Tag Archive for: Latvian

Ceptas Kartupelu Pelmeni (Pan Fried Potato Dumplings)

09 Jun
June 9, 2014

If Irish potato bread and piragi had a love child it would be these dumplings.  My grandmother use to make dumplings quite often, my grandfather loved them.  They were always filled with fruit, usually plums or strawberries.  I can’t recall her ever making savoury dumplings.

She certainly never fried them.  They were always served boiled and my grandfather would usually sprinkle his with poppy seeds and icing sugar.  Sometimes a knob of butter would also makes its way onto his plate, melting over the fresh, out of the pot, dumplings.latvian potato dumplings

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Zemnieku Brokastis, Farmers’ Breakfast

31 Mar
March 31, 2014

I love potatoes, give them to me baked, boiled or fried.  I have inherited having a continuous healthy stash of them in my kitchen from my mum, they are a staple.  It has only been in recent years, as I research more about Latvian culture and cuisine, that I am adamant that my love of potatoes is in my blood.

If you are like me, when you think of a potato munching country you automatically think of Ireland.  It seems, for all the same reasons that potatoes were important to the Irish, they were just as important to Latvians.

Potatoes are sometimes referred to as ‘the other bread’ by Latvians, and they feature heavily in the cuisine.  The hardy spud was an important introduction to Latvia from North America in the 19th Century.  No longer would peasants go hungry when the grain stores ran low in Winter and Spring, there was food to eat.

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PIRAGI – Latvian Bacon Buns

03 Jul
July 3, 2012

I thought it only appropriate that my 200th post on Belly Rumbles be one about a food that is close to my heart.  Close due to happy memories, the deliciousness and the fact it is a family recipe.  A recipe that is passed down the generations in all households of Latvian descent.  Even today Josh whipped up two batches of piragi to share amongst his friends tomorrow as they partake in their gaming marathon.  It does make this mother proud that he does an amazing job and that his rolling of these little buns has almost reached my standard.

One of my earliest food memories was standing in my great grandmother’s kitchen in Merrylands, Sydney.  My grandmother and great aunt would also be present.  It would have been school holidays, a day or two before Christmas Eve.  grandma would have been babysitting me while Mum and Dad were at work.

The kitchen would be full of glorious cooking smells, traditional delights being prepared for the family’s Christmas Eve feast.  The table that dominated the tiny kitchen, would be covered with flour and piles of dough.  Nimble fingers shaped buns filled with bacon and onion perfectly.  I was witnessing a piragis production line, to which I was welcomed to join with open arms. Read more →

Easter Recipe – Pashka

04 Apr
April 4, 2012

My grandmother made Pashka religiously each Easter.  I adore it.   The tanginess of the farmers cheese, with citrus, the richness of the butter and eggs added.  What completes this is the toasted flaked almonds with gives the dessert a nutty accent.

Traditional Latvian dishes were/are a major part of celebratory occasions like Easter and Christmas with my family.  Most of you may of heard of Pashka and immediately think of it as a Russian dish.  It is, but it is also a traditional Easter Latvian dish.

Due to the geographical location of Latvia, the cuisine is very influenced by Russia, or is it the other way round?  I won’t go into Russian occupation and Latvian history which also would weigh in on the cuisine.

You will see recipes that have candied peel mixed through.  I am not a fan of mixed peel at all and it is unceremoniously discarded from my recipe.  Instead I am a little more generous with the lemon and orange zest.  I have even seen glace cherries added to some recipes.  Sorry as far as I am concerned that is sacrilegious.  Read more →

Piragi

12 Dec
December 12, 2009

Piragi is something that I make every Christmas. It is traditional, my grandmother and my great grandmother use to make it. It is part of where I come from and who I am.

Piragi is not a traditional Latvian Christmas food, but I can understand why it became so in my family. Traditionally piragi is made around the 24th of June in Latvia. It is made to celebrate the summer solstice in a festival called Jani. Saying this, piragi finds itself at most Latvian celebrations, it is just too yummy to have once a year. I also tend to make them at Easter.

The word diet and piragi do not go together. It is made with fatty bacon, don’t even bother making it with the healthier for you short-cut bacon with all fat trimmed off. DOES NOT WORK!! This is not an every day food so don’t try and make them healthy. The amount of time that goes into making them you would be cheating yourself by doing so. Read more →

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