Vareniki or varenyky is a staple dish in Ukrainian cuisines. They are half-moon shaped dumplings that are boiled in salted water.
Vareniki fillings may vary, but the most common version is the potato version. Depending on the filling, they can be served as a starter or as a dessert.
It is customary to accompany varenieki with Russian sour cream called smetana.
Vareniki are very popular in Ukraine and are at the center of the Ukrainian culinary tradition. This is why an annual festival is held in their honor every year in the Ukrainian ski resort of Bukovel in the Carpathians.
In addition, the vareniki go beyond the national Ukrainian dish. Indeed, in the past, they played a symbolic and ritual role. By analogy, the Ukrainian sages equated varenyky to a young moon because of their semicircular shape.
Dumplings were then used as part of pagan and sacrificial rituals. According to some beliefs, vareniki brought abundance and brought about fruitful harvests. For this reason, Ukrainian peasants brought homemade vareniki to the fields.