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Dining in Belarus

Cuisine

You can visit our new page on belarusian cuisine. Meanwhile here are few of my favorites: draniki (potato pancakes with sour cream); could be draniki stuffed with meat; another variation is klecki ( zeppelins in Lithuania) - grounded potato stuffed with meat; machanka z blinami - meat with pan cakes and special white sauce; borsch - vegetable soup. Generally potato, cabbage and all sorts of meat are major components. Try our cheese and smoked sausages, you'll remember it for a long time :) Diary products are good. I would especially recommend Americans to taste what a cottage cheese (tvaroh) should be. Bread is usually sour black rye bread. Generally bakery is descent. If you know German or Polish cuisine it would give you a hint on what you can expect there. I've heard you can buy lately a crocodile soup in Minsk. I would say forget about it and try Belarusian dishes while in Belarus.


Prices

Food is cheap. You may find prices for primary food here


Restaurants

See these comments on dining in "Minsk in your pocket".


Radioactive contamination. How bad it is?

The last issue - radioactive contamination of food. Generally you shouldn't be concerned about it unless you are going to Homel' or Mahilyow (Mogilev) region. Also pregnant women and young kids are more susceptible to radiation. See this map of radioactive contamination of Belarus. See also this Atlas of Chernobyl's Cs deposition. If you go to Homel' or Mahilyow you should take precautions. In Minsk, Hrodna, Brest and Vitsebsk voblasts the contamination could be sometimes found in occasional foods brought from contaminated areas.

Typically there is a government control on the radioactive level in foods not only in state shops but even in the food markets. But there are rumors that government is periodically feeding us with contaminated food. I know that there is an active agriculture in the contaminated areas (except those that are very close to Chernobyl zone). So someone must eat the product. It is very easy to buy a dosimeter for radioactivity in Belarus. It might be wise to do so if you are not willing to entirely rely on governmental honesty.

Stay away from mushrooms and fresh water fish. Some types of them tend to accumulate radioactive elements. Locals know which are harmless and which could be dangerous. Tap water is fine for drinking - it is checked very strictly - considered national security matter since Soviet times.


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