Two (initial) reasons to love Lithuania
We can negotiate a lot, but not about two things: Surelis and Šaltibarščiai. Varškės sūrelis are chocolate-coated curd cheese sweets. It sounds like something you have to get used to, but the only thing you have to master is the sheer variety of small bar-shaped snacks. These are said to have Soviet-Russian origins and are barely known outside the former Soviet empire.
Šaltibarščiai is the national dish of Lithuania, a cold beetroot soup with a generous egg deposit, which also plays a special role in my relationship with the small Baltic country. Without this soup, I would not have found it up to the north, or more thuthfully, I have found to the north, because there was no soup in the south, although it had been promised to me.
Both, Surelis and Šaltibarščiai one is obliged to love, this is a duty in Lithuania. I was commanded to do so by two Lithuanian students, who threw the cold soup together for me one evening. And what can I say? It was excellent, outstandingly stunning and rich in flavors as in consistency!
While the soup is on every tourists mind and on any restaurants menu (despite the fact, it will get too cold for cold soup during october, but who cares?), Surelis easily stay under the radar. Not so, when you are with Lithuanians, they will make you try! Well, with Surelis, however, I had some slight initial difficulties, as the first one presented to me was too sweet for my tastebuds …which I stupidly admitted on spot: A pair of husky-blue eyes looked at me in horror and disbelief and surveilled me eating it up nevertheless. To general relief and my further acceptance in the country, I have been able to correct this assessment quite quickly: there are also fresh, even refreshing varieties! The curd inside the rolls is pressed into a solid mass and together with poppy seeds for example, can become an exquisite delicacy!
So, dear readers, if we should ever undertake to love Lithuania in 111 reasons, our first reason be: Because you simply have to and this command starts with two dishes!