Amuse Bouche

There were breads of all shapes and sizes and description; good white wheat bread and rich black rye bread. With the bread there was salmon and caviar, expensive to be sure but it was not every day a girl gets married. The salmon and the caviar were a treat, something to be savoured, but everyone else had pitched in with the rest of the meal. There were varenki – dumplings stuffed with cottage cheese – and, to eat with them, bowls of smetana – sour cream – that could be added to the plates of soup being ladled out of huge tureens by the enthusiastic guests. There was borscht of course, and schi – cabbage soup – and some pungent rassolnik – a kind of meat soup – as well as delicious ukha – fish soup. The room was filled with a heady mixture of aromas as the strong smells and flavours of traditional Ukrainian cooking vied with each other.

From Dynamo (Triumph and tragedy in Nazi-occupied Kiev) by Andy Dougan.