Reviewing Authentic Ukrainian Christmas Chocolates

Reviewing Authentic Ukrainian Christmas Chocolates

May 7, 2020 · 6 min. readThis article may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Merry Christmas in May! Now that we all live in a pandemic void where time does not matter and space is finite (because we are all indoors), I figured we could review Christmas chocolates in May.

Or, maybe it is because I just finally got around to it. Whichever you want to believe.

Last Christmas my friend, Kateryna, went back to Ukraine to see her family. When she returned, she brought me back some traditional Ukrainian chocolates. Some I had had before in my Experience Mosaic From Your Home article but several others were brand new.

I travelled to Ukraine in 2016 but I had a very brief stay there. The purpose of my trip was to explore Chernobyl and Pripyat, but I also ended up spending Orthodox Easter Sunday in Kyiv. Eating these chocolates was a walk down memory lane, and it made me long to go back there someday.

One of the most popular chocolates in Ukraine and Eastern Europe are chocolates produced by Roshen. This company is owned by Petro Poroshenko, the fifth president of Ukraine. Although 40% of all Roshen sales went to Russia until they stopped importing it in 2013, it is still popular in Hungry, Poland, Romania, Germany and even the United States and Canada, although I've never seen it here.

Two of the chocolate bars Kateryna brought me were pre-sliced, six pieces of milk chocolate. The chocolate was wrapped in scenes of Kyiv, with one being Saint Sophia's Cathedral and the other being St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery. I visited Saint Sophia's when I was in Kyiv, although it was closed to the public because it was a holiday. I also walked past St. Michael's and saw a mural of all the fallen soldiers from the ongoing War in Donbass.

Roshen

Although these chocolates were very good, they tasted very much like regular milk chocolate bars. I think I enjoyed the nostalgia of these chocolates more, but I know if I saw them again, I would not hesitate to buy them.

The next chocolate I had were chocolate covered plums or prunes. I thought they were just okay. I had them before in my article a few years ago and I knew I was not going to really like them, but this time I knew what I was about to bite into. Last time I was shocked to discover something other than chocolate was inside them.

Prume Chocolate Prume Chocolate

The third type of chocolates I had were strictly traditional holiday chocolates, and even came in a bright orange box with Ukrainian artwork on it. The box opened into a little picture book that said a bit about Ukrainian Christmas, the pysanka (Ukrainian Easter egg that keeps the world alive) and the importance of embroidery. Inside were two types of chocolate: one was dark chocolate with shredded coconut and nuts inside, and the other was milk chocolate with fudge inside.

Box of chocolates Box of chocolates Box of chocolates

These were my favourite and were gone prior to me even writing this article.

Kateryna also brought me back a postcard from Kyiv, with a statue of the Slavic founders of the city – the brothers. Kyi, Shchek and Khoryv and their sister Lybid. They would establish the city sometime prior to the 5th Century, making Kyiv over 1,400 years old. While not too much is known about these founders, it is said that their ancestors would rule over what is now Kyiv for generations, working and trading alongside the Khazars until the Vikings invaded in the 9th Century. I have a whole article about the history of the city in another article, for those interested.

Postcard from Kyiv

My friend also got me a Soviet-era pin of Saint Sofia's Cathedral. Although Ukraine is trying to erase their Soviet past via decommunization, many tourists still go there and look for any relics of the former Soviet legacy. I can't be certain this pin is from the Soviet era, but as it appears to be handmade, created out of tin and has a metal clasp on the back, so I'm going to assume it was made prior to 1991.

St. Sofia's Cathderal Pin

Seeing both brought back a flood of memories, and I spent the next hour rummaging through old photos and looking at maps of the city. I didn't realize how much I missed Ukraine until I had a chance to eat their authentic food and take part in their culture.

I know this was a short article, but it is important to find a way to take in culture even when you are quarantined. When lockdown lifts and you can go outside again, please don't hesitate to visit local ethnic stores and candy shops. It's never too late to eat something new!

Thank you again to Kateryna for bringing these chocolates and memories back for me!

Let me know in the comments what your favourite foreign chocolate or candy is. If this article gets enough views, I may do another one of these in the future!

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