34. The Baltics

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Read about Baltic food

Around the world in 80 cuisines

The Baltic nations include Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which nestle around the Baltic Sea. The cuisine of this region is characterised by its love for rye bread, fish, dill, dairy, root vegetables, cabbage, pickled vegetables, pork and mushrooms. These flavours are particularly nostalgic to me, because I had a cherished family friend and babysitter growing up who had Lithuanian heritage: Anna. Apart from being great fun and having an adorable manx cat, she is an incredible cook. I therefore spent many very happy days and nights of my childhood pattering around after her in the kitchen, surrounded by the smells of bacon, cabbage and dill. To this day I think of Anna whenever I smell bacon and cabbage frying. Under her careful instruction, I also learned to love some of the flavours that would be considered strange by Australian standards, such as cold beetroot soup and preserved fish. We would…

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