Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Double Shot of Latvia

Quite a while ago Laura and I went out for fondue in Kharkiv.  It was the first time I had been to a fondue restaurant although we've done homemade fondue several times at home.  

We choose Blue Cheese and  Gruyere as our cheeses for dipping...

...and we also had a bunch of french bread and a meat platter as well.  

While we were enjoy our dinner, two women walked over to our table and asked us in Russian if we had ever tried a drink called Balzams.  We couldn't quite believe it as Balzams is a famous Latvian drink that we had recently during our Latvian Independence Day feast.

They told us that they were promoting a new type of Balzams that was mixed with black current juice.  This is typically how Latvians drink what is called a "Hot Balzams" so it seems the company is finally catching up with how people use their product.

The Balzams Girls gave us some free drinks...

...including a mixed drink with Balsams and honey.

Drinking these made us feel like we took a little trip to Latvia...which leads directly to our little trip to Latvia. On our travels back to Ukraine from America during the Christmas holiday we had about a day and a half in Latvia.  This actually turned into a longer stay as the Ukrainian airline we were booked on went bankrupt and cancelled our flights.  In the end, this turned out okay as we were able to stay with Laura's host parents Saiva and Andris.  Laura lived in Latvia with them for the better part of a year during her Fulbright fellowship and they are essentially her Latvian parents!

Our first night in Riga saw them give us a great Latvian dinner which started with a lovely salad.  I haven't had an avocado in I don't know how long.  

The main course included cutlets which are tenderized chicken breasts fried on a skillet...

...and, of course, some potatoes.  Both were excellent. 

For desert we had some lovely cinnamon and raisin cake with...

...a delicious fruit compote.  

In Latvia you always bring some kind of gift to a dinner get together.  We had brought back gifts from America and they gave us some wonderful Laima chocolate.

No comments:

Post a Comment