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Aukstā zupa

Aukstā zupa

Lithuania makes an impression on travelers in many ways, and in summer, one of those ways is with its cold pink soup, saltibarsciai. Saltibarsciai translates to “cold borscht” or “cold beet soup,” and its this quintessentially Eastern European root vegetable that lend the soup its characteristic pink color. You may encounter a version of saltibarsciai in other parts of the region—for example, the Poles call it chłodnik litewski (Lithuanian cold soup), and the Latvians call it aukstā zupa (cold soup), but many people associate this soup with Lithuania, the most southern of the Baltic countries.

Saltibarsciai is ubiquitous throughout Lithuania during the summer months. It’s a Lithuanian traditional food that everyone—locals and visitors—look forward to because it’s refreshing, unusual, and tasty. Typically served with a side of potatoes, Lithuanian pink beetroot soup is also great for instagramming and adding a touch of the unexpected to your other social media feeds.

While most travelers to Lithuania sample pink soup at restaurants, many Lithuanians make it themselves according to longstanding family recipes. It’s such an important aspect of the Lithuanian summer menu and the list of Lithuanian traditional foods in general that it often appears as the first entry in the soup chapter of Lithuanian cookbooks! While some ingredients may differ, the basic composition of cold borscht soup are beetroots, cucumbers and greens such as dill and scallions.


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