Ever heard of the Baltic states and what is popular in their cuisine? Read along
These 3 Baltic states namely, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have much to offer in their food segment.
Post-WWI, three beautiful nations by the Baltic Sea were cut free from Russian supremacy and gained independence in 1991. These 3 nations are Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. Originally Finland was part of the Baltics, later it got re-grouped with the Nordic states.
In today’s article, we will bring you the most popular dishes the Lithuanians are proud of and one could try these dishes on a trip to the Baltic states. Lithuania’s capital is Vilnius and in the year 1994, it has been awarded as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Vilnius is a Gamma global city for its architectural prowess in its old town.
When it comes to food, potatoes are the most favorite vegetable and surprisingly Lithuanians also brew beers out of Potatoes!
So the list of ingredients found in Baltic cuisine is potatoes, beetroots, and barley (Sounds Indian isn’t it? Lithuanian lingo does have a few Sanskrit origins so yes we all are connected.) ok moving on with the ingredients, they have mushrooms, dairy, rye, and berries. During harsh winters Lithuanians prefer Meat along with potatoes and lots of potato beer to keep them warm.
With the changing weather, the ingredients change as well. The Baltics have 4 seasons in total. Simple spices like caraway seeds, dill, pepper, and salt are used in Latvian cuisine, and in Lithuanian cuisine, mustard seeds, caraway seeds, dill, bay leaf, and garlic are religiously used. Estonians too change their ingredients as per the season at hand like pork, rye bread, dairy, and of course potatoes. Estonians too belong to the pork cum beer cum vodka cum rye bread belt of Europe.
Lets look at their popular dishes now.
This is considered Lithuania’s national dish – Cepelinai or Zeppelin. Simply put, it is pork-filled inside large potato dumplings and finished with a sour cream topping and bacon.
Cold Beetroot Soup
This creamy pinkish delight is a cold soup made out of beetroot, potatoes, carrots, onions, and some cucumber chunks with boiled eggs to the side. And its hot version for winter is served with boiled potatoes.
Dark Rye Bread
In the Baltics region, Rye is widely used and the loaves of bread made with Rye are very delicious. Take back big loaves of these breads with you and share them with your loved ones.
Räim is cooked in myriad ways and it is nothing but a Baltic dwarf herring, well known in Estonia. It is a different variety from the Atlantic herring and is leaner when compared to the Atlantic herring. Check with the restaurant or café staff to help you with this dish.
This sweet marvel is very popular in Latvia. Made with rye and stuffed with carrots and potatoes along with caraway seeds seasoning. European Commission gave Sklandrausis the award of ‘Traditional Specialty Guaranteed’.
Walk through the local food markets and look for pickled veggies. An entire lane of vendors will be selling these pickled versions of veggies like onions, beets, carrots, cabbage, and dill pickles. Easy on the pocket and must-try delicacy. You could take back bottles of these pickles for your loved ones back home.
The Baltics are swell when it comes to the beer scene. Not all of them are available outside Baltic regions, one has to be there to experience the local liquor or beverage. Rye beverages like Kvass or Gira are popular. However, there are herbal mixes as well at offers like Latvia’s Black Balsam, Lithuania’s Krupnikas, or Estonia’s Vana Tallinn. (By the way, Tallinn is Estonia’s capital)