Treebark pancakes and pinecone soup: “dishes” from Ukrainian 1930’s Holodomor famine served in Brussels

This pinecone soup was was one of the few things Ukrainain peasants had to eat during the Holodomor of 1932-1933. All photos: Ukrainian Leadership Academy Facebook page 


The Ukrainian leadership academy held a sidewalk cafe in Brussels near the European Parliament. Its aim was to raise awareness about the Holodomor, Stalin’s artificial famine which took the lives of at least 4 million Ukrainians in 1932-1933.

Titled UNCOUNTED since 1932, it served visitors food which was the only nutrition for Ukrainian peasants during those years after the Soviet authorities confiscated their farm produce. Afterwards, the death tolls were classified and the Holodomor itself was not mentioned during Soviet times. The Belgians were served soup from pine cones and needles, bread from mashed grass, and pancakes from tree bark – “dishes” which Ukrainians ate in order to survive. The organizers state that their intention is to raise awareness about the tragedy in the EU and achieve the recognition of Holodomor as a genocide of Ukrainians.

Participant Roman Tychkivskyi said that most people were shocked and that most of their guests had not heard about the Holodomor in Ukraine.

The recipes for the UNCOUNTED since 1932 restaurant were based on memories of witnesses of the events, and a famous Ukrainian chef Yuriy Kovryzhenko worked on the menu. Only tree bark, leaves, acorns, and nettles were used to create the dishes, as these were the only products which Ukrainians had during the Holodomor.

As seen on a video posted by the Academy, visitors were also offered to take a look at a comic book illustrating how the Holodomor happened:

This is the second time the Ukrainian leadership academy is serving Holodomor-era street food to raise awareness about the tragedy. The first time was in 2017 in central Tel-Aviv. Then, passersby were served soup from bark, pinecones, leaves, and roots.

Presently, 18 countries, including Ukraine, recognize the Holodomor as genocide.


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