What to eat in Lithuania? 10 Most Popular Lithuanian Dishes
Lithuania has numerous cuisines; here are some of the top ten you should try when visiting Lithuania.
Koldūnai is Lithuanian-filled dumplings boiled in salty water. This Lithuanian variant of ravioli, traditionally filled with minced pork, beef, chicken, curd cheese, or mushrooms, offers a fantastic lunch alternative and can be enjoyed with a range of garnishes ranging from butter and black pepper to mayonnaise, sour cream, crispy bacon, or spirgučiais (a type of pork rind).
These dumplings are also famous in Poland and Belarus; their names are kalduny or kolduny.
Balandėliai, Lithuanian for "small birds," are cabbage rolls. Balandėliai is boiling cabbage leaves packed with a mixture of minced pig or beef, cooked rice, raw eggs, garlic, onions, and bell peppers that were probably brought to Lithuania by the Tatars in the 14th or 15th century.
The balandėliai is brought to a boil and then left to simmer on the stove until soft, seasoned with salt and pepper and flavoured with tomato juice. Balandėliai is ideal for heavy lunch and goes well with sour cream.
The dough for these traditional Lithuanian pastries is supplemented with butter, eggs, and kefir or sour cream. The hand-rolled dough is customarily filled with minced mutton seasoned with onions and herbs.
It is then tightly squeezed into crescent-shaped pockets. Kibinai is very popular among Lithuania's Karaim ethnic group and is most closely linked with Trakai.
Kugelis or bulvių plokštainis (roughly flat potato) is a wonderful potato cake and a Lithuanian national dish. The recipe has been unchanged for generations and can be seen on restaurant menus across the country.
Potatoes, onions, milk, bacon, and eggs are all traditional ingredients. This oven-baked meal is one of the most famous formal Christmas dinners, and it's best served with sour cream and chopped onions.
Kukuliai is Lithuanian ball-shaped dumplings that are often cooked with shredded potatoes and a variety of fillings such as meat, chicken, fish (žuvies kukuliai), or cottage cheese. Although kukuliai can be baked, boiled, or fried in the same manner as gnocchi and other East European dumplings, Lithuanians season them with herbs (marjoram is a favourite choice) or sesame seeds.
These dumplings go well with olives, finely chopped horseradish, dill pickles in sour cream, sauteed bacon-onion combination, or tomato and rosemary sauce. While some believe that kukuliai and cepelinai are the same, others disagree. Kukuliai is often smaller and fashioned into balls, but cepelinai are more considerable, rectangular, and have slightly pointed ends.
Bulviniai blynai are traditional, crispy, and delicious Lithuanian potato pancakes. Before being fried until it develops a lovely, golden colour, the mixture of grated potatoes, diced onions, eggs, and flour is seasoned with salt and pepper and sometimes flavoured with lemon juice
Bulviniai blynai are served with sour cream, applesauce, or jam and are popular with young and older people. This traditional Christmas dessert is also a popular Hannukkah snack.
This iconic tree cake, known as sękacz in Poland and šakotis in Lithuania, is an essential feature of traditional Polish and Lithuanian cuisine. The cake is made with a thick batter that is periodically poured over a spinning horizontal spit and is often baked slowly in the oven or, more traditionally, over an open fire.
During baking, the creamy egg mixture slowly oozes down the sides, forming a distinctive shape for this sweet delight. Despite their similarities, sękacz and šakotis have some distinctions. The former is typically regarded as the softer, more delicate variety, whereas šakotis is denser and more beautiful.
It resembles the famous Italian chocolate salami, so this simple, no-bake dessert known as the lazy man is considered a genuine Lithuanian delicacy. It's made using crumbled cookies, cocoa, condensed milk, butter, and sugar, then moulded into the appropriate shape and set.
According to popular belief, tinginys was produced by chance but quickly became the nation's favourite. Because of its neutral flavour, it is easily modified with extra components such as nuts or dried fruit. Tinginys are best served with a cup of coffee or tea on the side.
Cepelinai, Lithuania's national cuisine, consists of potato dumplings filled with spicy ground pork. After being boiled in plenty of salted water, the dumplings are generally relatively large and served with bacon, pork rinds, sour cream and milk-based sauce.
The dish is named after Graff von Zeppelin due to the similarities between the dumplings and the airship. Cepelinai are believed to have German origins and are based on Kartoffelknödel. There are numerous cuisine variations, and somebody may find comparable dumplings in other nations such as Denmark, Norway, Ukraine, and Belarus.
Traditional Lithuanian cuisine includes this delicious, chilly beetroot soup. It's a creamy concoction of pickled or boiled beets, and acidic kefir or buttermilk poured over grated cucumbers and hard-boiled eggs. The entire soup is generously seasoned with dill and is typically permitted to set until all tastes are well blended.
It's typically made in the summer and is best served chilled, especially with potatoes on the side. It can be served as an appetiser or as a light main meal.