Sep 9, '08

From Lithuania with love

Hotel “Stikliai”

Those who’ve been reading my blog probably know that I come from Lithuania. I’ve been living in Paris and New York for almost ten years now, but I have always a big pleasure to come back to my home country and eat some of the Lithuanian specialities. Yes, they are quite heavy and are constantly criticized by the Lithuanians themselves, but probably we all have foods that “are grown” in our genes and we simply can’t resist to them.

Cold beetroot soup
Cold beetroot soup – šaltibarščiai

So speaking about the dishes that “are grown” in my genes, one of them is šaltibarščiai. It is the cold version of Russian or Ukrainian borscht and like borscht, they are served with warm potatoes.  Like their famous cousin, they are made of beetroots, but different from borscht, the cold borscht is cold and is made with kefir (fermented milk) and dill. The sourness of kefir and the sweetness of beetroots are very complimentary and perfect for a hot summer day.

The other speciality is cepelinai, huge potato dumplings with meat, curd or mushrooms inside. Now, these beauties can be quite indigestible and one shouldn’t be too sensitive for heavy foods in order to enjoy them. As they are not only loaded with calories per se, but also are normally served with fried bacon, onion and sour cream sauce that makes the dish even more memorable or…indigestible! You do better know where to eat cepelinai and the place where I ate the best cepelinai of my life is the Taverna of Stikliai hotel (Relais & Châteaux) in Vilnius. What I loved about them, that they were quite light- as you might have understood, very rare for cepelinai


P.S. An extensive report on Berlin coming next week…

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