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Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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Latvia central of the three Baltic states, resembles estonia to the north and lithuania to the south in having an unusual language. But, whereas Estonian belongs to the Finno-Ugric group, Latvian and Lithuanian are rarities, sole survivors of an ancient group, closely related to Sanskrit within the Indo-European family of languages.

A favourite dish, perhaps the national dish, is putr(a), described as a kind of vegetable/cereal porridge with suet or pork fat to which fish or smoked meat or whatever may be added. This can be made with barley, a popular cereal in this region, along with rye for the dark bread which goes with many of the numerous Latvian cold dishes, which are often assembled on the ‘cold table’.