Latvian Food Culture
Latvia is located in a temperate climatic zone with fairly long and cold winters and warm, short summers. Due to the harsh climate and relatively poor soil quality Latvians have always worked hard to provide food for themselves and their families. Food has thus always been assigned great value by Latvians. Bread has a special place in the Latvian consciousness, and respect for it is encouraged from early childhood.
Although Latvian cuisine has traditionally been based on agricultural produce, meat also features prominently in the Latvian diet. People living along the 500 km of Latvian coastline have always been involved in fishing, and fish has been an integral part of their diet. Fish are also caught inland, but these freshwater species are considered more of delicacy, in the same way as crayfish is.
1. Food Preparation
Women were the cooks in traditional Latvian homes and responsible for feeding the household three times a day. Longer days in summer meant that people worked for longer, and thus ate four meals a day. At first, food was prepared in clay pots which were placed in the fire or on the open hearth. Over time, cauldrons hung above the hearth and bread ovens for baking leavened bread became popular.…