Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Living it up in Latvia

Riga is the capital city of Latvia, a small Eastern European country on the Baltic Sea, bordered by Lithuania and Estonia. Having been occupied by many different countries over the centuries, Latvia became an independent state in 1991, and since then have been carving their own identity in a big way.

Charming, packed full of history and scenically beautiful, Riga was a treat. We walked, we cycled and we tasted many of their local delicacies.

A traditional hearty soup called Solyanka, made with tomatoes, meat, olives, capers, lemon juice and pickled cucumbers - this soup really hits the spot!

Local beers at a Latvian restaurant called Citi Laiki where we dined on pork chops drenched in a boletus mushroom sauce (it's a Latvian past time to forage for wild mushrooms in the forests) and beef rolls stuffed with pork meat and brown bread.

Black balsam cocktails at the Skyline Bar - stunning views of the city and a fantastic vibe with trendy young Latvians mingling and dancing the night away.

A pretty little tea house on the river where you can choose from a large selection of tea leaves (or beers) and spend the day chilling on one of the couches snacking on sugared nuts.

On our way to the market to taste some of the local produce. (Many of the buildings are seriously worn and in need of some tlc)

Central Market, rumored to have been hangers for German Zeplins, but actually just built using parts of them, hosts over 3000 stalls - we loved the food section.

Hooves, nipples, ears - they cook using the nose-to-tail principle, nothing is wasted.

Because Latvian summers are plentiful and the winters are practically dead, they make use of preserving methods like pickling, sugaring, drying and smoking.

Pickled and brined everything.

Smoke dried Lampry... Nasty little blood sucking eel-like fish, it tastes much better than it looks!

Our picnic of market goods, from pickles to black bread to smoked cheese to wild garlic leaves - yum! Luckily our guide Marcus could direct our shopping in the market, otherwise we never would have known what we were eating :)

Yes, we are on bicycles, and yes, it was raining. Good times.

Beer tasting!

Black balsam, a potent thick local aperitif made from herb (here it's served with hot berry juice and orange wedges). Then we drank them as shooters... And the evening went south from there!

Now it's off to mother Russia... This is going to be interesting!

Location:Riga, Latvia


  1. At least werk pickles en bier saam - enjoy !


  3. Roosters!
    Ja nee, ons pickle en bier 'n ding vrot :)
    Trip is amazing! Kan nie glo ons is al in Rusland nie!
    Baie liefde daai kant!

    1. lyk my die caviar in rusland is maar min of is die koekies net groot?mie xx