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CHARACTER OF LATVIAN KITCHEN. The nutrition which Latvia

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2. CHARACTER OF LATVIAN KITCHEN The nutrition which Latvia ‘s residents receive has always been based primarily on livestok breeding, fishing and farming. Since ancient times Latvians have loved rye bread, they heve used rough – ground wheat or rye flour, barley grouts. Legumes have been popular –especially gray peas with bacon. Among vegetables, Latvian are big potato eaters, but they also like beets, carrots and cabbages. Milk and dairy products are important in the Latvian cuisine, many Latvians prepereated cheese at home, one kind of cheese is known all over the country – Janu siers( midsummer solstice cheese). Soup is often on the table in the Latvian home – sauerkraut soup is an example. Meat dishes come from pork, beef and lamb. Fish dishes come from fish that are found in Latvia’s shores, such a pilchard, cod, herring, carp, eel, pike, lamprey and bream.

3. CHARACTER OF LATVIAN KITCHEN Latvian’s forests brust with berries and musrooms each year and this is an importantpart of Latvian nutrition. Flavoring agents in Latvian food include onions, garlic, dill, green onions, celery parsley and caraway seeds. Desserts are prepared from fruit and berries – apples, strawberries, red currants, cranberies -, and from rhubarb, pumpkin, cottage cheese, rye bread. Over the countries, field workers under the hot sun have refreshred themselves with a juice prepereted from birch sap, a soured porridge called skabputra. Beer is popular, and there are dozens of different varieties in Latvia’s various regions. The beer is one of key element to a summer solstice repast. Fine – ground flour is used for various pan breads, everyone knowns speka piradzini (bacon rolls or bacon buns) .

4. ZIRNU PIKAS ( grey pea dumplins) 230 g grey peas, 50 g. onion, 90 g smoked bacon, 200g potatoes, 1 tablespoon hemp butter, satl, black pepper. Soak the peas thoroghly 6 – 8 hours.Peel the potatoes. Boil peas and potatoes separately tehn drain and grind ingredients together. Chop the onionand bacon, chip them in small amount of butter. Add to the pea and potato mixture along with the hemp butter and species. Malt well.Shape the mixture into small dumplingsand arrange them in a shallow dish. Serve with curdled milk.

5. JANU SIERS ( caraway cheese) 1 kg cottage cheese, 5 l milk, 2 eggs, 50 – 100 g buttes, 50 – 100 g sour cream, salt caraway to taste. Heat the milk to 90 – 95 oC. Grind the cottage cheese and add it to the milk. Heat at 85 – 90o C for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the cottage cheese to sit, pour off any liquid. Place cottage cheese in dampened cheesecloth, gater the corners togetherand roll the cheese to allow as much liquid as possible to separate out. Put the cottage cheese in a bowl. Mix the sour cream, eggs, salt and caraway seeds, and add it gradually to the cheese. Melt the butter in the pot. Put the cheese, over a low flame, strring all the time, until smooth and shihy. Place the cheese in a dampened chesecloth. Tie the corners of the cloth together and put the cheese under weight in the cold place. Served with butter or honey or as a snack with the beer.

6. SKABU KAPOSTU ZUPA (sauerkraut soup) 1 l water, 300 g pork, 350 g sauerkraut, 50 g carrot, 30 g onion, 30 g barley groats, butter, sour cream, species, parsley. Cut the pork into the pieces. Fry sliced carrot, parsley and onions in butter. Pour sauerkraut, groats, pork, carrot and onions into a saucepan, add water and boil until sauerkraut is tender( 2 – 2,5 hours). The suop is generally served with sour cream, finely sprinkle chopped parsley leaves.

7. KARTUPELI AR BIEZPIENU UN SILKI (potatoes with cottage cheese and herring) 1 kg potatoes, 200g cottage cheese, 50 g sour cream, 100 g filet of salted herring, spring onions. Peel the potatoes and boil them, than drain well. Put into the bowl, spread with chopped spring onions, serve with cottagge cheese, sour cream and herring.

8. ZIRNI AR SPEKI ( grey peas and bacon) 200 g grey peas, 250 g smoked bacon, 300 g onion, salt, pepper, curdled milk. Soak peas overnight. Put them in a pot with hot water to cover and boil until almost tender, than add salt. Dice bacon into small cubes and saute with onion.Peas are traditionally served in the clay bowls, adding fried bacon mixture. Serve with a drink of curdled milk.

9. SKLANDU RAUŠI (potato and carrot tarts) 1 kg flour, 100 g butter, water, 1kg potatoes, milk, 2 eggs, 2 kg carrot, sour cream, 150 g honey or sugar. Mix flour(croarse rye flour) with water and knead into dough to homogeneous consistency. Add sone butter to easethe flattening of the dough, and roll it to 3 – 4 mm thickness.With a help of glass cut out round shapes with a diameter of about 12 cm and turn up their edges.Place on a greased backing tray. Mash boiled potatoes, adn some milk, butter, salt.Mash boiled carrots, add eggs, honey or sugar.Put a layer of the potato mass on each dough patty and top it with carrot mass and sour cream.Bake in a moderate heat until the dough turns dry and crusty.

