Gastronomy is one of the vital parts of any culture. And eating like a local always gives you a better perspective of any culture, much more closely than visiting a touristy spot. The country of Latvia is also rich in gastronomy. Latvian cuisine is an essential part of their cultural tradition. Some local dishes there might seem a bit odd by sight, but there is no better way to delve into a distinguished memorable culinary journey than to try the local Latvian foods by yourself. Here are a few Latvian delicacies to experience the tradition.
Rye Breads are a Latvian staple. Rye Breads come in different variations in the country, like sweet sourdough, rich dark, etc. Rye bread is a popular accompaniment in any Latvian meal, which can go with almost any dish. With a spread of butter, some cheese, and pieces of ham, it is also a commonly consumed go-to breakfast for the locals.
Speck is a centuries-old food tradition of Latvia. It is a type of extremely fatty smoked bacon made from pork belly. Centuries ago, it was consumed by the local villagers, to gain a lot of extra energy to be able to work hard in the fields every day. ‘pelēkie zirņi ar speķi’ is one of the most traditional dishes made with speck. This simple but tasty dish is made from fried onions, mixed with speck and different types of peas.
Another common smoked protein of Latvia is smoked fish. Having direct access to the Baltic Sea, fish has taken up a major part of Latvian cuisine for ages. Eel, pike, and cod are the most traditional dishes, among many others. Fishes are smoked in long batches in Latvian households to make them tastier and more durable. ‘Liepajas menciņš’ is a never-to-miss dish if you are looking to try an authentic Latvian dish. This signature dish of Liepaja region is made from smoked cod, onions, and potatoes.