01/03/2018

Cultural tip for Latvia No1. Food and drinks

Latvians say that love goes through the stomach. It is true because food and nowadays also drinks are very important part of our culture that changes, develops and sometimes rediscovers its forgotten roots.

What you should expect?

I would divide roughly Latvian cuisine into 3 parts:

  1. Latvian modern cuisine you will find in Riga, bigger cities and rural mansions.  Season, local ingredients, high end excellent chef’ s work.

2) Latvian average cuisine – good food, seasonal ingredients, typical product what people like and appreciate. That kind of food you will find everywhere. Sometimes you can note special touch of the chef.

3) Food that fills you really up. This is typical countryside café style that you will find in many café’s. The food is good and tasty like you have visited your Grandmother. Men will definitely appreciate it.

4) On top of that you will find many seasonal, pop-up cafes and excellent bakeries where its worth to stop for a drink or snack.

There are several places that keep excellent quality over years, so do not hesitate to ask us or local people where to eat on the road.

Food sampling

There are four main directions what you should look for if you want to taste local food.

1) Rye bread is something particular for Baltic region. Recipes are based on old traditions. There are several bakeries that offer tours, also you can visit local farms who will show you more ancient version how to bake this bread.

2) There are many types of cheeses that are produced in Latvia. Some farms offer sampling. If you interested particularly in this product there is brochure in Latvian but there you will find also names of the manufacturers and their website addresses.

3)Anything else that is produced in local farms. Here you will find the list of local farms that are open for tourists.

4)Regional characteristic dishes you will be able to experience only in particular region.

If you would like to get an overview what is typical for Baltic Region, please take a look here.

 

Drinks sampling

If you would like to taste local drinks, here are 2 lists of options: 1st and 2ns

1) There are dozens of breweries and microbreweries around the country. Mostly microbreweries offer sampling. One of the most popular one’s is Valmiermuiža – excellent beer and experience.

For local sampling options you should ask us or Tourism information centers.

2)Mostly all wine is made from different local berries. We have also a couple of wineries who grow their own grapes and make typical wine. The first impression of the wines from berries you can get usually on farmers markets where wine producers are present but mostly people visit wine sampling in wineries.

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3)Birch sap or birch water is collected every spring almost in every countryside house. For later it is kept in cool basement. Many people make sparking wine from birch sap. Here is the 1st and 2nd place where you can taste it.

There are two approaches to wine and beer tasting. Mostly you will be welcomed according to the appointment made before arrival. But some places have definite working hours during the season and you can come without prior notice. Also there is minimum cost for the sampling in you are just 2 – 4 persons. It differs from 30 – 60 EUR as minimum.  If you are larger group, the average cost for sampling is 8 – 10 EUR for drinks.