Rescuing the Cuisine of Besieged Mariupol, Recipe by Family Recipe (Published 2022) – The New York Times

Russia-Ukraine War
For one Ukrainian American home cook, recording and sharing the dishes she grew up eating is an act of resistance.
In Austin, Texas, Olga Koutseridi recreates dishes from her childhood in Mariupol, Ukraine, like juicy, meat-filled chebureki.Credit…Jessica Attie for The New York Times
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Food memories from childhood summers tend to stick. Olga Koutseridi, a graduate student adviser at the University of Texas at Austin, formed hers in Mariupol, the small city on the Black Sea whose name has become synonymous with the worst devastation Russia has inflicted on Ukraine.
While she was growing up, her family often moved between Ukraine, Greece and Russia for her father’s work, but they always returned to her parents’ hometown for the summer. Her grandmother’s apartment overlooked the mulberry trees lining Morskyi Boulevard, and the Sea of Azov beyond.
On the way to Mariupol’s beaches, women sold whole roasted sunflower heads and paper cones of fresh, juicy sunflower seeds trucked in from nearby farms. Beachgoers hauled picnic lunches filled with garlicky salami sandwiches on lavishly buttered slices of baton, a staple Ukrainian bread. And on the path home, food trucks sold freshly fried chebureki, half-moons of pastry folded around a meat filling, hot and spitting juice “like a giant fried soup dumpling,” she said.
On Feb. 24, as shelling began, her grandmother and aunt fled the apartment; Ms. Koutseridi did not hear from them again until March 20. With a dozen others, they sheltered in a cellar without heat, water or power until the violence came close enough to force them out. By foot, car and train, Ms. Koutseridi said, they made their way across the Russian border and north to St. Petersburg, where relatives awaited them. Her grandmother, now 86, remains hospitalized there, with dangerous blood clots brought on by the journey.
Last month, Russian tanks rolled along Morskyi Boulevard. Photos shared among refugees and expatriates on Telegram show that the beaches Ms. Koutseridi grew up on are snaked with concertina wire, the windows of her grandmother’s building are blown out, and much of the city has been reduced to rubble.
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