Traditional Ukrainian bread palianytsia

What is palianytsia?

Today, the word “palianytsia” is known to every Ukrainian, regardless of age and region of residence. It is perceived as something truly Ukrainian, native, and patriotic. This word has several meanings, so we invite you to learn more about why it is so popular and what Ukrainian people might mean by it.

Traditional bread palianytsia

Palianytsia is a round loaf of bread with a horizontal cut on the side. It has a peculiar appearance because of a special cooking technology: the dough is baked not in an oven, but on its hot surface. Palianytsia is actually fried on both sides in turn without adding fat. So, the very name of this traditional bread comes from the word “palyty”.

Indeed, the Ukrainians have been cooking palyanitsa since ancient times. This bread has always been a symbol of the sun, happiness and prosperity, as well as the host’s hospitality. It was cooked just like that and for big holidays, for example, at Christmas. Therefore, in addition to a practical food product, the palanica had ritual and protective properties.
Often the stick was not cut with a knife, but plucked off with hands. Therefore, an alternative name for this bread has also taken root among the people – plucks (from the Ukrainian word “vydshchipuvati)”

Against the backdrop of the great importance of bread in Ukrainian culture and the agricultural industry in Ukraine as a whole, the popularity of the term “palyanytsya” is constantly growing. So, in 2008, a new variety of wheat received this name, and in 2022, a network of free food establishments for the elderly was opened.

Polyanytsya village in the Carpathians

In the Ivano-Frankivsk region, the mountain village of Polyanytsya is located (until 2008 it was called Palyanytsya). It is located at an altitude of 920 m above sea level within the Gorgany mountain range and is part of the Carpathian National Natural Park.

The first written mention of Polyanitsa was recorded in 1820. The exact date of the founding of the village is unknown, but it happened before 1943. It is this year that the burials of a company of riflemen who died in battles with the German occupiers during the Second World War are dated.

As of January 2022, about 700 people live in the village of Polyanytsya, it has the status of a mountain and is classified as a resort. But in the winter season, the population grows many times: tourists come here en masse to enjoy a traditional holiday in the Ukrainian Carpathians.

Sculpture Palyanitsa in Kyiv

There is a unique project “Shukay!” in Ukraine. It was created so that residents and guests of the capital could learn the history of Kyiv without a guide, using interactive QR codes. In the five incomplete years of the project’s existence, its participants have already discovered 37 miniature sculptures. Among them are “Cutlet in Kiev”, “Kyiv chestnut”, “Hryvnia”, “Ghost of Kyiv” and many other interesting miniatures.

One of these unique miniature sculptures was the traditional palyanitsa. The author of this sculpture is Yuri Belyavsky. He is also the author of many other sculptures of the Pike! project. The organizers chose the Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv, located on Naberezhno-Khreshchatytska Street, 1, as the place for the installation of the sculpture.

Blow like a shibboleth

If you have studied any foreign language, then surely the unusual sound of foreign sounds caused you irritation and difficulty with pronunciation. For example, the French unusual “r” or the English subdued “ze” is not so easy even for those who have been learning these languages for years.

History knows many examples in which incorrect pronunciation played a fatal role in the fate of people and even entire nations. This is how the shibboleth appeared – a language password that was first mentioned in the Bible. Thanks to this method, you can find out whether the language for the person he speaks is native or secondary, and even barely familiar.

“Palyanitsa” is a great example of a shibboleth that was born in early 2022 in connection with Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. Ukrainian and Russian will say this word in completely different ways. Despite the apparent simplicity of the word, a person who is accustomed to the phonetics of the Russian language (where there is no soft sound “c” and the sound “l” is dental) pronounces it with a noticeable accent. So, foreigners usually pronounce this word something like “palanitsa”.

As you can see, the word “flying” is very multifaceted. Despite several modern meanings, all Ukrainians unanimously know it as a bakery product. You might be interested in learning more about this Ukrainian bread and making it according to a traditional recipe. Therefore, check out the classic or holiday recipe for palanica. Cook with pleasure and deep knowledge of Ukrainian culture!