food groups

Many Cossack troops were named after rivers (Amur, Volga, Don, Yenisei, Kuban, Terek, Ussuri, and Yaik). The diet of the Cossacks is dominated by an abundance of fish dishes. The Don Cossacks bake carp or bream, cook ukha, and cook kulesh with fish. At the same time, they like to eat porridges, noodles, bread and pies, which they wash down with uzvar[2] (compote of dried fruits) and kvass.[3] They also cook stuffed cabbage rolls and aspic.[4] The Don Cossacks' fish dishes included sturgeon balyk, Don herring, scherba (ukha), and small fish fried with onions and eggs. A well-known Don dish is watermelon pickled in brine, which is often used as an appetizer for strong alcoholic drinks.[2]


A traditional Cossack dessert is nardek - watermelon honey. It was usually eaten with bursak (bursachki). The influence of Oriental cuisine was also manifested in the use of raisins, which were added to porridge.[5]


The traditional alcoholic beverage of the Don Cossacks was wine, and winemaking emerged on the Don with the appearance of the first Greek colonies, approximately in the 6th century B.C. The ancient Greek historian Strabo wrote that during his travels he visited the mouth of the Don where the vines were covered with earth for the winter from snow and frost.[6]

When the Polovtsians came to the Don lands, followed by the Tatar-Mongols, winemaking disappeared. Peter the Great had an opportunity to revive viticulture on the Don. In 1697, the tsar ordered the Azov governor Prozorovsky "to start vineyards". Soon wine became the most popular wine of the Don again.[6]

Kuban Cossacks

Kuban Cossacks eat borscht, dumplings, pancakes, and shish kebabs. Goulash is widely known in the cuisine of the Cossacks of Southern Russia. The most common soups are okroshka and shulum (a thick soup of broth, meat, and potatoes). Meat (pork, poultry) was usually baked in the oven. The round bread (loaf, palyanytsa) was surrounded with honors. They drank kissels and brews. Also known is Iryan, a Cossack variant of ayran from suzma.[7]

Equipment and etiquette

Of cutlery, Cossacks use bowls and wooden spoons. Cossacks eat three times a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Before eating, it is obligatory to wash and wipe their hands. The eldest at the table usually signals the start of the meal. Often they eat from a common bowl. Drinks are served in pitchers.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Казачья кухня | Церковь Успения Богородицы". 2015-05-09. Archived from the original on 2015-05-09. Retrieved 2023-04-09.
  2. ^ a b "Казачья кухня - Государственный музей-заповедник М.А Шолохова". Retrieved 2023-04-09.
  3. ^ "Казачья снедь и упоминание о ней в ранних рассказах М.А. Шолохова | Вешенский базар - станица Вешенская и все о ней: история, казачество, Дон, Шолохов, Шолоховский район, земляки". 2016-04-16. Archived from the original on 2016-04-16. Retrieved 2023-04-09.
  4. ^ "Вёшенский базар". Retrieved 2023-04-09.
  5. ^ "«Нардек» - арбузный мед по-казачьи | Вольная Станица". 2017-04-22. Archived from the original on 2017-04-22. Retrieved 2023-04-09.
  6. ^ a b "Доброй чарочке – любо!". Retrieved 2023-04-09.
  7. ^ "Казачий кулинарный рай / НГ-Регионы / Независимая газета". Retrieved 2023-04-09.