Traditional Lithuanian food is filled with simple, tasty dishes following the traditional saying “who eats well, works well”. In the last 25 years, there have been more fruits and vegetables available across the four seasons. Before that, the food served reflected the time of the year. Lithuanian dishes often contain potatoes, rye, beet roots, mushrooms, dairy and meat. Below are seven traditional Lithuanian dishes.
Cold borscht for summer contains shredded beets, cucumber, dill, and green onions with cold soured milk or kefir. Sides are most often potatoes either hot boiled or fried, or a sliced hard-boiled egg. Barsciai borscht, hot beet soup, is the winter counterpart, served either without cream or with sour cream or buttermilk and mushrooms.
Bread has played a role in rituals and ceremonies throughout Lithuanian culture. The dark rye bread is fragrant and heavy. It can be served with any meal of the day, though it is not seen as often these days.
This traditional drink is also popular in Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe. It is made from the black rye bread and is considered a soft drink despite the alcohol content, about 0.05 to 1.5%. This unique-flavoured beverage may have fruit, raisins, berries or birch sap added.
These rich Lithuanian dishes are the hallmark of a society that loves to eat and shares that love by cooking and serving others. The simple flavours are combined for a variety of unique, tasty dishes that provide a cultural highlight of any visit to the Baltic nation of Lithuania.