Traditional Odessa cuisine: 10 dishes to try this summer


Sandy coast, wild acacias, old royal houses and the salty aroma of the Black sea in the air. Odessa, a port city that has absorbed French charm, Greek ease and Jewish humor, is a gem you don’t want to miss. Today we’ll discover ten culinary delights you should try while enjoying yachting at the coast of the Black Sea.

Pasta with skafarks. Everyone has heard about oysters and mussels. Skafarks, though, remain undiscovered. These shells, also known as “Black Sea Vongoles”, are bivalve mollusks. Spaghettini pasta with skafarkas in a light sauce with white wine, tomatoes, basil and garlic is a real must-try for everyone visiting Odessa. And yes, now you don’t have to fly to Rome to taste the creamy, tender pasta with shells!

Vareniki (dumplings) with flounder. The seaside regions are renowned for their ability to adapt classic dishes to the flavor of the sea. Dumplings made of premium flour are stuffed with the most delicate flounder fillet with parsley, mashed potatoes and olive oil. The dish is served hot, covered with melted butter with chopped herbs and a few tablespoons of fish broth.

Cream borsch. A worthy alternative to the Spanish gazpacho was born in the hot climate of Odessa. Rich, tomato creamy borscht made from the Odessa’s vegetables will appeal to both classic lovers and fans of experiments.

Okroshka with mackerel. Such an unusual recipe for making Okroshka could only appear in a sunny port town on the Black Sea coast. Hot-smoked mackerel, fresh radish, mustard and green onion feathers give the traditional dish a new, incomparable marine flavor.

Fried mussels. There are a lot of mussel recipes in Odessa. Hence, it is worth stocking up on your favorite white wine and ordering several dishes. We recommend trying mussels in creamy sauce with gorgonzola, Black Sea mussels with pesto and parmesan, as well as classic mussels in garlic sauce. An unforgettable evening is guaranteed!

Tomato salad. Juicy, ripe Mikado tomatoes are served with crispy bell peppers, pickled purple onions and fresh cucumbers. Vegetables are abundantly sprinkled with sheep cheese, chard leaves and parsley. The salad will be a great addition to grilled seafood and sunset over the Black Sea.

Odessa’s fish. While enjoying yachting in Odessa, you should give preference to the catch of local fishermen. Flounder, mullet, horse mackerel, gobies, sprat and red mullet are the real treasures of the Black Sea. Freshly caught, fried in breading in a pan or grill, Odessa fish will not leave you indifferent. Do not forget to order a cup of aromatic coffee, close your eyes and let the sea breeze blow your hair. Life is good, and in Odessa, especially!

Blue caviar. Eggplant caviar, just like fried fish, is a symbol of Odessa. Large eggplants, olive oil, tomatoes, parsley and garlic cooked over an open fire – what could be simpler? What could be tastier? Spread rich, delicious eggplant caviar on ruddy garlic toast and enjoy your snack!

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