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Latvian Cuisine

Latvian cuisine is a blend of all the different cultures that have been in the Baltic region from the Germans to the Russians. The cuisine of Latvia is a unique culinary experience.

Some of the most popular items in Latvian cuisine are the hors d'oeuvres as some of the dishes include kotletes, (meat patties), skabu kapostu zupa, (cabbage soup), Alexander Torte, (raspberry of cranberry strips of pastry), and smoked salmon or trout. Potatoes are a main staple and can be made many different ways. Some potato specialties are piragi (pasty filled with onion and bacon) and sorrell soup, which is soup made with boiled pork, onions, potatoes, and barley. Latvia also has many dairy products and an excellent type of sour cream called skabs krejums. Peas and beans are also main staples of the Latvian diet and are served year round. In the summertime broad beans are boiled in their pods and then served with curdled milk or buttermilk. In the wintertime peas are consumed and always eaten on Christmas Eve. The Latvians boil the peas with some lard and then are cooked in the oven. Zirnu pikas (pea balls) come from mashed and boiled peas. During Christmas a Latvian specialty is a half a pigs head or only its snout. This is traditionally served with beans and different types of sausages.

In the spring, especially in April, you can taste zidenis, which is a type of porridge made from pearl barley and then boiled with a tail or ear of a pig.

During the spring Easter eggs are placed on the table in different colors. Many are brown in color as the eggs are boiled in onion skins. A green color in the eggs shows that they were boiled with the leaves from birch tree branches. Many times the eggs are wrapped in such things as yarn, grass, dried heather, lingo berry leaves or grains. Generally the eggs are colored with dried blueberries.

One interesting item in Latvian cuisine is poppy butter. This is made from crushing dried poppy seeds until it becomes a greasy black mass. The black mass can be diluted with milk or water to make Staks or stenkis. It is also used as an additive for Latvian food such as pea porridge, pea balls, or frosting for cakes and breads.

These are only a few of the cuisine possibilities in Latvia.


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    Sandis Viksna
    The Daily Latvia . COM
The Daily Latvia - An Interactive Guide To Riga And Latvia

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