An exhibition about Lithuania

Finally we presented the book, Proud of Lithuania. A Fairy Tale by Sweet Root.  We wanted you to smell, hear, touch, and taste the stories described in the book. To see Lithuania, its nature, seasons, and ingredients—what we like to call “the heroes of the table”—from another perspective. It was not by chance that we selected an art gallery as the space to present the book and host a meeting with its authors.

For those who were unable to attend the presentation, we offer a virtual visit in photos. And we promise to hold more such exhibitions in the future so that we may reveal the beauty and diversity of Lithuania’s nature, seasons, and ingredients. Of course, an exhibition in May will be very different from what you saw in September, just as an exhibition in July would be different from January.

Along with the exhibition about Lithuania, we’re planning pop-up restaurants in unusual places with Sweet Root. We believe that our country’s cuisine can be authentic, can tell stories, can recall the past and at the same time be modern.
Such tasting events inspired by the seasons will be held in Lithuania and abroad. If you are interested in collaborating on such an event about Lithuania, please write to us.

Sometimes we simply forget the natural cycle. Lured by global temptations, we start mixing the traditions, festivities, and ingredients that we put on our plate. But have no fear – this fairy tale is here not to overwhelm you with strict morals; it is just a reminder that sometimes with a little self-restraint, new and greater horizons will open up for you. By listening to the natural seasonality, you can find new possibilities and discover new things. The beauty is that living here and now, we have all the ingredients we need: our knowledge, customs, and imagination. With a little effort, we can open up that magic gate for ourselves.

That feeling of waiting, when we so desperately look for the first signs of spring, the joy of longer days, the fragile heart-warming rays of sunshine, and the long icicles that mark the end of the winter season.

The days are full of exuberance. The chartreuse of spring collides with millions of other shades. The air is as fragrant as perfume. Energy abounds.

That long and impatiently awaited day has finally come! You wake up while the sun is still sleeping and it is dark outside to be the first forager in the forests full of mushrooms. You wake up the others. Someone fills the thermos with a fragrant herb tea, while someone else fills a backpack with sandwiches. You take your favourite pocketknife, a large basket, and jump into your old good rain boots. In an hour, you will find yourself wandering through the woods. Though you are in a rush to find the most delicious morsels, you must move slowly to find them. The air is filled with joyful screams when mushrooms are found! With the baskets full of delicate treasures you rush home where a soul-stirring dinner of fresh mushrooms awaits.

Spring truly comes in May when the first sprouts are replaced by emerald greenery. It gathers its vital power to start a new life. Not only nature but also people feel reborn again. Grey, lucid, and shy branches transform into a mélange of bright green hues.

At the Ūta farm near Molėtai, there is a beautiful story about local cheese told every day. Several years ago, Birutė and Giedrius left the city and moved to a place surrounded by forests, fields, and lakes where they raise sheep and goats to produce Lithuanian cheese. They are loyal to their philosophy and the traditional way of living and maturing cheese, in harmony with nature and its natural rhythm. Birutė and Giedrius will help you to realize it took twelve months for that slice of cheese you taste to end up in your mouth. Theirs is a story you’ll want to pass on.

The last rays of sun fill our hearts with joy. We celebrate the feast of the harvest, the time to take what nature and human hands have nurtured from early spring until the first weeks of fall. The variety is abundant: from ripe apples and pears to carrots and beetroot, potatoes and parsnip, and all the rest of autumn’s bounty gloriously filling our plates.

With fog covering the fields in thin sheets and the last rays of sunlight cutting through the cobwebs, nature is slowly changing from green to yellow. It’s not too cold, just brisk. The golden autumn afternoon smells pleasantly of ripe apples and hazelnuts. It is a perfect time for long walks and watching as nature becomes dreamy and time slows down.

We’re close to the lakes and forests, to the fragrant meadows, and the greenest gardens. We enjoy a wide variety of mushrooms, berries, herbs, and vegetables. We have the privilege to live in an almost untouched land where miracles happen every day…

At this particular time of year, everything around us speaks of tranquillity and concentration. We seek fervour and contentment. It is a perfect moment to slow down and let yourself be drawn into memory – the raspberry tea or fragrant drink of linden blossoms with honey made by your grandmother, the sensation of Midsummer’s heat in your mouth.

Isn’t it the happy ending that makes every fairy tale stay with us until we grow old and hand those stories over to our children? The happy ending of this story is near, and so we glance to our plates again. Our culinary memories may take us back to our childhood days when we ran barefoot in the fields picking wild strawberries, went fishing with grandpa, or helped our mother to pick fresh cucumbers in the greenhouse. We gaze through the window and reflect on the changing seasons, and then, then, looking to the empty plate we consider the taste that was there just a moment ago. The local ingredients and the human hands that grew them create a new feeling inside of us – a sense of pride.

We would like to thank to all the team that made this fairy tale reality: restaurant Sweet Root, Sarune Zurba PhotographyAlge Ramanauskiene, Boy Creative Studio, Antalis, Balto print

For the book presentation event we thank The Rooster Gallery, MoaDovalde Butenaite PhotographyOwls in Bowls.

You don’t have to travel the seven seas to experience something subtle and magical at your home.