Lithuanian bread – from tradition to innovation
One tiny bite of fresh bread with honey on top, and you suddenly feel like you have come back home. Those nostalgic feelings make us marvel at how much the bread has evolved – and yet at the same time, managed to remain the same traditional product that unites the whole family.
Our Lithuanian ancestors considered bread sacred, and the three-day preparation of rye bread was a ritual carried out according to recipes passed down from generation to generation.
From traditional black bread to sourdough, which has just recently gained popularity in Lithuania, the last decade has seen a boom in the varieties and flavours of bread created by Lithuanian bakers. Recipes range from simple and plain bread to loaves enriched with a variety of added ingredients such as hemp seeds, dried fruits or vegetables Far from being conservative in terms of tastes, Lithuanians are more and more likely to seek out new products and recipes. Recent trends include bread flavoured with turmeric, ginger, or honey. If you haven’t tasted it yet, it’s likely you will soon!
While bread is usually associated with sandwiches, ingenious culinary experts are also using it in unexpected ways – you can taste bread cake, strudel made with bread crumbs, or even ice cream containing pieces of dried black bread – adding a surprising and delicious crunch. Another mouth-watering snack that’s familiar to Lithuanians, but may come as a surprise to foreigners, is fried bread with garlic and cheese.
During quarantine, bread has become a popular food for people to make at home. The challenge of the year has been to baking bread that not only tastes delicious, but looks great too. Pink and black sourdough bread has become a real sensation on Instagram!
With people paying more and more attention to their health, consumer trends towards healthier products are already shaping the food market – and bread is no exception. Loaves with lower or no added sugar, yeast-free and gluten-free bread, added grains – all these and more have become a common sight on the shelves of food stores.
What new bread-making trends would you like to see in the coming year?
According to Eurobarometer, Lithuanians are among the staunchest EU backers, with 59% of the respondents claiming to be in favour of the EU (the EU average being 47%). The pro-European sentiment has been observed since the admission of the country to the Union on May 1, 2004. The celebration of the Europe Day provides us with a great opportunity to look back on our achievements over the last 18 years across the key areas of economy, culture, governance and science.
Lithuania is a perfect place for women to join tech industries as the country is one of the fastest-growing centres of life sciences in Europe and has a vibrant ICT, financial technologies, video game, and laser sectors. The start-up community, which has already exceeded one thousand companies, attracts talents from all over the world to innovate and think about solutions that can contribute to a global change for the better in many spheres, ranging from gene editing to solving circular economy challenges.