Latvia Named The European Region of Gastronomy 2017
The European Region of Gastronomy Award is a project that aims to highlight distinctive food cultures and support gastronomic innovation. The European Region of Gastronomy title is awarded to two – three different regions that are doing interesting things to support culture combined with ‘food ways’ and gastronomy. In the year 2017 the honor goes to the Danish city of Aarhus and Central Denmark Region, the Lombardy Region in Italy and Riga – Gauja region in Latvia.
Latvia won the award for promoting its special very concept called “Wild at palate”. Despite being a modern European country, we still keep close to our routes of hunter-gatherers and land-tenders. As soon as the spring comes, Latvian families are grabbing knives and baskets to open the season of berry picking and mushroom hunting. There’s hardly any family without at least one hunter or fishermen who would regularly provide game and fish for the family feasts. Besides, almost every family have a summer cottage where they grow seasonal vegetables, fruits and berries.
Recent years have seen nature’s bounty not only enrich our own home-cooked meals, but with the development of small catering businesses in both urban and rural areas, provide interesting fare for both local and foreign visitors. In addition, plates and dishes from natural materials – wood, clay, stone, glass – handmade by skilled craftspeople make for a unique eating experience.
Gauja region has chosen 12 authentic local products that will become the core of the gastronomic experience for every visitor. Sorrel, rhubarb, as well as birch and maple sap in the spring, catfish, sour cherries and cloudberry in summer, venison, boletus mushrooms in the autumn, as well as rye bread, turnips and rowan berries in winter are the true colours of Latvian palate!