Lithuanian traditional food Created by G abriel ė Gendvilait ė
Lithuanian cuisine features the products suited to its cool and moist northern climate: barley, potatoes, rye, beets, greens, berries, and mushrooms are locally grown, and dairy products are one of its specialties . Since it shares its climate and agricultural practices with Eastern Europe, Lithuanian cuisine has much in common with other Eastern European cuisine.
Lithuanians like to eat good, tasty and filling foods. The tradition of eating well is inherited from our ancestors, who would say, he who eats well, works well.
Lithuanian cooks prepare simple but tasty foods. A good cook can create delicious meals using simple ingredients. It is said that each cook stirs the cookpot in her manner.
Before food was prepared using only seasonal products, however during the last twenty-five years, fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs have been available all year round, imported or grown locally. The same applies to meat, now more fresh meat is used than salted or smoked.
One of the oldest and most fundamental Lithuanian food products was and is rye bread. Rye bread is eaten every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Two kinds of bread are traditional, plain fermented and scalded.
Lithuanians eat soup every day. Soup is the main dinner and supper food. Rich soups are served for dinner and easily digested milk soups are supper fare. Most popular are sour soups, sauerkraut, beet and sorrel, with smoked meat stock as the base. Sauerkraut and beet soups are eaten in winter, while sorrel, beet greens and milk soups are eaten in spring and summer. Cold beet soup with hot potatoes is a very popular summer fare.
Cold beet soup
Cold sweet soups are also popular, especially in summer. In olden times and now, sweet soups made with berries, fruit and tiny dumplings are a treat. Another summer soup, mutinys, made with dried black bread, water, sugar and crushed fruit is very refreshing on hot summer days.
Cold sweet soup
Lithuanians consume a lot of meat and meat by-products. Pork has always been the most widely used meat, fresh, brined or smoked, and continues to be so to this day. For longer keeping, many varieties of sausage are made. One of them, skilandis, was mentioned as early as 16th century. The traditional smoked meat technology has remained the same throughout the years.
Fowl meat is also popular. Domestic birds are cooked, smoked and baked. Game birds appear rarely in the Lithuanian kitchen. They are the domain of hunters .
Potatoes came to Lithuania relatively recently, in the eighteenth century and soon became popular. Now every farm grows potatoes. Many delicious, tasty dishes are made with potatoes. They are eaten alone or as an accompaniment to a main course of soup, meat, fish, mushrooms, eggs and dairy products. The most popular potato dishes are "zeppelins", potato sausages, potato casserole and pancakes.
Dairy products Dairy products play an important role in Lithuanian cuisine; cottage cheese may be sweet, sour, seasoned with caraway, fresh, or cured until semi-soft. Lithuanian butters and cream are unusually rich. Lithuanian curd snacks called cheese curds are popular in Lithuania.
Mead and beer are ceremonial and traditional drinks. Mead, midus is the oldest and noblest drink, served during banquets and special occasions. Good conditions existed to make mead because Lithuanians since early times took honey from wild bees in tree hollows.
Beer has been brewed in Lithuania since ancient times and even today is a popular, traditional drink. It is always brewed for family celebrations, feast days, barn raisings and funerals. Beer is brewed from sprouted barley malt. Another ancient drink is made from birch and maple sap, collected in early spring. Sap is drunk fresh and fermented for summer drinking.