What to eat in the Baltic States Part II
Gabriel Orentas


What to eat in the Baltic States Part II

At first it may seems that Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian foods are very much alike. After all we are close neighbours. Yet, Latvian food is as Latvian as Latvia can be and is based in the practical necessities imposed by life in the Middle Ages.

For instance, most food is low in spices, because they were difficult to come by in the middle ages. In the same way beans are an important staple of the Latvian diet, because they are rich in protein and were easier to get by than meat.

The middle age culinary legacy carries on to this date by way of blending with other traditions such as Christmas and Easter. With that in mind here are some of the notable dishes typical of the Latvian diet:

Pirāgi
Lithuania has Kibinas and Latvia has Pirāgi. A delicious roll filled with bacon, egg and onions. This humble product of the oven is the quintessential traditional dish of Latvia and is usually server with a cup of chicken broth.

Pirāgi

Sklandrauši
Keeping up with weird food names, here's a treat for the veggie lovers. Typical of Easter, the pagan celebration of the resurrection of the Sun, sklandrauši are rounded tarts filled up with carrots or potatoes. Other countries may celebrate Easter with eggs and rabbits, Latvia has delicious tarts that look like little suns, which makes more sense, if you think about it.

Sklandrauši

Bukstiņbiezputra
Yes I know, these names get more and more complicated as you go along, but please bear with me. Bukstiņbiezputra is a whole grains porridge topped with streaky bacon and cream. Think of it as a vegetarian dish with second thoughts.

Bukstiņbiezputra

Rupjmaizes Kārtojums
Never mind the name, this dessert is more delicious than it sounds! It combines two important staples of the Latvian diet, cranberries and rye bread. If you are familiar with a trifle, this is the Latvian version, topped with whipped cream, nuts, the works!

Rupjmaizes Kārtojums