Why Was Vegetarian Cuisine Popular Among Our Slavic Ancestors?

edited May 16 in Culture and History

imageWhy Was Vegetarian Cuisine Popular Among Our Slavic Ancestors?

Today in this age and time we have available food at our fingertips at any time we want. It wasn't always like that, in fact in history our ancestors were at times almost vegetarian. Most of the food they prepared was many vegetables, oddly enough, with little meat.

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  • In other words vegetarianism is for peasants
  • My Slavic ancestors were not vegetarian. They could not be having lengthy winters. My grandmother remembered the days when tomatoes would not get ripen during summer in northern Belarus.
  • Not to mention all that fasting. The Orthodox church (at least here) has up to 200 days of Lent per year. Nowadays few people follow that tradition, but in the olden days...
  • edited May 17

    You are right! Around two hundred days of fasting in Orthodox church calendar. Christianity is 1,100 year old in our land. Prior to   900AD my ancestors were pagan. And Christianity was not firmly established in rural areas of Belarus by 1300s.

    North Europeans from Ireland to Russia could not rely on vegetables and fruits only. Main ingridients in their diets were grains and meats. Vegetables and fruits were supplementary.
  • edited May 17
    Today most people eat gypsy trash food such as ćevapi, pljeskavica or just some other type of barbecue. Twenty years ago this was considered poor man's pečenje. Fasting was trendy before WW2, because people owned land and dealt with agriculture. Also our ancestors on Balkans were always trying to copy wealthier nations just without using the same resources as those nation did, so for instance you have pogača which doesn't even look remotely like original Italian focaccia, you know without the right ingredients such as olives and other ingredients or moussaka without eggplant and béchamel sauce like Greeks make.

  • This topic reminds me of a scene from the film, "Everything is Illuminated." An American guy goes to Ukraine to search information on his ancestors. He hires this Ukrainian dude and his grandfather to help him. 

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