Taste and explore the Lithuanian cuisine
When you come to Lithuania for the first time, it will charm you with its incredibly beautiful nature, old cities, smiling people and tasty food. Lithuanian cuisine is known for its naturalness, for ancient cooking traditions served up in new ways, and for aesthetics, without which no breakfast, lunch or dinner is imaginable. As much walking in the Vilnius Old Town without a map can be a challenge, that much trying various Lithuanian dishes without a guide can be a mistake. Jerulita is glad to offer you special food tour about food (of course!) and around it. But firstly you might read this ultimate Lithuania’s food guide on what you definitely have to try. And when you arrive here, all you have to do is sit down and taste everything in front of you.
Let’s explore Lithuanian cuisine!
There are five regions in Lithuania. Each region has its own special ingredients.
Dzūkija is famous for mushrooms, berries, and buckwheat dishes, so you can call it a capital of forest riches.
It’s impossible to imagine a big dinner without potatoes, in particular, potato pancakes in Aukštaitija.
Suvalkija is the land of meat experts. Hams, fillets, sausages! The heaven for meat lovers!
Minor Lithuania – there you can try the most delicious fish meals: smoked, pickled, baked or dried.
Žemaitija’s residents are proud of their variety of porridge, craw fish, and ‘kastinys’ – spicy sour cream butter, usually served with boiled potatoes. So potatoes…
Potato is a king of Lithuanian cuisine!
The Lithuanians eat a lot of potatoes. We have the cepelinai (stuffed potato dumplings), kūgelis (potato pie), pancakes with potatoes, and many other dishes. Although cepelinai are usually cooked with a meat filling, there are many other options suitable for vegetarians – with curd, mushrooms, vegetables… And yeah, we have a traditional Lithuanian live beer (not from potato) which perfectly accompanies the potato dishes.
Saltibarsčiai is a queen of Lithuanian cuisine!
There is no other soup in Lithuania that is so loved and so popular. It’s cold beetroot pink soup. During the summer, sometimes it seems that the Lithuanians are alive just because of this soup. The soup has a shocking bright pink color due to the natural beetroot juice and an incredibly fresh taste due to the most important ingredient in the cold soup – kephir. You definitely have to try it! During the winter time, it can be harder to get this soup in the restaurant because, originally, it is a cold soup, but you will definitely find it the local food restaurants.
Have you heard about Trakai? The village of Trakai boasts a UNESCO-preserved medieval fortress giving it its namesake, built on an island in the middle of a lake. And what is the association with Trakai? Mmm? Kibinai! Exactly!
Kibinai are the national dish of the Kariate people, an ethnically Turkic group that has lived in Lithuania for centuries. This crescent-shaped pastry is packed with meat stewed in onions and baked to perfection. Traditionally, it is stuffed with mutton, however modern ones can be found with all sorts of meats and vegetable combinations. Add a little bit of broth to compliment its perfectly crispy exterior and you’ve got melt-in-your-mouth goodness. This is one medieval treat you will not want to miss and the fortress isn’t so bad, either.
What’s about dessert?
The Lithuanians have a lot of desserts – tasty and beautiful birthday cakes, a famous tree cake Šakotis, “lazy cake” (cookies mixed with sweetened condensed milk and butter) and many other sweet masterpieces! Additionally, there is very simple and old dessert – a cucumber with honey. As simple as it sounds, it is just a fresh cucumber together with a fresh, natural Lithuanian honey. Without delay, just try it!
Most noteworthy, curd cheese is a more authentic product with a protected recipe. Also, the curd cheese is added to the European Commission protected product list. And now it has label with a special mark to recognize that it was made with an authentic recipe. Fresh cheese curd is a staple in Lithuanian households. Another key point, you can make numerous dishes from it. Our favorite dish is fried cheese curd cakes, which is simply cheese curd mixed with a bit of flour, egg, and sugar that is fried in oil. Typically served with fresh berries and jam, cheese curd cakes can be enjoyed at any time of day. By the way, curd cheese perfectly suits the natural Lithuanian honey or authentic black bread.
Are you actually drooling?
We wish you (and your appetite) happy explorations of Vilnius and beyond! Skanaus (or enjoy), our friends! So when are you coming to taste the Lithuanian cuisine? Feel free to send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org. And we’ll plan your tour tailored to your preferences and budget!