CULINARY HERITAGE HOUSE
There, where today stands Lekėčiai tightly surrounded by dense woods, 500 years ago was a rustling grove, the grove that great duke Aleksandras gifted to Jonas Sapeiga for losses he had suffered during war with Moscow. If the remaining trees of the grove could speak, they would tell us many stories, including the story of when the flavor of “branchie” settled over Lekėčiai.
“Branchie”, also called baumkuchen, is one of the most popular culinary heritage bakery in Lithuania. Baking of the first baumkuchens, which homeland is considered to be Germany, commenced 600 years ago. This dessert dish in Lithuania at the end of XIX century and the start of XX century was pioneered by monks, who gave it the “Baumkuchen” name, which translated from German language means “tree pie.
Spruce-like branches is what makes Lithuanian “branchie” differ from German baumkuchen. According to old traditions, croissant is baked for around 2 – 3 hours in a round roller made from oak or ash which is placed above wood stoked fireplace, gradually pouring liquid dough made of eggs, butter, flour, cream and sugar into the roller. Roller whirled in rapid motion is what makes branches “grow” out of the cake, this is why in Lithuania this delicacy is called “branchie”, while in Zanavykija region it was always called – croissant.
Women of Zanavykas Region preserved the old recipes and the traditional way of baking “branchie”. Previously, in Lekėčiai there was a habitant of 15 women who baked “branchies” in their own homestead’s yard kitchens, some of them used furnaces built in their garages. Today in this region remained only two hostesses which upholds the old, traditional way of baking “branchies”. One of them is Mrs. Romutė Mureikienė, she baked her first “branchie” over 60 years ago, having been taught by her sister at the age of 16. Now, Mrs.Romutė teaches the secrets of this delicacy to a visitors who come to the Hause of women’s community club for culinary heritage, in Lekėčiai.
The Hause of women’s community club for culinary heritage not only orginizes educative programs for baking of “branchie” and traditional bread, but also has herbalism and other various lessons for ancient crafts.
Visit the small village of Zanavykas, which is hiding in Lekėčiai grove, between the Šakiai and Kaunas region “rubus”. In here, the cozy and lovely culinary education home awaits for you, your friends, family and coworkers to spend a meaningful time for any celebrative occasion. Here you will understand the special taste of food which is hand made with love and warmth.
During Club’s ongoing culinary heritage educative programs, guests will be introduced to Lithuanian traditional, natural and ecological culinary heritage dishes, recipes and possibilities for cooking traditional delicacies at home. This is how overhead value is created through traditions to maintain public health, motivate natural wellbeing and diet.