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Doukhobour Borscht

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DOUKHOBOR BORSCHT Doukhobor Borscht is a vegetarian soup that originated from the Doukhobors, a religious group originally from Russia. The Doukhobors immigrated to Canada at the turn of the century, a period of mass immigration to Canada and were largely brought here to farm available agricultural land. Borscht is a soup common to Eastern Europe. While the most recognizable borscht is the Russian beet borscht, Doukhobor borscht is very different. Not only is the word itself spelled differently, but the make-up of the soup is very different as well. Contrary to the better known beet versions, Doukhobor borscht it is vegetarian, has copious amount of butter, cream and dill, and is always served hot. Doukhobors lived communally and traditionally, borscht was made by the women. Food is highly cherished by this community and the preparation of borscht was an integral part of communal eating and added to a communal sense of pride <ref>( Given that they were often feeding large communities of people, traditional recipes for Doukhobor borscht are complex, labour intensive and involve a significant amount of time and energy ( When served, the borshch is always hot, and salt and pepper are available as a garnish. Homemade bread is a key accompaniment and butter is an option. Because food is highly regarded in this culture, the preparation of the borscht itself is a social event. Still today, at the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ <ref>(, member of the church are on call out lists, and make themselves available in advance of important events like funerals or larger church services, to prepare the borscht and bread. It is important, when preparing borscht, to read through the entire recipe <ref>( before starting. Fresh ingredients are always best, and dill and lots of cabbage is imperative. If, initially, this seems like a lot of work, and a large amount of food, you are probably on the right track. It is a lot of work and typical recipes result in enough borscht for upto 30 people. For reference, please refer to this video <ref>( posted by the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ <ref>( which details the borscht making process. Once prepared, it is important for people to gather together to eat the borscht. Again, this is reflective of the communal nature of the Doukhobor culture and of the importance that preparation and consumption of food holds to the culture <ref>( There is an expectation that the food prepared will be consumed and so please come to the table with a good appetite otherwise, the perception could be that you are rude, or the food is not good. While the Doukhobor population in B.C. has been on the decline for many years <ref>) the popularity of their food remains relatively stable. Currently, in communities heavily populated by Doukhobors , it is common to see restaurants dedicated to the preparation of their food <ref>( and fundraisers supported by Doukhobor women selling borscht and some post-secondary institutions actively have been incorporated the preparation of borscht into their curriculum <ref>(

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