10 gastronomic projects compete for title of best in Lithuanian cuisine

Other European countries will also hear about it. After the selective stage, now 10 gastronomic projects from different regions of Lithuania compete for the award of best project.

“Gastronomic tourism is rapidly gaining popularity in Lithuania. Localities that successfully organize gastronomic festivals and culinary heritage presentations, educational programs, food and harvest celebrations have submitted the applications for the competition. Lithuania can really be proud of their culinary heritage, which pleasantly surprises both local and foreign tourists, and this project is a great opportunity to introduce long-standing culinary traditions of our country and to promote new culinary projects,” says the State Department of Tourism Director Jurgita Kazlauskienė.

Projects from all of the regions of our country that nurture different gastronomic traditions wanted to participate in the competition. The expert jury selected the ten strongest gastronomic projects – the competition finalists.

Gastronomic project developers, offering to taste Lithuanian fish dishes, have actively participated in the competition. The finalists include even three projects of this kind from seacoast and the Eastern part of Lithuania (Aukštaitija). During the organized culinary cruise Fish Road by Curonian Spit, Nemunas delta, Minija and channel of King Wilhelm it is available to get to know gastronomic traditions of seacoast and Minor Lithuania, taste fish soup made of three kinds of fish. Šilutė, also participating in competition, invites to taste the fish soup cooked in the seacoast, here the soup cooking is like ritual, which is carried out in accordance with the old traditions, and trips by boat in the Nemunas delta are also organized. You can also taste traditional fish soup in Ignalina- the residents of region having mostly lakes of Lithuania have unique fish soup cooking traditions, which are presented during educational program.

The project also involves the beverage manufacturers. Residents of Anykščiai welcome you to taste the fruit wine Voruta, produced from raw material of local farmers, here the excursions to the winery, tastings are being organised. In the educational trip by narrow gauge railway “Narrow Gauge Roadside Legend- Winemaking History of Balys Karazija”, the founder of fruit wine workshop, Balys Karazija, is presented together with the history of winery creation, peculiarities of fruit wine making, characteristics of the wine, fruit wine tasting. And those who want to taste traditional Lithuanian beer are invited to the Pakruojis mansion, where already since nineteenth century the traditions of brewing are being cherished. In the authentic beer brewery it is possible to get to know beer brewing process, taste the traditional dishes with beer, for example, cannabis seasoned pancakes made from malt and various kinds of this drink- starting from strong, rich beer of “first class student”, ending with a soft, similar to the kvass third brewing beer.

Contestants residents of Šakiai invite guests to visit to the tasting of region zanavykai. During the tasting, after the guests sit at the table with traditional dishes and food of zanavykai, the hostess introduces them with the traditions of this region. Here you can taste various dishes of Suvalkai: homemade smoked bacon with onions, herring with naturally pickled beetroot and linseed oil as well as boiled potatoes, vinaigrette, fired cheese, meat jelly, oven baked cabbage head, homemade kvass or carrot candy.

To get familiar with culinary heritage of Dzūkija – special traditional potato dish- visit Punia. In the traditional Dzukija‘s farmhouse, provided with bread oven and millstones, the traditional potato dish is made from grated potatoes cooked on baker‘s peel and cabbage leaf, which later are eaten with “darycinis” – the home made cottage cheese with sour cream.

Sweets lovers are invited to visit the Druskininkai, where you can taste traditional tree cake and visit the museum, where the largest world‘s traditional tree cake of 3.72 m high is also exhibited. The ones driving the Panemunė road are invited to visit Honey Valley (Lithuanian: “Medaus slėnis”), located near Jurbarkas, where you can taste various kinds of honey: dandelion, raspberry, clover, heather, buckwheat or honeydew- each type of honey has a distinctive taste and healing properties, which guests are introduced to during the educational program. The honey is perfect with cucumber, to the celebration of which guests are annually invited by in the competition participating Kėdainiai. Cucumber growing tradition in this city’s history counts since the nineteenth century, and during the celebration visitors are invited to taste various dishes with cucumbers, get familiar with local growers, who will show how to properly grow, prepare and preserve this vegetable.

The project evaluation committee will select the best one gastronomic project from these projects, which will be announced in special awards event, and later it will be presented in Brussels along with the best gastronomic projects from all European countries.

Best gastronomic Project election is implemented by State Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Economy which implements EDEN Project of 2015 Lithuanian Tourism Attraction Area 2015. Tourism and Local Gastronomy.

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