Lithuanian cuisine and dishes
If you have come to Lithuania to rest and to gain new pleasant impressions, you need to try and appreciate delicious and, at the same time, inexpensive dishes of Lithuanian national cuisine. Lithuanians in their national cuisine use mostly potatoes, pork, dairy products and seasonal vegetables. Dishes are notable for their uncomplicated recipes, heartiness and affordable price.
There are specialized restaurants and cafes in Lithuania called "Lituviškai patekalai" (Lithuanian dishes), where you can try traditional Lithuanian dishes. However, you can find these dishes not only there, but also in the menu of almost every restaurant or cafe. And we will help you to understand what they are made of and how they are made, so that you can choose the recipe you like by the name of the dish in Russian and Lithuanian.
Do not forget to try this Lithuanian "pink miracle" - the famous cold borscht. It's a beet soup with cucumbers and greens, made on fat kefir with separately served hot boiled potatoes and eggs. Sometimes smoked meats are added. This is a favorite light and refreshing soup. It is especially enjoyable on a hot summer day.
Soup in bread (Sriuba duonos kubilėlyje)
There is another tasty culinary miracle - this is soup in a rye "pot" with wild mushrooms (usually white mushrooms). A small loaf of homemade rye bread is cut off the top and all the pulp is removed. In the resulting "pot" is poured creamy soup with mushrooms and covered with a rye lid on top. The bread pot of soup is as delicious as the mushroom soup.
Basic dishes of Lithuanian cuisine
Lithuanian dishes never serve meat, side dish and salad separately like in Russian restaurants. If you order meat (fish), you will automatically get a side dish, salad, fresh vegetables, and sauce (you can choose any side dish, sauce, but it doesn't change the price).
Forest mushrooms (porcini and chanterelles) are traditionally used for sauces, as well as spinach, cheese (and its derivatives), herbal spices.
Stuffed cabbage rolls in Lithuania are served with potatoes and sour cream. Therefore, it is quite a nourishing and inexpensive dish.
Zeppelins (Cepelinai, didžkukuliai)
The main culinary "attraction" of Lithuania, which must be tasted and appreciated by every tourist is famous zeppelin, also called Didžkukuliai - large aromatic potato "airships" with juicy minced meat inside (there are some with cheese, and with mushrooms - also delicious).
They are boiled and served with sour cream gravy with crispy cracklings, onions, or mushroom sauce (your choice).
There are also zeppelins fried, but that's for those with a good stomach! For those who can't, the zeppelins are made with boiled potatoes (for those who like them). Keep in mind, these zeppelins are not served everywhere!
Each serving contains two rather large zeppelins. However, if you wish you can order half a portion (we recommend that you try to order everything half a portion), because they are not small and Lithuanian dishes are nourishing.
Vėdarai is another hearty Lithuanian dish. Grated raw potatoes are mixed with fried onions, cracklings, bacon, herbs and spices. This mass is stuffed on pork intestines and baked in the oven or on the grill until crispy crust. Serve with bacon and sour cream.
Kugelis (Bulvių plokštainis)
Kugelis (potatoes pancake) - grated raw potatoes with fried onions, greaves, bacon and spices. Formed, put on roaster and baked in oven. Served with white sauce, bacon and mushrooms.
Žemaičių blinai (Žemaičių blynai)
Žemaičių blinai are made of jacket boiled hot potatoes, passed through a meat grinder, stuffed with boiled ground meat, adding spices and steamed onions. Then form flat patties and fry in the pan. They are served with sour cream sauce or sour cream. When ordering you can always make a choice of sauce and portion size.
These are jacket boiled potatoes stuffed with mushrooms and fried onions or salted salmon. Served with castinis or sour cream sauce.
This dish is light and not greasy - for those who do not want to gain weight.
Kastinis is an old Samogitian dairy product with a special consistency, made of whipped homemade sour cream and butter, with garlic and spices. The secret of the special delicate consistency of kastinis is in the whipping technique. Tender and fragrant mass is served in the cafe with potatoes cooked in "jacket".
Kastinis can be purchased in the dairy department of any supermarket.
