National traditions of Latvia. Habits, mentality and the way of living
Latvian national cuisine has been formed and developed over several centuries. It was greatly influenced by traditional cuisines of Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, Russia, Germany, and Scandinavian countries. Most of the dishes are prepared in a very simple way. The main ingredients of this Baltic cuisine are fish, meat, flour, all kinds of cereals, and dairy products. A daily diet of average Latvians consists of fish, meat, all sorts of vegetable dishes and salads. Nevertheless, traditional Latvian food is always present at the festive tables.
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Latvia is a maritime country with a direct access to the Baltic. As a result, a significant and especially important part of the national cuisine is devoted to fish and seafood. Latvians bake and grill sea and river fish, using it for the preparation of salads and sandwiches. Another interesting feature of Latvian cuisine is seemingly incompatible ingredients used in the preparation of various dishes. Perfect examples are milk soup with herring, beer soup, blueberry soup with dumplings. Meat dishes took their place in the taste preferences of Latvians. Pork is used most often. Latvians prefer ham hock or jellied pork. Compared with other types of meat, pork is the most popular. Latvians eat a lot of bread and flour products. At each table, you can find rye bread. It is widely used for making desserts, yogurts, and soups. In Latvia, one can buy other breads from unexpected ingredients such as carrots or dried fruits. Well, no table is complete without dessert. All Latvians have a sweet tooth. Traditional desserts for them are buns with all kinds of fillings, cakes, jam, ice cream.
Homemade cheeses have a special place in traditional Latvian cuisine. Their most famous representative is Jāņi cheese made from homemade curd. Chicken eggs are added to cheese, while the main ingredient is cumin. The final product gets a yellowish shade and a slightly salty taste. Zemnieku Brokastis or Farmers breakfast became famous far beyond Latvian borders. The breakfast includes roasted pork loin, potatoes, and homemade sausage. All ingredients are poured with eggs and milk and then baked in a pan. Sklandrausis is one of the most popular dishes in Latvia. Behind the unusual name is a rye pie. Various vegetables, potatoes, and eggs often serve as fillings. A combination of potatoes and cottage cheese is often used for the preparation of national dishes. A mixture of cottage cheese, sour cream, herbs, and salt is often served with potatoes. Latvians are also fond of blood sausages, beef steaks with onion sauce, and herring casserole. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
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Desserts has also absorbed the tradition of combining various ingredients typical for this country. Buberts became one of the favorite desserts of Latvians. This is a combination of semolina porridge with milk, nuts, and sour fruit juice. Not less popular are dough-baked apples with cream and sugar. Piparkukas cookies have an interesting taste combination. It is made with black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Bread ice cream is extremely popular in Latvia. It is served with rye bread and lingonberry jam.
Traditional Latvian drinks have an original taste. They are often based on honey, as well as birch and maple juices. Locals have special love for ķīselis. Their vivid representatives are sour viscous fruit dishes based on peas or oats with yogurt or lingonberry juice. Kīselis with the addition of whipped cream or milk became the favorite drink in Latvia. Herbal tea is also very popular in Latvia. This is an infusion of all kinds of dried fruits, flowers, and various herbs. Mint, St. John's wort, chamomile flowers, calendula are used as herbs. The most famous alcoholic beverage is Riga Balsam. It is a herbal liqueur, a mixture of berries and flowers in vodka. It can also be used for making cocktails. Tasty beer of excellent quality is produced in Latvia. Brewing traditions of this country go back several centuries. The most popular are light beers.
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