Authentic culinary heritage educational programs
AUTHENTIC TRADITIONAL TREE CAKE BAKING
Lithuanian tree cake, known as raguolis (which means “spiked”) or šakotis (which means “branched”) is a treat that appears at every traditional Lithuanian special occasion. Raguolis baking has deep traditions in Lekėčiai region, according to local old housewives. Local people said that already in the president of Lithuania A. Smetona times (1926 – 1940), Lekėčiai hostesses were baking tree cakes, in Zanavykija region (North of Suvalkija, Middle of Lithuania) they were called raguolis. In the Soviet era, around 1980, in Lekėčiai area was about ten raguolis bakers. People from all over Lithuania were traveling to Lekėčiai to buy a raguolis.
Lekėčiai women’s club in their “Home of culinary heritage” maintain live, authentic, traditional raguolis baking secrets in these days. Lekėčiai women’s carries out Zanavykija raguolis baking educations. Raguolis is baking in an authentic baking furnace (on birch wood flame) by the ancient way – turning roller with hands.
Raguolis baking – is a long process, which requires very competent and hard work. When the dough is precisely mixed, roll “wrapped” with a linen sleeve, fire set then raguolis is baking slow and responsibly (about 2 hours). The most beautiful education moment – the raguolis removal from the roller. After that, local herbalist serves ecological, flavorful, bleached acorn coffee. Combination of this coffee and a big piece of warm raguolis fascinates even gourmet taste owners.
AUTHENTIC TRADITIONAL BREAD BAKING
In Lithuanian village, bread baking has always been very important and honorable mother’s duty. The bread baking is full of deep traditions, holiness, just like a religious ritual. Lekėčiai women’s club “Home of culinary heritage” members also maintained live, authentic, traditional culinary heritage bread baking secrets.
Lekėčiai women club performs Zanavykija region, traditional, rye bread cooking educational programs. The bread recipe is several centuries old. The most wonderful thing is that the leaven (Lithuanian – raugas), which Lekėčiai women use, is kept „alive” for more than half a century. It belongs to one Lekėčiai community women club member, almost eighty years old local bread baker. She inherited the leaven from her mother. The leaven is usually a leftover of dough from the last bread baking. Just before baking, the saved piece of dough is dissolved in warm water. When the bread dough is prepared, the part of the new dough is left for the next bread baking.
In Zanavykija region bread is baked half scalded. One part (about one third) of flour is scalded with boiling water, remaining part mixed with warm water. Mixed dough is covering up and rising in a warm place until the other day. When the education guests come they found a hot furnace, the bread is fermented for a day, already “talking” and ready for baking. They only need to roll up their sleeves, wet hands in the water, cross the kneading-trough and knead their own loaf of bread. Then small ritual – everyone draws a cross form on the top of their bread with their palm. Then time to put bread into the furnace, where bread is in fire goddess Gabija care.
While the tree cake or bread is baking, guests feast by the table full of traditional, authentic Lekėčiai region culinary heritage dishes and healthy handmade treats. Local herbalist reveals the secrets of picking, drying and storing herbs, offers to taste ecological Lekėčiai region herbs teas and other magical drinks.
GROUP UP TO 30 PEOPLE. FIXED TAX, INDEPENDENT FROM THE NUMBER OF People is 100 EUR (educational program) + 6 EUR PER PERSON (for culinary heritage dishes table). ORDER AT LEAST FIVE DAYS BEFORE
During education, visitors have the opportunity to purchase a wide range of authentic Lekėčiai women’s club members made products.
Authentic, traditional, half-scalded bread of Zanavykija region. Bread is made from whole-meal rye flour, without any additives, with natural leaven, in an authentic bread furnace. (Price – 1 kg. 4 EUR.)
Bread leaven. Authentic, traditional, rye bread leaven maintained “live” for more than fifty years by old local Lekėčiai hostesses. As a gift – a bread recipe. (Price – 2 EUR.)
Herbal tea blends. Local herbalist collects and prepares herbal teas, natural coffees from plants root, acorns, and other healthy products. (Price – from 2 EUR.)
Cannabis salt. Ecological hemp seeds, crushed and seasoned with sea salt. (Price – 1 EUR.)
Natural, handmade soap. Women’s make soap without any artificial materials (such as synthetic flavors, colourants, preservatives, foaming improvers, mineral oils). The colours and texture are made of herbs, spices, plant oils, and cosmetic clays. (Price from 1 EUR.)
Natural flowers and plants hydrolates. Hydrolate (also called flower water, hydrosol or other names) is a distilled essential plants water. It is extracted by distilling herbs, flowers and other plants with water or steam in a special copper distillation pot. Plants have a lot of beneficial materials, which are gathering with water steam. It is a completely natural face cleaner or tonic. Flower water cleans, moisturize, calms and tones up the skin. It is a 100% natural plant-based product without any synthetical ingredients. (Price – 5 EUR.)
Lipsticks and other small, handmade cosmetics. Natural lipsticks with tree resin, powder for teeth and other ecological cosmetics products. (Price from 1 EUR.)
Natural silk painted with plants in an organic, ancient way. Silk scarves coloured with flowers, grass, spices, berries and other natural materials. Natural accessories are safe, non-allergenic, environmentally friendly, patterns and colours are unique, non-repetitive. (Price from 10 EUR.)