Lithuanian Cuisine

Lithuania is a republic in Northern Europe. The country, which lies on the southeastern coast of the Baltic Sea, has many historic and cultural links with its neighbors, which include Poland and Russia. For long periods, it was in fact part of larger states in combination with what are today neighboring countries, first from 1569 to 1795 as part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, then 1795 to 1918 as part of the Russian Empire, and finally from 1940 to 1990 as part of the USSR.

Lithuanian cuisine has a style that is all of its own, but also shows influences from Russian, Polish, German, and Ashkenazi Jewish recipes. Some popular Lithuanian recipes include:

* Bulviniu kukuliu sriuba – This is a type of soup. It is made as follows – minced potato is shaped into balls, and then these are then boiled in milk.

* Barsciai – Barsciai is the Lithuanian version of “borscht” (beet soup). Lithuanians add chopped mushrooms to the dish, and may also add butter or sour cream.

* Sauerkraut soup – A soup made from sauerkraut. The dish is flavored with pork, carrots, onions and bay leaves.

* Idaryti pomidorai – Tomatoes, cut into halves, and then stuffed.

* Idaryti kiausiniai – Hard-boiled eggs, cut into halves, and then stuffed.

* Kedainiu blynai – Potato pancakes filled with chopped meat.

* Saltnosiukai – Dumplings with lingonberries.

* Cepelinai – Potato dumplings with cheese, mushrooms or meat. The dish is often garnished with sour cream, onions, or pork underskin fat (“spirgai”).

* Skilandis – Pig stomach stuffed with ground meat and garlic, and then steamed.