Thank you for being here.
This upcoming week we will be cooking aMariupolBorsch, a traditional Ukrainian bean stew. This variation of Borsch from Mariupol is with Cannellini beans, Beetroot, Cabbage, Carrot, Potato, Red Pepper, Bay and Dill. If you are eating fish you may want to open a can of sardines, which is how it is traditionally eaten in this city famous for its fishing fleet and rub some raw garlic on your toasted sourdough.
Image: Mariupol Borsch credit: Ryan Liebe for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Victoria Granof.
The Ukrainian city of Mariupol less than a year ago was occupied by Russia. I happened to go there in 2008 with my previous role, as a news producer escorting the Greek President at a State visit. We were meeting Greeks, descendants ofancient Greek coloniesfrom the 6th century BC who, in 1768 were offered safe passage by Catherine the Great, from the Crimean Peninsula to the North of the Azov sea where Mariupol is, in order to be saved from Muslim domination.
Image: Greek President K.Papoulias being welcomed at Mariupol with bread and salt, symbolizing the strong bond these old Greeks felt for the motherland
It was one of the most emotional expeditions of the Greek President at the time. We were welcomed by the most poor and warm-hearted people. They were so proud of their heritage despite living so far away for so long. Children in traditional costumes sang and danced an old Greek anthem to perfection and elders narrated us stories of pain, loss and war in ancient Greek dialect that brought tears in our eyes. At other expeditions we were invited to long buffets but at this one we were invited to a humble Mariupol Borsch cooked by their mothers and grandmothers that its wholeheartedness filled us with so much love and gratitude that I will never forget.
I came across a calendar with 12 recipes from Ukraine put together by Olia Hercules and Olga Koutseridi. March was the month of the Mariupol Borsch. This week with this Borsch I will be sending love to all these people.
Images: Calendar 12 Regional recipes from Ukraine, March for Borsch and etching of ingredients
A Greek Spanakorizo (citrusy Spinach Risotto) to go with the Mariupol Borsch £4
Our classic Hummus for some creaminess
The most amazing Organic Kalamata Olives you
will ever have
As well as some of Andrea’s delicious Camembert made with raw fermented cashew
Andrea is a local cheese maker and next Wednesday and Thursday lunchtime he will have a cheese board available at our Kitchen for a free tasting of nut Camembert and you are all invited! His cheeses will be available through our site.
Lot’s of love,
Yolanda & the Gaia Team
Gaia Pulses Arch 217 Ponsford Street London E9 6JU