Lithuanian Cuisine

Lithuanian cuisine features the products suited to the cool and moist northern climate of Lithuania: barley, potatoes, rye, beets, greens, berries, and mushrooms are locally grown, and dairy products are one of its specialities. Since it shares its climate and agricultural practices with Eastern Europe, Lithuanian cuisine has much in common with Eastern European (Polish, Ukrainian), and shares some similarities to Scandinavian cuisine also, Hungarian, Romanian, and Georgian cuisines as well as Ashkenazi cuisine. Nevertheless, it has its own distinguishing features, which were formed by a variety of influences during the country’s long and difficult history.
  • dumplings (koldūnai, kreplach or pierogi),
  • doughnuts spurgos or (pączki ),
  • blynai crepes (blintzes).
  • pork and potato dishes German-Lithuanian
  • potato pudding (kugelis or kugel)
  • potato sausages (vėdarai)
  • Šakotis, the baroque tree cake
  • Eastern (Karaite) cuisine influences
  • kibinai
  • čeburekai
  • Torte Napoleon      From Wikipedia

Cepelinai (zeppelins) or Didžkukuliai: the National Dish, a potato-based dumpling dish.

Cepelinai (zeppelins) or Didžkukuliai
Cepelinai (zeppelins) or Didžkukuliai

Cepelinai are big, Zeppelin-shaped dumplings made from potatoes stuffed with meat or cheese. They are usually served with sour cream, spirgai or mushrooms.
To make Cepelinais: Cut potatoes & feed a food chute to finely grate potatoes.  The potatoes are wrung dry and riced potatoes are added.
Form the cepelinai with a handful of the potato mixture
– Pork Filling for Meat Cepelinai [Cheese Cepelinai can also be made.]
Add a generous portion of meat or cheese filling & encase it in the potato mixture.
Boil the Cepelinai and steam the meat Cepelinai.
Use a bacon & sour cream sauce when serving.

Juoda Duona – Black (Rye) Bread

Juoda Duona – Black (Rye) Bread Duona (bread) is probably the oldest traditional Lithuanian food that has been the center of Lithuanian cuisine for hundreds of years. It played a role in various agrarian rituals and still is sometimes used in wedding ceremonies. Bread was shown great respect and viewed as holy.
Lithuanian dark rye bread is delicious, heavy, fragrant and can remain fresh for a long time. It can be eaten during breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Šaltibarščiai - Cold Borscht (Beetroot Soup) Šaltibarščiai - Cold Borscht (Beetroot Soup)
Šaltibarščiai – Cold Borscht (Beetroot Soup) Šaltibarščiai – Cold Borscht (Beetroot Soup)

Šaltibarščiai – Cold Borscht (Beetroot Soup)Šaltibarščiai is a popular summer soup. It’s made from cooked shredded beets, cucumber, dill and green onions. All the vegetables are put into a pot and cold soured milk or kefir is added. Šaltibarščiai are usually served with hot boiled or fried potatoes on the side. Sometimes a sliced hard-boiled egg is added into the plate as well.



Balandėliai cabbage rolls
Balandėliai cabbage rolls

Balandėliai (“little doves”) are made from cabbage leaves stuffed with a minced meat, rice and onion filling. They can be served with sour cream or tomato sauce.





Bulviniai blynai, or potato pancake

Bulviniai blynai, or potato pancakes are one of the many Lithuanian dishes made from potatoes. They are usually served with sour cream, sometimes with mushrooms.






Gira is a fermented drink made from black rye bread. It is considered a soft drink but contains some alcohol (0.05-1.5%)


Skilandis is a pig stomach stuffed with minced meat, cold-smoked and matured for some time. It is one of the many smoked meat products that are popular in Lithuania, such as smoked and dried ham or smoked sausage (dešra)









Polish Kolaczki

Polish Kolaczki

There is some debate as to who invented kolaczki (plural for kolaczek). Poles claim it but so do Croatians, Czechs and others. Kolaczki can be round, square or diamond shaped, and the dough can be flaky or yeast-risen.

The flaky kind are made with a cream cheese dough, and apricot, raspberry, prune and sweet cheese are used as fillings. Also almond, poppyseed, strawberry, blueberry, even pineapple can be used. You can freeze unbaked filled kolaczki & bake frozen.
Makes about 5 dozen Polish Cream Cheese Kolaczki
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
1 (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
12 ounces (3 sticks) butter, softened
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 (14-ounce) cans fillings of choice (apricot, prune, raspberry, etc.)
Confectioners’ sugar
Mix cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add flour 1 cup at a time and mix well. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough 1/4-inch on a surface that has been dusted with equal parts confectioners’ and granulated sugars (not flour), because the granulated sugar will act as ball bearings and help keep the dough from sticking. Cut into 2-inch squares. Place 1/2 to 1 teaspoon filling on center of each square. Overlap opposite corners of dough to the center over filling. 
   Bake for 15 minutes or when corners start to brown. Cool and dust with confectioners’ sugar. These tend to become soggy if held for several days, so store them tightly covered (or freeze) without the confectioners’ sugar. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just prior to service.

Farmer’s Cheese

Andrulis Farmers Cheese

I can remember my Grandfather’s favorite snack food was Farmer’s Cheese with out caraway and Saltine crackers with plenty of butter. I can remember the white cheese sitting on the window sill in Clearwater Beach, FL turning yellow and hard.

I prefer Farmer’s cheese with caraway.

I recently stocked up on this treasure in Chicago and if I am not careful it will all be gone. Good we have friends and relatives in Chicago!

Here’s what it says on the label—Andrulis  Baltic Style Farmers Cheese

Michigan Farm Dairy 4295 E. Millerton, MI 49410 231-462-3301

Ingredients: Pasteurized Cultured whole milk, Cottage cheese coagulator, salt, caraway