NetCost Market World of Foods celebration continues! After successfully spotlighting Ukraine, Georgia, and Russia, we journey to the country of Belarus. For the first two weeks of February, NetCost Market stores will feature hot and cold Belarusian and regional cuisines freshly prepared daily from our chefs’ kitchens. We will honor the traditions and the culture of Belarus through traditional music, national foods, flags, souvenirs, and factual highlights posters. Enjoy our unique spotlight on Belarus and the continuation of our celebration of international foods.
The Republic of Belarus is a landlocked country nestled between Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. Its wild and rugged landscape is home to one of the largest populations of the once virtually extinct European Bison.
Here at NetCost Market, we’re celebrating this astonishing country’s remarkable cuisine during our Belarusian weeks weekly specials so you can enjoy some of the brilliant food this wild country has to offer.
A Belarusian classic is draniki—a type of fried pancake made from grated potato and onion. These simple yet delicious crispy treats can be found at street food stalls around the country’s capital, Minsk, and are usually served alongside a large serving of tasty sour cream.
Zhurek dates back from the times when much of Belarus was part of the Commonwealth of Poland. For this reason, it’s also enjoyed over the border on the eastern side of Poland. It’s a type of sour bread soup that is made by fermenting flour, bread, garlic, and water in a jar, and then cooking it slowly for a long time. Sausage, potatoes, ham, and boiled eggs are often added, and it can sometimes be found served inside a whole hollowed-out loaf of bread which doubles as a bowl! Although it sounds strange, it’s actually very tasty and is usually enjoyed at easter.
If the last two dishes seemed a little unfamiliar, you must recognize this eastern European classic. Borscht is eaten all over eastern Europe and in parts of Russia. Like all borscht, Belarusian borscht is made using beets but also contains meat, cabbage, potatoes, and carrots. It’s not as spiced as with other regional variations and in the summer it is sometimes served cold much like Italian gazpacho.
Have you ever thought straight-up fried bacon would be the perfect snack? Well, in Belarus they have something similar to this called shkvarki. This everyday snack is essentially fried pork fat or fatty pork bits that are not too dissimilar to thick-cut bacon. It’s served alongside beers in bars and is a favorite for sharing with friends, much like some chips or nut here in the US.
To balance out all that meat, Belarusians do sometimes eat salads. A favorite is Belarusianspring salad which is made by mixing together tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and bell peppers and is then topped with dill, sour cream, and a drizzle of olive oil. It’s quick, simple, and fresh—perfect for the long hot days in the Belarusian spring and summer!
Belarus is a fascinating country with a rich culinary history. The diverse flavors and vibrant colors of the food are exactly why we’re celebrating Belarusian cuisine here at NetCost Market. Visit us during our Belarusian weeks weekly specials to get great deals on some of the products that make this country’s food so unique and discover it for yourself!