Ever wanted to try something different than your regular diet foods? Then why not explore the exquisite Lithuanian cuisine filled with surprises with every other ingredient present in it. From potato pancakes and rye bread to curd cheese and beetroot soup, there is not one item that will disappoint your desperate taste buds. So, if you are planning to go on an amazing Lithuanian food trip, let this blog give you some amazing insights that will help you smoothly select the best Lithuanian foods once you land in the beautiful country.
Lithuania is a country filled with outstanding food choices, especially the traditional Lithuanian foods, which seem to have a way of their own. Many Lithuanian dishes are based on agricultural products, yet they taste no less amazing than an English minced meat platter. Thus, to help you serve the best plate for yourself in Lithuania, this blog will enlighten you with some of the best food options you can devour and the unique flavors of Lithuania that you are unaware of.
Moreover, you will also go through some native Lithuanian food vocab that will enable you to impress the locals with your language skills. So, if your hungry soul is already excited, let’s not wait any longer and start learning right away!
The Unique Lithuanian Cuisine
Before we explore the individual food choices, we should be a little aware of the Lithuanian cuisine and what goes on. As mentioned before, Lithuanian dishes mainly feature fruits and root vegetables. Meat, fish, and other dairy products are also produced widely in Lithuania’s cold climate and feature in the main dishes on almost every occasion. Some of the most popular food items include rye bread, green veggies, beetroot, potatoes, eggs, meat, mushrooms, and barley. So, if you order any dish, you are sure to encounter one or the other ingredient mentioned in this list.
Talking about the diversity of the Lithuanian dishes, it is important to realize that German culture and traditions have had a huge influence on the Lithuanian food cuisine. They all result from the German potency, from pork dishes to potato platters like baked potatoes, potato pudding, etc. Other than that, Lithuanian food is also related a lot to French cuisine.
Especially the birth of the baroque Lithuanian tree cake shows the influence of French chefs on the plate of Lithuanian food. However, the mix and match of different food cultures do not end here. Lithuanian food is also massively affected by Eastern cuisine, mainly the popular dish kibinai, and we also get to see some polish food influence in the Lithuanian culture.
Thus, it is to say the Lithuanian food tradition is filled with multiple tastes and turns that one can only finish in a hundred years. But precisely, some traditional and purely native items and dishes make the Lithuanian cuisine the most exotic and special despite the diversity. Some of them include the rye bread varieties, kepta duona (fried bread), kugelis, beetroot soup (cold borscht), and spit cake. Learn more about them in the following sections.
Traditional Lithuanian Dishes
Ready to explore the Baltic and Northern European country’s fascinating cuisine? Then let’s begin with some unique traditional dishes from Lithuania that you cannot miss. Visiting Lithuania will be a failure if you fail to realize the mesmerizing taste of the traditional dishes that are filled with refreshing ingredients from top to bottom, leaving no room for hunger in your body.
So, join us on this tour of traditional Lithuanian cuisine and go crazy in the conventional Lithuanian restaurants after memorizing the beauty of these dishes.
1. Potato Pancakes
While potato dumplings are the national dish of Lithuania, it wouldn’t be wrong to name this dish the national food of Lithuania. It is simply because of the massive popularity and love that every Lithuanian holds towards this delightful traditional Lithuanian dish.
Potatoes make up a major part of many recipes in this country, and potato pancakes are one of the most famous ones. Lithuanian potato pancakes are crunchy, chewy, and filled with an exciting taste, not too hard to make, and easily sustainable at home.
The main ingredients for making this dish include onions, eggs, potatoes, and salt. While the main ingredients are quite easy to find, locals always make sure they are served with sour cream or mushroom or cheese sauce, making the dish even more delicious.
2. Potato Dumplings
If anything, you cannot leave a chance to try one of the extremely delicious Lithuanian foods, potato dumplings stuffed with cottage cheese and minced meat fries. It is an extraordinary dish that becomes self-filling without any side dishes. It is the Lithuanian national dish and is served on almost every occasion as the main dish.
