“Sviat Vechir,” Holy Evening or Ukrainian Christmas is a festive celebration now observed along with the western tradition of Christmas Eve on December 24th. Beginning after the first star appears in the evening sky, the meal features 12 dishes symbolizing the 12 apostles. Common dishes include kutia, borscht, varenyky, holubsti, kalach, pierogi, uzvar, deruny, pickled vegetables and mushrooms, salted herring and other fish dishes. Dishes vary by region, but the traditions are the same. Most of the businesses featured in this column carry an assortment of the items featured and we invite you to visit them, hear their stories about tradition and hope and get to know your neighbours. Ukrainian culture is alive in Calgary and many of us, myself included, have roots that grow deep.

Check out some of the other items that represent the Ukrainain culture and community: Kielbasa – Heritage Deli & Bakery, Makivnyk (poppy seed roll) – Kings Bakery, Dumpling dough press set and roller – Lee Valley Tools, LOVARE Tea – European Market Deli and Produce, Crepe Pans – Edelweiss Village, Poppy Seeds – Silk Road Spices, Sauerkraut – Krooked Provisions.

kalach from kalyna

Kalach is a traditional Eastern European bread, typically associated with Ukrainian cuisine.

It is a round-shaped bread with a central hole, giving it a distinctive ring or wreath-like appearance.

Kalyna/Kalinka European Food Market and Ukrainian Deli

Kalyna European Food Store and Ukrainian Style Deli is a one-stop shop for Ukrainian and European ingredients. In early December Kalyna was already ramping up for a busy holiday season preparing traditional items enjoyed during celebrations. Some favourites include: kutia (sweet wheat pudding), kalach (traditional bread with a hole in middle symbolizing prosperity, peace and harmony), uzvar (a drink made from dried fruit), pierogi (11 flavours), holubtsi (cabbage rolls made with sweet or sour cabbage), salted herring with green onion and pickled mushrooms. There is always something new to discover in this store.

Kalach can vary in size and texture, ranging from soft and fluffy to denser varieties, and it may be sweet or savory. It is often served during special occasions, celebrations, or as part of the festive table. In some regions, kalach has symbolic significance and may be used in rituals or ceremonies.

Kalach | Kalyna/Kalinka European Food Market and Ukrainian Deli | $14.90-$15.90 | kalynastore.ca