Lithuanian sausages (Lietuviškos dešrelės)
An onion, garlic, spices, minced pork, put through a mincer and stuffed into thin pork intestines. The sausages are cooked, then grilled and served with stewed sauerkraut or mashed potatoes.
Kibinai is a national dish of the indigenous Karaite Tatars who have been living in Lithuania (mostly in Trakai) for a long time. They are very tasty and nourishing hot patties made of soft shortbread dough with minced or chopped meat (pork, lamb, veal or poultry). They are baked in oven and served hot.
Kibinai are sold not only in cafes, but also in supermarkets where they have their own pastries. But the most delicious kibinans can be tasted only in Trakai, the homeland of the Lithuanian Karaites.
Lithuanian dishes, lithuanian cuisine Lithuanian dessert Sakotis Lithuanian beer
Drinks and snacks
Lithuanian beer is one of the best beers in the world! There is a lot of beer in Lithuania - delicious and varied! There is pale beer, which has less alcohol, and dark beer, which is more "thick" and alcoholic, there is filtered and unfiltered, the so-called "live" beer.
In several Vilnius breweries you can taste this old traditional drink, made only with natural malt, hop cones and beer yeast.
Beer snacks include the delicious garlic and cheese crackers, peas with cracklings, and cooked smoked pork ears with garlic sauce. It's all very tasty!
Peas and cracklings (Žirniai su spirgučiais)
Peas and cracklings is a snack for beer that consists of boiled peas and cracklings well roasted on top (everything is stirred before eating).
Pork ears (Rūkytos ausys)
Smoked pork ears is a good snack for beer. Lightly smoked, they have a pleasant aroma and taste. Dressed with garlic sauce and spices.
In addition to beer, you can enjoy various cold and hot non-alcoholic drinks made of sea buckthorn, quince, cranberry, and wild berries.
You are likely to love homemade rye kvass with raisins (not bottled) made by Lithuanians according to a special ancient recipe, and natural teas with forest berries are very tasty and healthy!
Šakotis is a delicious and popular Lithuanian cake which is shaped like a Christmas tree. It is made of egg dough and baked by spinning on a spit, over a fire or in a special oven.
It is traditionally served at weddings, and it keeps for up to six months. You can buy Shakotis at Lithuanian markets or supermarkets, but the freshest and tastiest you will find in company stores that make these particular cakes.
Such a gift from Lithuania will please your loved ones and make everyone happy as a Lithuanian tasty souvenir.
What tasty things to bring back from Lithuania
Lithuania is famous for its bread (especially dark rye varieties, usually - with the addition of caraway, and different types of grains), there is rye bread with dried fruit. This bread retains its flavor for a long time and does not stale.
The best known and most popular varieties are Vilnius bread, Bočių with caraway and the grey Palanga bread.
Among the national meat products dried and smoked meat and sausages are very popular. Skilandis - chopped dried pork meat in a pork stomach - can be bought to go.
Very popular are fried cookies "ponytails" (Žagarėlis) and a delicious cake made of "ponytails" dipped in honey - "Skrudelinas".
From dairy products preference is given to cheeses (hard, cottage cheese, smoked or traditional), cottage cheese, sour milk and sour cream.
The sour cream with homemade butter (kastinis), specially whipped with garlic and spices, is a must-try. It is tender and fragrant and is served with jacket potatoes. You can buy kastinis in the dairy section of any supermarket.
Take the famous Džiugas hard cheese, smoked curd cheeses. Try the special apple or plum cheese with refined taste (you can buy it at the fairs and at the market from local farmers).
Very good for a souvenir is a gift version of honey tinctures of the company "Lietuviškas midus", which contains 6 types of tinctures from 14 to 75 degrees.
The famous hot liquor "Suktinis" is named after the popular Lithuanian folk dance. It consists of bee honey, clove flowers, poplar buds, oak acorns, juniper berries and many other valuable plants. The strength of the drink is 50 %.
After tasting the products and dishes of the Lithuanian national cuisine, you will appreciate their nourishing, tasty and budget-friendly!!!