|Main ingredients||Wheat bran|
Borș is a liquid ingredient used in Romanian and Moldovan cuisine to make traditional sour soup called also borș or ciorbă. This ingredient consists of wheat or barley bran, sometimes sugar beet, fermented in water - a slightly yellowish, sour liquid, which can also be drunk as such. The word has thus two different, if related meanings.
The word borș is used by Ukrainian and Russian borshch or borscht, but it has a different meaning: the traditional Ukrainian borshch is a beetroot soup, which Romanians generally call borș de sfeclă roşie (red beetroot borscht) or borș rusesc (Russian borscht), while in Romanian cuisine the word "borș" is used for an entire category of sour, hearty soups, prepared usually with the synonymous ingredient "borș". In fact, Romanian gastronomy uses with hardly any discrimination the Romanian word ciorbă ("soup"), borș or, sometimes, zeamă ("juice") or acritură (based on the word for "sour" and meaning coming from it). In Moldavia region (nowadays, Western Moldavia, Moldova, and Bukovina), where Romanians lived in closest contact with Ukrainians and Russians, the word borș means simply any sour soup.
Romanian "borș" soup recipes can include various kinds of vegetables and any kind of meat, including fish. "Borș/ciorbă de perişoare" (a broth with meatballs) is quite common. One ingredient required in all recipes by Romanian tradition is lovage leaves, which has a characteristic flavour and significantly improves the soup's aroma.