The options on what to eat in the Baltic Republics are marked by a gastronomic history which has been shaped by its location. First of all, the three countries, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, are bathed to the west by the Baltic Sea, which means that fish is a very important ingredient in the typical dishes of the Baltic Republics. If you're going to travel to these regions, get ready for some big and strong dishes.
In the three countries, cod is especially important along with cold meats. Soups are an essential first course on most occasions, especially seljianka or potato soup. They also eat many vegetables accompanied by meat. Salads to accompany smoked fish, fishcakes, and some spirits are typical of these northern regions.
The Latvian culinary culture is based especially on fish, whether cooked or smoked. Caviar, pike, sardines or herring are the most common. The meat is usually served with potatoes, peas and mushrooms. They are experts in cheeses and big enthusiasts since they include them in many meals, and they eat it until dessert. The preferred sweets are those that are made with puff pastry and berries.
These are some of the most typical dishes:
Piragi: a cake prepared with puff pastry and stuffed with bacon and onion.
Zirni ar speki: a tasty stew made with bacon, peas, onion, pepper and curdled milk.
Pelmeni: This dish is originally from Russia and consists of pasta stuffed with minced meat, very similar to ravioli.
Zirnu Pikas: a typical food consisting of meatballs made with grey peas, butter, bacon and onion.
Putraimdesas: sausages prepared with barley.
Skabu kapostu zupa: if there is something typical in the gastronomy of the Baltic Republics, it is soup. This is specifically cabbage, pork, sour cream, onion and carrot.
Rupjmaizes kartojums: this typical Latvian dessert is made with rye, cream, cranberries and cinnamon.
Sklandu rausi: another very popular sweet are these carrot and potato tarts which are an essential dessert to eat in the Baltic Republics.
Black Balsam of Riga: if there is a typical drink of the country, it is this. It is a very rich liquor made with plants, roots and flowers.
The cuisine of this country is greatly influenced by the cuisine of other regions such as Germany, Russia and Scandinavia. In Estonia fish is the protagonist of most dishes as, in addition to having access to the Baltic Sea, they have many rivers and inland lakes.
Potato is another star ingredient, along with swede and turnip. If the Estonians have an ancient, traditional and unique food in the region, it is the kama flour, which is a mixture of grains (pea flour, rye, oats and barley), which is used to prepare desserts. And of course, the Estonians are beer lovers, but they are also producers of other beverages such as vodka or herbal liqueurs.
Some of the most typical dishes of Estonia are:
Keel hernestega: an appetiser which is served cold and which has a tongue as the main ingredient.
Mariners angerjas: consists of marinated eel.
Silgusoustt: a small herring which is caught in the Baltic Sea.
Mulgikapsad: sauerkraut cannot be lacking in the gastronomy of the northern European countries. This is cooked with pork and accompanied with cooked potatoes.
Sült: a stew made with pork.
Verivorst: a black pudding, similar to how it is prepared in other countries. It is a sausage which is traditionally eaten on Christmas night with an accompaniment of jelly made with berries.
Karask: this is the typical bread of Estonia, food to eat in the Baltic Republics which everyone likes.
Vaesed rüütlid: in Estonian, it means "poor gentlemen" and it is a dessert made with bread, very similar to French toast.
Kali: a sweet and very soft fermented drink.
It could be said that the Lithuanian diet is based on potatoes, dairy products and meat. The dishes are strong and high in calories. This is due to the harsh winters of the country. What are the caloric dishes typical of the country's cuisine?
Cepelinai: a kind of empanadillas with a dough made with potatoes. They are filled with meat, mushrooms or cheese. It is one of the most representative meals of Lithuanian gastronomy.
Kugelis: it's a dish taken from German cuisine. It is prepared with grated potatoes and carrots which are baked and covered with sour cream.
Saltibarsciai: soups are never lacking among the typical dishes of the Baltic Republics. It is served cold, so it is eaten more in summer. It is made with beetroot and served with cooked potatoes which are dressed with sour cream and dill.
Koldünai: basically consist of ravioli which are stuffed with mushrooms or meat.
Kepta duona: it is the favorite bread of the Lithuanians. It is black bread fried and seasoned with garlic.
Siupinys: a stew of some parts of the pig (legs, snout and tail) with beans and peas.
If you are not sure what to eat in the Baltic Republics, this little glossary will be very useful.