10. SPEKA PIRADZINI (bacon rolls or bacon buns) Yeast dough ( ˝ l milk, 1 kg white flour, 50 g yeast, 100 g butter, 25 g sugar, salt), bacon, onion, black pepper, egg for spreading. Make yeast dough, put the dough in a warm place and leave the dough to rise. Cut bacon into small cubes and mix with pepper, salt and chopped onion. When the dough has risen, turn it turn it out on to a lightly floured surface, roll into a long rope and cut ino pieces of equal size. Roll the pieces into round balls. Flatten each dough ball, put the bacon filling in the middle, fold dough over, priching the egdes together. Place the finished, creascent – shaped buns on a greased backing tray with the pinched seam underneath, leave to rise for 5 – 10 minutes, then brush with beaten egg and bake.

11. RUPJMAIZES KARTOJUMS (traditional Latvian ambrosia) 300 g dry, dark rye bread, 200 g cranberry jam, 160 g sugar, cinnamon, 250 g double heavy cream, fresh cranberies. Finely grate the rye bread and mix with the cinnamon and half of the sugar. Whip the cream, adding the sugar. Whip until you get stiff peaks. In a shallow dish arrange the ingredients in layers : thr rye bread, then the jam, then whipped cream, then the rye bread again, etc. Making the bread the top layer. Leave it for 3-4 hours. Decorate with wipped cream and cranberries.

12. PUTRAIMDESAS ( barley sausage) 500 g medium – ground barley grouts, 11/2 l pork bouillon, 250 g pokr, 1 l pig’s blood, 100g onion, 100 g lard, species. Make stuffing mixture from boiled pork, barley porridge, pig’sblood, fried onion and species, mix well. Fill the stuffing into sausage casings about three –quarters full. Boil the sausages in salted water, and then heat them over a low flame for a while. Before servering the sausages , brown them in the frying fat.

13. RUDZU MAIZE ( rye bread) To bake approximately 10 loaves of bread: 10kg coarse rye flour, ~ 5-7 l water, pinch of salt, caraway seeds to taste. For the starter: 250g (8.75oz) coarse rye flour, 250g (8.75oz) buttermilk, 50g (1.75oz) sugar. This recipe is intended for baking bread in a traditional wood-fired bread oven. However, you can also bake the bread in an electric or gas oven using a baking tray When baking bread for the first time, you must make the starter. Mix one third of flour intended for baking with hot water and beat with a wooden spatula until the mixture is smooth. Cool to 35-40°C, then add starter and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth again. Sprinkle over thick layer of flour, cover and put in a warm place to rise for 10-12 hours. Each loaf is made to have a weight of 2-4 kg. Sprinkle flour on the bread-shovel, then with wet hands take enough dough for one loaf, place on the bread-shovel and form it into a loaf shape. Bake bread for 1-2 hours, the length of time is determined by the size of the loaves .

14. CEPTI NEGI( pan – backed lamprey) Sprinkle the fresh lamprey with salt and wipe them lightly a clean cloth. Heat a heavy pan without any fat, place the lamprey on the pan close together, bake them for 5 -8 minutes, turn and bake for 4 – 5 minutes more. Do not overbake or let them burn, because then they will be better. Arrange the lamprey tightly in a dish, sprinkling salt between them. Take some very strong tea, mix with some water and pour it over the lamprey for the color, weight down the lamprey and put them in a cold place.

15. RAUDZETAS BERZU SULAS (sprakling birch juice) Fill fresh birch sap into the bottles, adding to each 10 – 15 g sugar. Do not fill bottles all the way up. Cork the bottles and put them in a warm place for 4 – 5 days. Seal the corks throughly and store the bottles in a cool place. The juice will be fermented and sprakling in 15 – 20 days.

16. ALUS (beer) Beer is a traditional Latvian beverage - it is impossible to imagine ancient or contemporary Latvian celebrations without it. Beer is the most commonly mentioned drink in Latvian folklore, and has innumerable folksongs dedicated to it. In Latvia beer was traditionally brewed from barley and hops. Honey was also often added during the brewing process, and the product was then called medalus (honey beer). Juniper berries or wormwood were also added to give the beer flavour. Today there are many types of beer which are products of breweries throughout Latvia. The most popular are Aldaris, Cesu, Piebalgas, Tervetes, Užavas, Bauskas and Lacpleša beers. Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage drunk when friends meet in a tavern in the evening, celebrate a wedding or the summer solstice

17. MELNAIS BALZAMS (black balsam) Another special strong alcoholic beverage made in Latvia is Riga Black Balsam, first made in the 18th century and based on an ancient recipe used by Riga’s pharmacists. The ingredients include various herbs, and because of this the liqueur is dark, has a thick consistency, is fragrant and is considered medicinal.

18. LABU APETITI! Good apetite!

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