Amber & Rye: a Baltic Food Journey, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuanaia
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This alluring book by a Polish-born author who has been both a restaurateur and a food-focused PhD candidate at London's School of Slavonic and East European Studies, is a testament to the diversity of cuisine within a relatively small geographic region.
Zuza Zak is also attentive to cultural detail, explaining why waffles became symbols of independence in Estonia, why Latvians prize hemp butter for its keeping qualities, and how Vilnius's reputation as a city for people of diverse faiths enriched its culinary history in the centuries before WWI.
What might you find within Amber & Rye? Crispy duck breast with redcurrants and roast pumpkin; turnip gratin with Latvian green cheese; a crunchy chickpea salad with fermented celery & carrot; a rye bread trifle with summer berries. Many intriguing flavor combinations.