Odessa is one of those destinations where you really should slow down, sit at the table at one of the cute outdoor cafes, which abound in the historic quarter and savor absolutely delicious local cuisine. Even if food does not come to define your travel experience. Why do I say so?
Not only do the local restaurants and cafes impress with the motive (yes, it’s a thing in Odessa to focus on interior design), their menus are a yummy way to immerse in the city’s history and culture. From the traditional Ukrainian dumplings and borsch to the Slavic “blini” (or blintz) to the Jewish “forshmak” and gefilte fish to mouthwatering bell peppers cooked in Bulgarian style, Odessa’s cuisine is a genuine reflection of the city’s cosmopolitan nature.
Odesseans became familiar with eggplants long before other people in Russian Empire. And the reason to this was very simple – Odessa’s port was an entry point to many European and Mediterranean goods, which were foreign to Russia and Ukraine. That was also the case with eggplants. Continue reading