Lithuanian appetizers, entrees and desserts
The Cleveland Food Adventurers Passport event in February 2016 was at the Lithuanian Club on East 185th Street. Ruta Degutis, President of the Club, welcomed the crowd to the Lithuanian Club in Cleveland.
Lithuanian Club president Ruta Degutis
Ruta also gave a brief history of Lithuania and spoke about the 1000 years as a nation, Poland, amber, the female president, music festivals and more.
Virginija Juodisius-Rubinski played a traditional Lithuanian wedding song played on the kankles which is a Lithuanian plucked string musical instrument of the zither family.
Virginija Juodisius-Rubinski playing the kankles
The instrument is similar in construction and origin to the Latvian kokle, Russian gusli, Estonian kannel and Finnish kantele.
This song is a Lithuanian wedding song where the friends and family of the bride say farewell.
The cultural part of the evening included presentations as follows:
Ruta explained the appetizers the group would be served. Lithuanian sushi - herring in a tomato and onion sauce served at Christmas and in winter, Lithuanian dark rye garlic bread and a salad of bread, cheese and lentils. Greens are not used in salads because it is a cold climate and lettuce and greens are not available.
Ruta Degutis and Linas Johansonas told about the entrees of Lithuania that would be served.
Linas Johansonas explaining the entrees
The potato is the main crop of Lithuania so the entrees naturally use that.
The entrees included Cepelinai, the national dish of Lithuanian along with Kugelis (potato pudding), Vedarai (potato sausage) and a more familiar sausage and sauerkraut.
After dinner, Ruta explained the desserts including famous Tree Cake which, because it is used as a wedding cake, she calls a Horny Cake. She also explained their custom liqueur shot which included honey from her own bees and about 20 spices like cinnamon, cardamom, clove, caraway, etc.