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Ukraine is served cold its revenge against Russia with the inclusion of borsch soup as a UNESCO heritage


kyiv receives as a political victory against Moscow the registration of a dish whose origin has historically been disputed by both countries

There is unanimity that, like the borsch soup of mothers and grandmothers, as happens with the cocido in Spain, there is nothing.

The same dish, countless recipes and nuances depending on the region.

And as with other dishes, it has become a pretext to insult each other and differentiate friend from foe.

With the Russian military offensive in the background, the decision by UNESCO to inscribe the culture of preparing Ukrainian borsch as intangible cultural heritage has been seen by kyiv as a political victory in its war with Moscow.

However, its origin remains uncertain and its authorship will probably never be known.

This registration "does not imply exclusivity, or ownership, of the heritage in question," warns the UN agency.

However, the Ukrainian Minister of Culture, Oleksandr Tkachenko, went further on his Facebook profile.

“The victory in the war for borsch is ours!

(…) it is now officially a Ukrainian dish,” the senior official wrote.

"We will be happy to share borsch and its recipes with all civilized countries, and also uncivilized ones, so that they have at least something light, tasty and Ukrainian," he added.

There had already been a certain dispute for years, even since the times of the USSR, but the "war" over this beetroot soup intensified in 2019, five years after the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the sending of paramilitaries to Donbas, where another real war began between the Ukrainian army and the Moscow-backed separatists.

The brawl over borsch erupted when a Twitter account associated with the Russian Foreign Ministry proclaimed the soup a symbol of Russian cuisine, one of its most famous and beloved dishes.

The dispute over its origin continued for the next few years.

Ukraine declared it its intangible heritage in 2020, and in April this year the Russian foreign spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, accused kyiv of persecuting Russian culture even through cookbooks.

“Because it was impossible to share the borsch, it couldn't be like that!

She had to belong to a single person, to a people, to a nation.

That is not common;

that in each city or region the housewife can cook it her way.

This is xenophobia, Nazism, extremism in all its forms," ​​said the Russian representative, who at that same press conference accused the Chanel firm of "back to supporting Nazism" for forcing its clients to sign that they would not carry their products. to the Slavic country for the sanctions.

The Russian press has reacted with some jokes to the announcement.

“The borsch is yours.

The pelmeni (pasta doughs stuffed with meat balls), ours”, said the Mestami channel, which brings together the local press, with a phrase that recalled the old slogan “Crimea is ours”.

UNESCO has explained its decision in a statement where it stresses that, “due to the ongoing war and its negative impact on this tradition, Ukraine asked the member states of the committee in charge of the decision to accelerate the examination of the borscht candidacy file. for inscription on the Urgent Safeguarding List as a case of extreme urgency”.

The way the UN agency writes it (with


at the end) gives a clue that this soup, which can be prepared both hot and cold, is the product of a cultural mixture of more than a thousand years of history.

"150 years ago, Jewish emigrants from Eastern Europe and the Russian Empire began to arrive in the United States (...) as they shared their fondness for borsch, which Americans write with a "T", they came to think that it was a Jewish dish " , tells the philologist Michele Berdy in

The Moscow Times


The expert investigated the origin of the word borsch and found that the Baltic-Slavic language already mentioned plants with a form similar to this word in 1,000 BC.

Similar dishes then began to appear long before modern nation-states existed.

Polish chronicles speak in 966 after Christ of a soup called barszcz;

and in 1547 another type of sour soup appeared in a series of Russian writings that collected social rules, the domostrói.

As for the Ukraine, its recipe with beets, the main ingredient, is mentioned in other texts from the 18th century.

In any case, there are endless different versions and the historical authorship must be taken with a grain of salt if you take into account the inclusion of potatoes and tomatoes as basic ingredients since the 16th century, when there was contact with America.

For example, Belarusian recipes tend to use tuber massively, while Lithuania and Moldova cook it with a different style of their own.

cold or hot;

with water or chicken broth;

with beef or pork, borsch can be very different even in the same region.

However, it is more common to differentiate its origin by the companions: black bread if it is Russian, or pampushka, a kind of bun, if it is Ukrainian.

To try at home, El Comidista prepared a recipe for the readers of EL PAÍS.

Most importantly, beets.

His difficulty, “easier than being a Karamazov brother”.

Source: elparis

All life articles on 2022-07-03

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