Unesco has officially recognized Ukrainian borscht, a soup made from beetroot, carrot, potato, cabbage, and onion, as an intangible heritage in urgent need of protection.
The origin of the traditional soup has been the subject of discussions between Russia and Ukraine for several years. “We have won the Borsht war, and we will win the other war,” Ukraine’s Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko wrote on Telegram.
The Russians had opened the soup war several years ago by calling borscht “one of Russia’s most famous and beloved dishes.” Ukraine couldn’t help but consider borscht their national dish.
A month ago, Kyiv submitted a candidacy to recognize borscht as Ukrainian heritage through an urgent procedure. The Unesco committee officially recognized “the culture of Ukrainian borscht cuisine” on Friday.
The borscht culture was placed on the World Heritage List for intangible goods in urgent need of protection. The UN, therefore, fears negative consequences for the tradition in Ukraine as a result of the war. “The existence of the soup is not endangered, but it is the human and living heritage associated with this soup that is at risk from the forced displacement of communities as a result of the armed conflict,” the UN agency said in a statement.
Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko is delighted with this victory over Russia. “Ukraine will win both the Borscht war and this war,” he wrote on his Telegram. Ukraine will share the recipe for this beetroot soup with “all civilized countries and even uncivilized countries so that they have at least something light, tasty and Ukrainian”.