Lviv International Foods thrives on ethnic Easter traditions

Freshly shaved loaves of ham, salami and head cheese sit stacked high in the deli case at Lviv International Foods in Parma.

Any day looks like an ethnic holiday at this sparkling Ukrainian grocery store. And with the unusual concurrence this year of both Orthodox and non-Orthodox Easters this Sunday, things will only get busier.

She and her staff make a wide assortment of their own pierogi. They bake Vie de France bread from purchased dough several times a day, and will gladly explain to customers how they can make a torte from thin sheets of wafer and caramel sauce she sells by the can.

The meats are a long production: cooking and chilling a marinade, three to four days of soaking in the refrigerator, five hours of marinating with garlic and mayonnaise and three to four hours of cooking. For garlic lovers, the cooking aromas are almost as good as the taste of the transformed meat. It’s served with traditional beet relish made with horseradish, a kind of Ukrainian hot sauce.

The bread, made with an overabundance of eggs, is particularly important in conveying a sunny color to signify spring — as well as Easter’s celebratory, religious meaning of resurrection. It, too, sweetens the air in the home (and makes great French toast, if there’s any left).

This is also where you can buy your very own babushka (floral head scarf), coffee mugs printed with Ukrainian names, and baskets of pysanky, the ornately decorated eggs.

Lviv International Foods is located at 5689 State Road in Parma’s Ukrainian Village.

Source: http://www.cleveland.com/taste/index.ssf/2010/03/post_42.html

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