The Bread and Cider festival will mean a meeting between the Rye Road and the Cider Route – two culinary tourism routes which inform visitors about bearers of Latvian identity – traditional rye bread, as well as cider that is made from natural Latvian apples.
On July 31, people honour the new harvest of rye bread at the Āraiši windmill. This year the festival will have a broader sound, because Latvian cider made of apples will be involved. This symbolises the merger of ancient and new traditions. Rye bread has long since been the bearer of ancient Latvian culinary traditions. Cider, in turn, is a new identity product for Latvia, because cider culture began to appear only 30 years or so ago. We are justified to be proud of our bread and cider that is put on the festival table. It can be brought as a housewarming gift or enjoyed on an everyday basis.
The location of the festival
• The festival will be held at the hill of the Āraiši windmill. It is the oldest Dutch-type windmill in Latvia. It still grinds grain to create flour so that people can learn about Latvia’s bread-related traditions. Bakers and cider producers are the initiators of the Rye path and the Cider path. Guests will be able to meet them, and they will talk about and demonstrate the production of cider and the baking of bread. There will be master classes and tastings. There will be a market and a table where guests will be able to taste the success of bread bakers.
The offer of Rye Road owners for the festival:
• The Rye Road will be represented by Santa and Jānis Rubenis from the “Caunītes” farmstead near Jelgava. They will offer rye sourdough bread that has been baked, as well as a look at the tools that are used to bake bread;
• At 1:30 PM, the lady of the “Dzīļi” farmstead, Aina Barsukova from Malnava, will offer a master class on desserts that involve rye bread;
• The owner of the “Kukaburra” saloon from Smiltene will offer a chance to taste rye bread that he has baked, and visitors will have an opportunity to purchase some;
• At 12:30 PM, Ilze Stabulniece, who is a cook at the Latgale horse breeder “Klajumi” farm near Krāslava. She will teach a mater class related to canapés that involve rye bread. Ilze and Viktors will bring their horses to the festival. A horse ploughs the land and “guarantees” rye grains. This time the horses will offer a performance that will delight viewers. There will be horse dances at the Āraiši meadow at 13:30 PM and 3:00 PM.
• The lady and hostess of the Āraiši windmill will make sure that guests feel good throughout the process. She will offer tours of the windmill, “Loaf path,” and the turning of the wings of the windmill;
• At 2:30 PM there will be a competition of cakes made of rye flour with bakers from all over Latvia;
• The festival will offer a new recipe book related to rye for the first time. It was written by Sandra Ošiņa. She will talk about the tasty recipes contained in the book, and anyone will be able to prepare them. These dishes will be enjoyed along the Rye Road and at the festival, where there will be tastings and master classes.
The offer of cider producers at the festival:
The Cider Route will be represented by six cider producers who are truly enthusiastic about the work. They prepare cider from local Latvian apples and wild apples. Our authentic cider has a proud and unique aroma, which is ensured by the cool Northern European climate in the Baltic States, clay and sand soil, moderate summers and a comparatively short vegetation period. The excited cider producers are producing the handwriting and traditions of Latvian and Baltic cider: The Abava family winery, the Abuls cider company, the Mr Plūme cider company, the Naukšēni winery, Tālava cider and the Turkalne estate.
The cider producers will offer intrigue by allowing everyone to taste the ciders and vote for their favourite one. The tastings will occur from 1:00 to 2:00 PM, and half an hour later, there will be a lottery in which each of the six cider producers will allow someone to win a bottle of the most popular cider. Throughout the festival, of course, cider will be available in glasses or in bottles which people will be able to take home with them.
“Baltic Country Holidays” will represent the Rye Road and the Cider Route with an information stand that will provide information about what can be adventurous and enjoyable along the two paths. There will be recommendations on how to plan the trip, and there will be all of the travel materials, as well.
The festival promises to be nice and full of surprises. Plan to spend July 31 at the Āraiši windmill. The programme can be found at https://www.celotajs.lv/lv/conf/maizesidrs.
Enjoy the atmosphere of the festival, taste things and learn how to bake bread and produce cider!