Top 5 Dishes of Latvia
Latvia is a country where people simply adore singing. Latvians have more than 1 million folk songs. Back in 1873, the first Lithuanian Song and Dance Festival was held here, and since then, every 5 years, this tradition gathers hundreds of thousands of Latvians from Latvia and all over the world in Riga. This celebration has become a phenomenon of Latvian culture, inscribed on the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list.
The tradition of coming together for the Latvian Song and Dance Festival over the last two centuries has become a form of the national awakening movement for Latvia. Each such festival becomes a significant event. So, if you want to experience the incredible spirit of this event, plan a trip to Riga in the middle of summer.
At the same time, you can relax on the shores of the Baltic Sea and feel the atmosphere of Latvian cities and towns. And when the impressions of what you've seen overwhelm you, it will be time for another adventure in Latvia - tasting dishes from the national cuisine.
Skabeņu Soup is an extremely popular traditional Latvian sorrel soup. The Latvian word "skabeņu" comes from "skābs," which means "sour," and it accurately describes the taste of the soup. The base of the dish is beef broth, into which pearl barley, onions, potatoes, lemon juice, and finely chopped sorrel leaves are gradually added. Also, the dish often includes grated carrots and smoked pork ribs. Boiled eggs and sour cream are often added to the dish as well.
Piradzini are traditional savory Latvian pastries shaped like crescent moons. Their base is yeast dough, and the fillings vary depending on the region of the country. It can be a mixture of onions and meat stuffing or bacon, cabbage, or cottage cheese. Traditionally, Piradzini are made quite large, but there are also compact variations with thin pastry. The pastries are served as an appetizer alongside traditional hot dishes.
Karbonade is a well-known Latvian variation of the Wiener schnitzel. This meat dish is made from thinly pounded pork cutlets, which are breaded with a mixture of flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs. They are then fried until golden brown. Before serving, the dish is typically topped with a special mushroom sauce made from chanterelle mushrooms. The garnish for the dish usually includes potatoes with dill, cabbage salad, pickled vegetables, and rye bread.
Gray Peas with Bacon
Gray Peas with Bacon is a renowned Latvian dish, and the peas themselves are included in the European Union's list of national products. Gray Peas with Bacon are traditionally prepared for Christmas holidays. There's even a belief that Latvian peas on the festive table bring luck in the coming year. Furthermore, gray peas have long symbolized prosperity and vitality. It's not surprising, as this dish is exceptionally nourishing and can keep you full all day.
Rupjmaizes Kartojums is a beloved traditional Latvian dessert. This dish combines the tenderness of dark rye bread with a thick layer of sweetened quark cream. The dish originated in a time when rye bread was a staple of Latvian diet. Leftover bread was creatively transformed into this delightful dessert to prevent wastage. Today, Rupjmaizes Kartojums is a favorite treat during special occasions and family celebrations.