Cold beetroot soup, a beloved staple in every Lithuanian household throughout the summer months and famous for its bright pink colour, is getting a grand celebration in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. Pink Soup Fest will be sweeping over the city centre on June 10th and invites all to celebrate one of Lithuania’s national gastro gems.
The pink soup, similar to the Spanish gazpacho because it is also served chilled, is the cult-favourite dish of Lithuanian cuisine. Bright in colour and refreshing in taste, it combines unexpected ingredients like beetroot, cucumber, fresh dill, eggs, and buttermilk with a side of hot potatoes to create an incredible flavour burst.
As it is served cold, the soup is highly popular on Lithuanian menus during the warmer days and has also made its way into pop culture, turning up on clothing items or in various snacks.
Vilnius’s gastro scene has been on an upward trajectory during the past few years, gaining tremendous recognition thanks to mouthwatering delicacies from fresh seasonal produce and local farms.
Residents and visitors to Vilnius enjoy unearthing new tastes in the city’s multiple food courts and exploring the fusion cuisines that feature Jewish, Polish, and Lithuanian nobles’ dishes and flavours hailing from Lebanon, Japan, India, Nepal, France, and other countries.
Since the cold beetroot soup is inseparable from warm season treats in Lithuania and is one of the draws for visiting travellers, the festival will, therefore, start the tradition of celebrating the beginning of the summer.
The pink soup fest will unite the members of the Vilnius community—restaurants, cafes, pubs, nightclubs, guides, businesses, performers, automotive communities, and many others.
Restaurants and cafes will offer special deals, enticing festivalgoers to try unique variations of the beetroot soup. In addition, festival attendees will have the chance to bring the pink soup home scents back with them and feast their eyes on the soup-themed graffiti.
One of the artistic highlights will be a mural of the pink soup by the artist Eglė Žvirblytė near Bernardine Garden in the heart of Vilnius.
The Pink craze will be everywhere
The craziness of the fuchsia-coloured dish will also be seen on those in attendance, as visitors will be asked to put on a fancy dress costume that relates to the soup, be it a beetroot, an egg, or a carton of buttermilk, and slide down the Barbakanas Bastion hill—which offers panoramic views of the Užupis, the bohemian district, and the self-proclaimed separate Republic—straight into a specially made artificial soup bowl.
After the hill slide, a Pink Soup King or Queen will be elected, and visitors will be invited to roam around food trucks offering a refreshing bowl of the dish, relax in the local park, and enjoy musical performances, while children will get the chance to try out trampolines.
As the pink soup fest coincides with Vilnius’ 700th anniversary year, visitors will not only have the chance to soak up the festive atmosphere; they can also broaden their minds and extend the fun by visiting some of the many other cultural events.
If you want more information on the pink soup fest, visit https://www.govilnius.lt/pink-soup-fest.
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