It's that time of the year again. Those lovely cold december days when you will find millions of photos taken of food in some Eastern European market hall on this blog!
This year, Riga was the destination. Tallinn and especially the food there swept me away a couple of years ago and now that I've been to Riga as well, I feel like I have this thing for the Baltics?!?
Can you imagine the smell of all these fermeted goodies? It was like "give me a bucket of each, oh the heck, make that two buckets!"
The central market consists of 4 or 5 huge former Zeppelin hangars and each has a different focus. The last one in the row is where the fish mongers are. And I don't know if it makes me a person with a vivid imagination or with bottomless bad taste, but when I saw these golden smoked fish, my first thought was "mm, wouldn't this make a lovely christmas tree decoration?" ...
What you might think of as undefined red junk actually is red caviar! It's like: "I'll have all of it pretty please! Do you ship to Berlin?"
Now, small eel might be the schlachtplatte of my fish... Known for eating almost everything, I must say that small eel is not really my thing (but then how would I know? I don't recall ever eating it).
After several hours (well, maybe it was also an entire morning...), I was finally able to part from the central market and explored the rest of Riga. So of course here is the mandatory cute-old-house-with-lovely-christmas-tree-photo!
The art nouveau architecture is marvelous and gives you an idea of the wealth of this city at the turn of the century (the last centuries...). I feel like this face pretty much sums up how I feel about 2016...
But Riga does not only offer Art nouveau architecture but also nordic wooden houses and sometimes, the two styles are only one street away.
Some more food pictures just because I can! And since this post would not be complete without my verdict on the nutcracker performance that was the actual reason for this trip here we go: stage setting: marvelous, because it was locally inspired (art nouveau!), the performance though: meh ... I've seen way better performances already (Budapest! Prague!) but also worse performances (Tallinn!)
So I might not go to the Ballett next time I go to Riga, but I will definitely go to Riga again. Acutally thinking about another weekend in the summer, when one can also enjoy the Baltic sea! Then I will definitely also go to Valtera Restorans for dinner again. The pike perch with quince mousse and browned butter I had there was so good, I have been googling quince mousse recipes ever since my return to Berlin!
And one last thing, in case you are not yet fully convinced to travel to Riga: the bread! The dark rye bread! With so much caraway you think they lost their mind until you taste it and think, my gawd, how can I ever eat bread without caraway ever again?!?
copyright of all photos j.