Lithuania: Food and Drink
The typical diet consists of items that are readily available and not expensive. National dishes reflect the economic situation and the fact that the weather is cold for much of the year, creating a shortage of vegetables in the winter and a desire to prepare and eat warm, wholesome food. Pork, smoked meats, cabbage, beets, and potatoes are staples. Two favourite traditional dishes are saltibarsciai, cold beet soup with buttermilk, and cepelinai, boiled potato dumplings filled with meat or curd and served with fried pork fat or sour cream. Eating in restaurants has become more popular and there are many different types of restaurants in the larger cities.
Food plays an important role in celebrations, and a long table full of tasty fare is considered a sign of hospitality and affluence. It is customary for all guests to sit at a common table that fills most of the room, and for the hosts to ensure that no guest leaves the table hungry. These meals start with salads, cold meats, and bread, accompanied by kompotas (cold fruit tea) or juice, vodka, wine, or gira, a carbonated soft drink made from grain.
Traditional Lithuanian beverages are gira (a non-alcoholic drink made from rye bread), kisielius (fruity cranberry drink), beer, various spirit drinks with fruit or herbal infusions and, of course, mead. Another non-alcoholic Lithuanian drink is kisielius, usually made from cranberries (but sometimes also raspberries or gooseberries), starch and sugar.
Lithuania is known as a beer-loving country. At present there are over 80 breweries, large and small, operating in Lithuania, producing beer that may be light or dark, weak or strong (by law the strongest beer allowed is 9.5% alcohol by volume). Each brewery produces several varieties. The region of Birzai has long been known for its dark, strong beer, while light barley beer is produced in every region.
The mead produced in Lithuania varies in strength from 10% to 20%. Mead is in effect the northern countries’ equivalent of wine, being produced from a honey and water solution, with herbs added according to the recipe.
Things to know:
Tipping up to 10% is standard.
Lithuania Travel Information
At Goway we believe that a well-informed traveller is a safer traveller. With this in mind, we have compiled an easy to navigate travel information section dedicated to Luithuania.
Learn about the history and culture of Lirthuania, the must-try food and drink, and what to pack in your suitcase. Read about Lithuania’s nature and wildlife, weather and geography, along with 'Country Quickfacts' compiled by our travel experts. Our globetrotting tips, as well as our visa and health information will help ensure you're properly prepared for a safe and enjoyable trip. The only way you could possibly learn more is by embarking on your journey and discovering Lithuania for yourself. Start exploring… book one of our Lithuania tours today!
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