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Food & Drink, Latvia

World explorerWorld explorerWorld explorerWorld explorerWorld explorer Edyta Osmani
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Hors d’oeuvres are very good and often the best part of the meal. Local specialities include kotletes (meat patties), skabu kapostu zupa (cabbage soup), Alexander Torte (raspberry- or cranberry-filled pastry strips), smoked fish, including salmon or trout, sweetbread soup with dried fruit, piragi (pastry filled with bacon and onions) and sorrel soup with boiled pork, onions, potatoes and barley. Potatoes feature regularly on the menu prepared in a variety of ways. There is also a large selection of excellent dairy products on offer such as skabs krejums (sour cream).
Riga’s Black Balsam is a thick, black alcoholic liquid which has been produced since 1700. The exact recipe is a closely guarded secret, but some of the ingredients include ginger, oak bark, bitter orange peel and cognac. It is drunk either with coffee or mixed with vodka. There are several good local beers including the dark beer bauskas Tumsais and the pale Gaisais. Kvass is a refreshing summer drink. Sparkling wine is also popular.

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