Things to do in Vilnius

Discover Lithuania from your kitchen!

May 1, 2020
VilniusFreeTour
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If you are reading this blog post most likely quarantine messed up with your travelling plans. But it doesn’t have to stop you from exploring Lithuania! You might say, that your brains and eyes can’t digest any more 360 online tours or documentaries? Well, many travellers agree that one of the best ways to emerge oneself into local culture is through food. So we decided to list three different recipes for three different types of travelers, which you can try to make!

Disclaimer: these recipes were perfected by generations of Lithuaninas, so we can’t promise you will be successful at the first try...

Šaltibaščiai - for the people who don’t like to follow the travel plans or recipes

It’s probably not an exaggeration to say that there are as many cold beetroot soup recipes as there are Lithuanians in the world. If you don’t believe us, just check the Facebook group called “Šaltibarščiai”. People spend hours there, discussing the best ingredients, their proportions or simply share food pics of Šaltibarščiai they just made. So you can be really creative with this dish and use all the leftovers in your fridge!

How to make it? Simple! | Video Tutorial

Cold Lithuanian beetroot soup

 

List of ingredients, which is as a good start for the improvisation:

  • 2 - cooked red beetroot (it’s better if it’s pickled)
  • 2 - fresh cucumbers
  • 2 - hard boiled eggs
  • 0.5 glass - sour cream
  • 1 l - fermented milk or kefir
  • Green dill
  • spring onions
  • salt
  • 2 - potatoes

  1. Chop cucumbers, spring onions and dill and pour everything into a pot. 
  2. Add a pinch of salt. 
  3. Then add grated boiled beetroots and mix everything. 
  4. Put the sour cream and mix it thoroughly. 
  5. Add sour milk. If it is too thick – add milk (or water). 
  6. Finally, add the boiled and chopped eggs. 

Served with hot potatoes on a side. 

Voilà - you just made Šaltibarščiai! Enjoy.

Kvass or Gira - for people who love to visit 5 museums in a day!

Related to beer, this fresh, slightly alcoholic, drink is produced by fermentation of yeast and sugar. And even though the first lithuanian recipes were written in the sixteenth century, people have been making this drink since ancient times! Food and cuisine historians count up to 100 historical recipes for kvass (for example using beets, milk, honey, fruits, berries, seeds, juniper berries, etc.), but at the moment, the most popular is bread kvass, tinned from bread crust, fresh or dried bread.

How to make it? You will have to be patient! | Video Tutorial

List of ingredients is rather short:

  • 450 g - dark rye bread
  • 25 g - yeast
  • 200 g - sugar
  • raisins
  • water
   

  1. Slice the dark rye bread and put in the oven for 10 minutes – bake until the bread is burned. 
  2. Then, put the baked bread into a bowl and pour it with boiled, but slightly cooled water (the right temperature is about 50 degrees).
  3. Rub out the yeast with sugar and put into a bowl with water and bread. Stir everything. 
  4. Then add raisins.
  5. Leave the mixed kvass at room temperature to ferment. 
  6. After a day, strain it off and place it in the refrigerator to avoid excessive fermentation.

Enjoy! And keep in mind, it’s slightly alcoholic! Not a bad thing for a quarantine…

Cepelinai - for the people who love to be challenged!

This recipe is neither short nor simple. This is a challenge even for most lithuanians! Some even go as far as stating that this is an ultimate test of adulthood…But you might be wondering why such a name? The food historians claim that just at the time when light gas-filled aircrafts - zeppelins - appeared in Europe, stuffed potato dumplings with meat also appeared in Lithuania.

By the way Cepelinai can be cooked with various filling: smoked ham, greaves, mushrooms, curd, but the most popular is meat filling. 

How to make it? Embrace yourself! | Video Tutorial

Lithuanian potato dumplings  

List of ingredients (keep in mind, that when we make Cepelinai, we usually prepare a lot of them for a few days): 

  • 1 kg - raw potatoes
  • 2 - boiled potatoes
  • salt
  • 350 g - pork or beef
  • 1 - onion
  • pepper
  • 100 g - flitch of bacon
  • 50 g - smoked flank
  • 2 l - water
  • oil
  • sour cream

  1. Grate the peeled-off potatoes and strain-off. Do not pour out the liquid, but wait until the starch sinks. Then pour out the liquid and put the starch into the grated potatoes. 
  2. Grind boiled potatoes. Then mix grated and boiled potatoes, starch, salt and pound well.
  3. Grind the meat, add the fried onion, some pepper and salt. Then pound everything.
  4. Take about 100 g dough and make thin pancakes, put a spoonful of filling, squeeze the edges well and form elongated buns (like zeppelin aircraft).
  5. Put them into the boiling salted water and cook carefully stirring for 30 minutes.

Enjoy! But consider searching for some exercise videos afterwards. Believe us, you will need them after finishing all Cepelinai. 

So here you go. New ideas on how to discover Lithuania! And after challenging your cooking skills and global lockdown is over - join our Food Tour. Together we will taste the best Lithuanian cuisine has to offer and discover even more great stories behind some of those dishes. 

 

 

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