Ancient trading routes provided not just goods, but also knowledge and culture. The Light’s rout relates to the Reverent Ernst Gluck, who was a writer, the first translator of the Bible into Latvian, and a founder of Latvian children’s schools, the Hernhutian movement of brothers, Kārlis Skalbe, the Kaudzīte brothers, Jānis Poruks, Antons Austriņš and their spiritual heritage. People in Vidzeme bake rye, wheat, barley, spelt and grit bread with various seeds, caraway seeds, nuts, dried fruit and hemp seeds. Hemp is used to produce traditional butter, oil and dumplings made with grey peas. It is also added to candies and even chocolate. Barley flour in the past was used only for celebrations, but today people will teach you how to use it to bake water pretzels with salt and caraway seeds. Visit farms and restored windmills to track the route of grain. Taste traditional Summer Solstice cheese, as well as Green cheese and tasty goat cheese. Pipe perch from Lake Burtnieks is a local delicacy, and you will also find trout, catfish and sturgeon, as well as crabs in season. Local meat and fowl dishes are popular, including dishes made with rabbit. Kitchens at aristocratic estates will offer wild game and pheasants with forest goodies and wild herbs. In Vidzeme you can meet the Garlic Queen, who prepares plant powders.
Enjoy pies, sheet cakes, honey cakes, desserts of whipped cottage cheese, mountain ash, quince, apples, sweet cream and rye bread, as well as blackberry or apple dumplings. Slake your taste with herbal teas with honey, birch juice, berry lemonades or, if you’re looking for something stronger, some tasty beer or wine.