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Prices of essential ingredient for borsch jump almost twofold in Ukraine

December 27, 2016, 8:44 UTC+3 KIEV
A genuine Ukrainian borsch looks red like flame and consists of cabbage, beetroot, carrot, parsley and potatoes
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©  AP Photo/Richard Drew

KIEV, December 27. /TASS/. Prices of the vegetables making up the ‘borsch basket’ jumped almost twofold in Ukraine since the beginning of the year.

To cook a standard saucepanful of borsch (3.5 liters to 4.0 liters), housewives have to spend 130 or more hryvnas ($ 5 or more) today.

The Economic Discussions Club public association says the ‘borsch basket’ would cost 74 hryvnas (about $ 3) back at the beginning of the year. The prices of meat and meat products have gone up more some 30% per kg.

The prices of vegetables kept growing 2.0% to 3.0% each month and particularly on the eve of the New Year.

"In mid-December, beetroots [the most essential element in borsch - TASS] went up 2.8% to 3.72 hryvnas per km and potatoes, 1.6% to 5.21 hryvnas," the state agency for statistics said in a report.

The prices of dairy produce and eggs have also climbed. Smetana, or soured cream reaches 39.95 hryvnas per kg and eggs are up by 2.0% to 20.68 hryvnas per ten.

Agrarian market experts say the cost of vegetables making up the ‘borsch basket’ grew twofold to threefold on the average in 2015 vs. 2014. The root-cause of the situation is the shrinking output of own agricultural produce, which Ukrainian companies are unable to compensate foe with imports.

The sharp devaluation of the hryvna adds to the complexity of the situation, as it has pushed the prices of imported foodstuffs too high.

Opinion polls indicate that, contrary to the belief widespread abroad, borsch rather than pig fat tops the list of most loved dishes of Ukrainian cuisine. While only 4% Ukrainians say they cannot live virtually a day without eating a slice of pig fat, as many as 44% put borsch above all other dishes.

The list of most favored meals also includes varenikis, or dumplings stuffed with curdles, potatoes or cherries (18%), shashlik or East-European kabob (10%), fish and meat in aspic (7%), cutlets (6%), chops (5%), and other meat meals (14%).

Also, about 7% of those polled said their most favored meal was pilaf, while another 7% named roast meat.

A genuine Ukrainian borsch looks red like flame and consists of cabbage, beetroot, carrot, parsley and potatoes. It is based on clear meat soup and is relished with broiled pig fat, onion or garlic.

Ukrainians believe good borsch should be so thick that a spoon put into the saucepan will stick out of it.

There is no universal recipe for borsch, however, and Ukrainian chefs say dozens of variations exist.

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