Cepelinai

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Cepelinai is a traditional Lithuanian dish, often considered the national dish of the country. Named after the Zeppelin airship due to their similar shape, these dumplings are made from grated and riced potatoes and usually stuffed with ground meat, although other fillings like curd or mushrooms are also common.

History[edit | edit source]

The origins of Cepelinai are believed to date back to the early 20th century. The dish was named 'Cepelinai' after the German-led Zeppelin airship, due to the similar shape. Despite its relatively recent invention, Cepelinai quickly became a staple of Lithuanian cuisine and is now considered a national dish.

Preparation[edit | edit source]

The preparation of Cepelinai involves several steps. The potatoes are first peeled and then a portion of them are boiled. The rest of the potatoes are grated, with the juice then being strained and the starch settled and separated. The boiled potatoes are then mashed and mixed with the raw, grated potatoes. This mixture forms the 'dough' for the dumplings.

The filling, traditionally a mixture of ground pork, onions, and seasonings, is then enclosed in the potato dough and the dumplings are shaped into an oval or Zeppelin shape. The Cepelinai are then boiled until cooked. They are commonly served with a sauce of sour cream, butter, and pork cracklings.

Variations[edit | edit source]

While the most common filling for Cepelinai is ground meat, variations of the dish include fillings of curd cheese, mushrooms, or even sweet fillings for a dessert version of the dish. Some modern interpretations of the dish also include different sauces or accompaniments.

Cultural Significance[edit | edit source]

Cepelinai is more than just a dish in Lithuania; it is a part of the national identity. It is a common dish in Lithuanian festivities and family gatherings. Many restaurants in Lithuania and abroad that serve Lithuanian cuisine will have Cepelinai on their menu.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD