Try the Traditional Lithuanian Cuisine

By: Douglas Scott

Lithuania is a republic in north Eastern Europe. It is one of the three Baltic States along the Baltic Sea. The other Baltic State countries are Estonia and Latvia. However the concept of Baltic States is misleading as it implies some sort of political unity between Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia which is not the case. It shares borders with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the southeast, Poland to the south, and the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia to the southwest. The capital of Lithuania is Vilnius.

The population of Lithuania was estimated at 3,585,906 in 2006.

Lithuanian is the official language.

The majority of Lithuanians are Roman Catholic. Other religions practised in Lithuania are Lutheran, Protestant, Russian Orthodox, Evangelical Lutheran, Judaism and Islam.

The Kernave Archaeological Site, about thirty five kilometres from Vilnius, is on the World Heritage List. The site which dates from the late Palaeolithic period to the middle Ages includes settlements, burial sites, forts and the town of Kernave.

Over thirty percent of Lithuania is forested. There are many rivers and over three thousand lakes.

There are Regional parks and National parks. Animals found in protected areas are elk, deer, foxes, wolves and wild boar. Birds include eagles, hawks, geese, herons, swans and white storks.

Traditional Lithuanian cuisine includes soups, stews, sausages, smoked meat and rye bread.

Main meals consist of meat such as pork, chicken and duck or fish such as eel, pike and herring served with potatoes and vegetables such as beans, beets, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, mushrooms, onions, radishes and turnips.

Lithuania has a variety of potato dishes including pancakes and stuffed potato dumplings called cepelinai. Dairy products, especially cottage cheese and curd cheese, are used in Lithuanian recipes. Eggs are used to make a variety of omelettes.

Cakes, pastries, fruit dumplings and ice cream are popular desserts. Cold sweet soups, such as cherry soup, are made with berries and fruit. Other fruits grown in Lithuania are apples, gooseberries, pears and plums. Bilberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries and mushrooms are collected from the woods.

Lithuanians drink milk, fruit juices, tea, coffee, beer and mead, an alcoholic drink made with honey.

Many Lithuanians belong to sports clubs. The most popular sports are basketball, football, track and athletics.

During the Sydney Olympics Lithuania won the bronze medal for basketball and gold medals for the discus and shooting.

Lithuanias climate is mild although it can be cold in winter and summers are warm.

If in doubt visit the country yourself

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