When you think about Latvia, people often associate it with the Baltics as it should, but it is rarely associated with food. However, when you talk about Latvian food, Riga is the place for you. The Latvian capital is the melting pot of all things delicious in this part of the Baltic sea.
But there is a caveat before you dig in to any Latvian feast. It is not for the feint of heart. Because most visitors you’d like to chow down on some local cuisine then pop your heart medication, pull out your pocket defibrillator and get ready to get greasy.
Where to begin? That’s easy. A Latvian meal is seldom complete without pork. Even if you order a dish without the national meat, there’s a good chance that the chef has snuck it into your food somehow, usually by cooking other food, including vegetables, in bacon fat. Karbonāde ar kaulu (grilled pork chops), karbonāde (pork schnitzel) and cūkas stilbs (pork knuckle) are all favourites, but for more exotic pig dishes keep an eye out for cūkas ausis (pig’s ears), grūdenis (pig’s head stew) and cūkas kājas (pig’s feet).
But all of this will pale in comparison to this weird but delicious Latvian delicacy. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: Vauts govs tesmenis.
This mouth watering Latvivan soup’s main star is, drum roll, cow udders. Yes you heard it right. The mammal’s err mammary glands is cleaned for 4-5 long hours in running cold water. Then is cooked and simmered in low heat for another 4-6 hours.
Then the udders is cooked another time with parsley, onion, carrots, peppercorn and other spices for until the cow’s udders are tender and tasty. Then to finish off the soup, tomatoes, onions and cucumber sauce is added.
Due to the long cooking time, the exotic flavor of the udder fuses with the herbs and spices making up to a authentic Latvian soup experience. To make this more authentic, eat it with boiled potatoes and pickled cucumbers.
Are you up for the challenge of eating cow udders soup? Then let’s go to Riga and let’s explore the wonders of Latvia. Let’s get into the amazing and weird food of the Baltics. Just contact us here at BCN Montjuic Tourist Point and let’s be on our way!