Pass the Latvian Rupjmaize, Please, and LabuApetiti

Rupjmaize, rugušpiens, and piragi are just some of the delightful names of traditional Latvian foods. Though modern cuisine has adapted to city living, many ancient food recipes and customs continue to this day.

- By John Jacobs

Sitting in Northern Europe on the Baltic Sea, Latvia cuisine represents the culmination of an agricultural history, centuries of German rule, a period of Russian rule, and numerous regional influences from Sweden and South Europe. Despite this complex food history, if any food culture could be defined as basically consisting of “meat and potatoes”, it would be Latvian cuisine. Yet, the meat and potatoes do not seem quite so plain after learning that foods like sipolklopsi (steak and onions) were introduced by German chefs for the table of barons. With a fondness for bread, potatoes, bacon rolls, a variety of meats, dairy products, and lots of fresh berries, meals represent a fusion of history, practicality, and classic European recipes.

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