Unexpected gastro experiences
The different regions of Lithuania are chock-full of unexpected flavours. Let’s discover Lithuania with our taste buds!
In this fast-paced world, it’s unreal to find places where time seems to stand still. One of them is Spurginė, which is still in operation on Laisvės Alėja in Kaunas. Over the course of almost four decades, neither the interior, nor the staff, nor the doughnut recipes have changed.
The Old Town of Vilnius is cosy and small, but there is so much to see that you definitely have to recharge by savouring a cup of coffee. There are a growing number of cafés in the city that focus a lot of attention on the origin and quality of the beans they use, and which offer different brewing methods and even organise gatherings for coffee amateurs and professionals. The cafés in Vilnius are scattered throughout the city – you can find them tucked away in the small streets of the Old Town or in book stores and shopping centres. Lithuanians are true coffee connoisseurs. For Lithuanians, a cup of coffee is a source of energy and a symbol of friendship. Lithuanian coffee chains like Huracán, Caffeine and Vero Cafe have created a real network of coffee shops throughout the city (and the country). Over the past few years, coffee culture has flourished in Vilnius and the capital now has something to show its guests: from the Good Coffee Map for coffee lovers to the Vilnius Coffee Festival, which is the largest coffee festival in the Baltics.
There are a lot of opinions about traditional fish soup, but they say the most authentic recipes can be found in the Pamarys Region. The locals in Dreverna (Klaipėda District) offer the popular Fish Road programme, where you can enjoy soup made with fish from the Curonian Lagoon or other local fishermen delicacies right on the deck of a ship!
Do we know a lot about regional cuisine? Even Zanavykija – the part of the Suvalkija region that surrounds Šakiai – has such a rich and belly-rubbing heritage that once you try it, you want to do it again and recommend it to others. And the king of the table in Zanavykija is a meat-stuffed cabbage head baked in a wood-fired oven! Its taste reminds you of cabbage rolls, but its appearance speaks highly of the chef. If you would like to learn about the food of the Zanavykija region, you can book the Zanavykija Taster culinary educational programme offered by Kuchmistrai Restaurant at Zypliai Manor.
The Panemunė Dzūkian Cottage in Punia (Alytus District), where the living environment of Dzūkians in the late 19th century has been recreated, offers an educational programme during which visitors can grind flour with old-fashioned tools and make pancakes according to an authentic recipe. They also make banda here – a unique Dzūkian savoury cake made from grated potatoes and baked in a bread oven on a cabbage leaf. Banda are served with darycinis made from homemade curd cheese and cream.
Lithuanians drink amber tea, nettle wine, blueberry kvass and dandelion coffee, and they extract so much mineral water they can bathe in it. And, every spring, they drink juice from the trees.
Seasonal food is the main characteristic of Lithuanian cuisine. The sap from maple or birch trees has for a long time been the first natural treat of the year. The time to enjoy this slightly sweet nutritional drink, one sip of which embraces an entire waking forest, is the month of March.