Trakai for Gourmands!
The history of the Trakai Region is characterized by its impressive landscape and the diversity of people of various nationalities who have been living peacefully together for many centuries. Since the times of the Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas (14th-15th centuries), people of many nationalities (Karaites, Tatars and others) moved to Trakai following the Duke’s invitation. The town blossomed in new cultural traditions, crafts and national dishes.
Today the culinary heritage of the Trakai Region population has become very valuable and especially attractive. Trakai has always been a multicultural town since medieval times. However, Karaims, brought from Crimea by Vytautas the Great, deserve special attention in Trakai.
The Karaim cuisine has kept its traditions from ancient times up to the present. The base of the Karaim kitchen is meat and paste dishes. One of the most famous dishes known not only to Karaims is kybyn. It is a leavened paste cake having the form of a half-moon with lamb or beef filling; it is baked in the oven or on a tin.
Besides kybyn Karaims make some other well-known dishes such as a various filling pie kiubete, whose name in the Karaim language means the warrior’s shield. Both – the dish and the name – came from ancient times, the Karaims were a warlike nation. On the other hand, kiubete is a symbol of concord and unity – cut in equal pieces it was apportioned among the whole family. It is baked with a variety of fillings, including lamb, beef or chicken. The meat is chopped into small pieces and seasoned with finely chopped onions, and other additives such as rice, beans and potatoes are added. Kiubete is always served hot — steaming and inviting with its delicious aroma. It is a bringer of joy and success and turns the day into a festival.
The Tatars – representatives of another nation brought by Vytautas the Great and settled in the Trakai Region also cherish their national sweet dish – šimtalapis, a baked roll with plenty of honey and poppy seeds. It was a favourite in the manor estate of Gediminas. Šimtalapis well-known around the world, however, the original recipe comes from the Tartars of Lithuania.
Being in Trakai, you can try Georgian national dishes, which are so tasty. Undoubtedly, the most common, favourite salty Georgian cake is khachapuri – a cheese pastry similar to a large curd tart filled with cheese and baked on cast-iron frying pans.
In Trakai, you can try traditional Lithuanian dishes as well. One of the country’s most recognisable dishes is – cepelinai, large potato dumplings usually stuffed with meat or cottage cheese. There are many forms of popular pancakes: Samogitian pancakes (žemaičių blynai) filled with minced meat and potato pancakes (bulviniai blynai), kugelis is similar to potato pudding.
Lithuanians love soup, but one soup rises above all others – šaltibarščiai. It’s a beetroot and kefir soup accompanied by hardboiled eggs and boiled potatoes. This pink soup is incredibly popular, particularly in summer.
Dessert lovers, we invite you to a chocolate house where you can try handmade chocolates according to the finest Belgian traditions. At small, cosy shops customers can select their favourites from over 150 different types of sweets.
Explore your love of food!
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