Traditional Latvian cuisine
Enjoying dishes of Latvian traditional cuisine, you will always feel full and fresh, the dishes are rich in nutrients and natural. Previously, spices were rarely used, but over time, Latvian cuisine changed, borrowing and complementing the variety of dishes under the influence of the cultures of many other peoples.
The list of Latvian traditional dishes is complemented by exotic spices and ingredients, creating a combination of new taste sensations. The variety of dishes for vegetarians and supporters of raw food is also expanding.
The most popular dishes of traditional cuisine in Latvia – meat dishes – blood sausage (cereal sausage), roast pork, various smoking.
Wild game meat is also popular – meat of beaver, deer, wild boar, duck, as well as various fish, which are often smoked by traditional methods, are used for food. From vegetarian favorite dishes are pancakes from a pumpkin or potatoes, beet salad, soup with beans and sweet dishes – bubert or beaten delicacy of eggs, and semolina, bread soup, puff rye bread with whipped cream and berries, and honey cake. In the summer months people still go to the forest to collect strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, other berries and mushrooms.
Meals are complemented by such drinks as milk, sour milk, kvass, birch sap, various herbal and other teas. Of course, you can not do without a foaming beer.
Traditional dishes – one of the most essential elements of the Latvian traditions, which to a large extent determines the habit holiday celebration: Easter in the place of honor – the eggs and curd, the feast of Midsummer – beer and cheese, sung in Latvian songs per day Martynov eat roasted rooster, on the Christmas table put 12 dishes, which must necessarily include peas and sour cabbage. People’s beliefs say that the delivery of these dishes on specific holidays will bring health, prosperity, money, wealth and will contribute to the harvest.
Where to find Latvian traditional cuisine?
Traditional cuisine can be sampled during trips to rural farmsteads, which serves a variety of delicacies: homemade cheese, flavored sausages, honey, beer, smoking, sklandrauši or baskets made from rye flour with creamy carrot rolls, freshly baked bread and many other foods. Visitors are given the opportunity to see how the product itself is prepared, and to purchase fresh, fragrant products right there on the spot. Also, the national cuisine of Latvia can be tasted in the numerous restaurants of Latvia, and the capital of Latvia, Riga.
For example, in the spring, after a long winter, Latvians have long been using birch sap to strengthen the body. As established in Ikskile cellar for birch sap wine and are interested in getting acquainted with the process of birch sap, it is possible to taste the bubbly wine from birch sap own cooking.
In the cities, rural products are available in eco-shops and markets. Also, the offer of restaurants, courgettes and cafes is often based directly on dishes of traditional Latvian cuisine.
Latvian cuisine in our days
Under the influence of the traditions of the power of other nations and affordable nowadays spices, Latvian cuisine is gradually being upgraded – traditional cabbage soup can be made with olives and capers, vegetarians will appreciate the hearty meal with the traditional beans, which added to the chili, and during the collection of mushrooms preparing risotto with local mushrooms. Almost every restaurant serves dishes, the origins of which lead to Latvian traditional cuisine, which the chefs masterfully adapted to the selective taste of the modern gourmet.
What to buy as a gift?
Riga black balsam is one of the alcoholic drinks that characterizes Latvia’s taste, which has become a souvenir. One of the main ingredients of black balsam is various plants that give the drink its dark color and healing properties.
Since ancient times, the pride of the Latvian national cuisine is a real rustic rye bread, which in our days are added grains, dried fruits, and which is used in food as an additive, both sweet and savory dishes to. In a suitcase it is worthwhile to find a place for honey, various green teas, sweets “Cow” (“Gotina”) and Latvian beer.
We wish you to enjoy the tastes of Latvia and find your favorite taste!
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