A wide variety of fresh smoked fish are sold in roadside stalls or local markets in these charming coastal villages. Even though this summer phenomenon springs up mostly in coastal areas, more and more fresh and smoked fish are offered in similar ways in inland areas, caught in local rivers and lakes and smoked by local fishermen.
However, the most active region where fresh fish is sold during the summer months are in villages on the Gulf of Riga, from Lapmezciems all the way to Kolka in Kurzeme Province (western Latvia). This region has the largest abundance and variety of delicacies from the Baltic Sea on offer. The fish available here include cold and hot smoke fish from the region, as well freshwater fish caught in local rivers and lakes – bream, pike, perch, flounder, salmon, mackerel and many others.
Seeing that there is a wide range of fish prepared in different ways, visiting these fishing villages can become an exciting culinary trip of new tastes, because it is always possible to sample each type of fish before purchasing.
A special regional delicacy is fried lamprey in jelly. This delicacy can be purchased in local markets, supermarkets and from fishermen themselves. The coastal town of Carnikava, near Riga, is seen as the lamprey "capital" of Latvia, as it has eight of Latvia’s 11 lamprey processing companies.
The producers themselves say that the various ways lamprey is prepared in Latvia is unbeatable, with culinary experts from neighboring countries also praising this unique culinary skill in Latvia.
On August 21, Carnikava hosts its annual "Lamprey Festival", where people will be able to try lamprey prepared with different recipes, as well as purchase the one they like best.
Visiting a fishing village in Latvia is a true culinary experience, where fresh fish are caught by local fisherman, prepared by their wives and sold by them or their children in roadside stalls or local markets. Each family has its own recipe of preparing and smoking fish, so you are sure to get a different taste each time.