It is made of minced meat filling, it can be both pork or beef, and sometimes, Lithuanian cheeses and other vegetable choices are also concocted. Lithuanian dumplings are grated potato masses filled with cooked meat, giving it a unique snacky taste that tastes superb with sour cream or curd cheese as dips. This traditional Lithuanian food is also known as cepelinai locally!
3. Beetroot Soup
Next up, we have the comforting beetroot soup, one of the most popular dishes in the traditional Lithuanian food list, made carefully with a traditional recipe known only to the locals. Beetroot soup is a warm and relaxing dish made of carrots, beetroot, onions, and meat, blended well with salt and pepper. Some locals also prefer adding potato pieces to make the dish more savory and filling.
However, another Lithuanian version of this dish is the cold beetroot soup. This beetroot soup is served cold and is the main dish in summer, especially with kefir (fermented milk drink), hard-boiled egg, boiled potatoes, grated beetroot, and sometimes, cucumber. Thus, the cold beet soup is one of the best refreshing Lithuanian food that one can have during summer!
4. Dark Bread
While talking about the traditional cuisine of a European country, the dark bread will never leave the central attraction. Dark rye bread, also known as Juoda Duona in Lithuania, is a popular breakfast dish that locals cannot miss before leaving for work. They mainly eat this delicious and healthy dark bread with cheese curd, ham, fresh berries, and vegetables, or even mashed potatoes and slabs of pork fastback, making it a unique sandwich.
Carefully made with dark rye flour, the dark rye bread is a popular Lithuanian snack typically served among all Lithuanian families. Once you land in Lithuania, you will become a witness yourself!
5. Baked Bread
Now that we know bread is considered a traditional food that Lithuanians can never let go of, an abundance of bread dishes should not surprise you on the Lithuanian menu. Once you enter the food world, you will notice that baked bread pieces are pretty common, and every other person will have them as a regular snack in Lithuania.
Baked bread is a dish made of small bread pieces covered with molted cheese and mayonnaise. Usually, a baked bread snack is fried bread with garlic and salt mixture served with different sauces, which gives out a truly delicious taste altogether. When you order this dish in Lithuania, don’t forget to order a Lithuanian beer which is a must!
6. Spit Cake
When discussing the Lithuanian menu, we cannot leave out a spit cake from our list of traditional foods. The spit cake or the Šakotis is a traditional cake in the Lithuanian cuisine that is commonly seen in big events like marriage, Christmas eve, birthday, anniversary, etc. It is a huge cake, almost 30-100 centimeters tall, and tastes more like a crunchy and tasty cookie than a regular cake.
The recipe for this cake includes mainly sugar, eggs, flour, butter, and sour cream. Although big, it is a hollow cake baked through a special cylinder attached to a massive spit; hence, the name, spit cake. Usually yellow, the cake can be decorated with different icing colors.
How can we not mention the most important dish of Lithuania when discussing wonderful food? One of the best traditional Lithuanian pastries, Kibin or Kibinas, is a pastry filled with ingredients such as minced pork, chicken, mixed onions, and cabbage fillings. Sometimes, kibin is also filled with curd and spinach, making it the best dish for vegetarians.
If you like it sweet, you can also have kibinas with chocolate filling. However, it is best served with hot chicken broth. Make sure you try this dish without any failure.
Lithuanian Foods Vocab
Learning some of the best dishes will help you gain the best taste in Lithuania. But how about attaining some of the food vocab in Lithuania that will engage you with the locals in a truly native way?
|Potato Sausage||Bulvių dešra|
|Cabbage rolls||Kopūstų suktinukai|
|Potato casserole||Bulvių troškinys|
|Potato Pancakes||Bulviniai blynai|
|Mushroom sauce||Grybų padažas|
|Boiled pork||Virta kiauliena|
|Hard-boiled eggs||Kietai virti kiaušiniai|
|Beetroot soup||Burokėlių sriuba|
|Onion rings||Svogūnų žiedai|
Discover More With Ling!
The knowledge of such food dishes will undoubtedly help you get a hold of your desired flavor in Lithuania and give you a great insight into the food culture. If you wish to continue learning more about Lithuanian vocabulary and cultural facts, head on to Ling App.
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