Ukrainian borsch recognized by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage
Ukrainian borsch, traditional beetroot and cabbage soup, was inscribed on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.
In its decision, the Intergovernmental Committee’s noted that “the armed conflict has threatened the viability of the element. The displacement of people and bearers threatens the element, as people are unable not only to cook or grow local vegetables for borsch, but also to come together to practice the element, which undermines the social and cultural well-being of communities.”
The culture of borsch cooking has long been practiced and celebrated in all regions of Ukraine, with communities, families and restaurants developing their own versions of this traditional and popular dish, which is based on beetroot. It reflects local characteristics and products depending on the region. Variations of borsch can include mushrooms, fish or sweet peppers. Whether as part of a wedding meal, the focus of food-related competitions or as a driver of tourism, borsch is considered part of the fabric of Ukrainian society, cultural heritage, identity and tradition.
Borsch cooking joins four existing elements from Ukraine on the Elements on UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.