Happy May, dear friends! The time to scout for new snack stash members had arrived. Stepping out on a glorious summery day, I embarked on my expedition.
In this shopping mission, I was seeking savory options that would be fit for my weekend movie/TV night. The foodie universe did deliver, as it presented a delicious-sounding munchie during my snack search in a local shop here in the Lion City.
Lately, Lithuanian-made snacks have been popping up in the island’s snack scene. Having neither seen nor munched on snacks from Lithuania before, I added a pack of sour cream and onion-flavored lentil chips to my shopping haul in a heartbeat. The chips are made by a brand called Oho.
My curiosity was piqued. While it is unsurprising to discover sour cream foods in Eastern Europe, I was wondering how sour cream is celebrated in Lithuanian cuisine. Furthermore, it’s rare to hear ‘Lithuania’ and ‘lentils’ in the same sentence. Hence, I wanted to discover how Lithuanians consume lentils. Slipping into my sleuthing boots, I took a step into Lithuania’s food realm.
Sour Cream Galore
As soon as my sleuthing commenced, it became apparent that sour cream is integral to Lithuanian cuisine. A dish that stood out to me is a summery cold beetroot soup named šaltibarščiai, which possesses a lovely pink hue. In many of the recipes I read, sour cream is one of the soup’s main ingredients.
Another notable appearance by sour cream is in Lithuania’s national dish named cepelinai. The iconic stuffed potato dumplings are served with a sour cream sauce on top that coats the dumplings.
Sweet tooths aren’t left out from sour cream’s touch, either! One of the sweet eats is a gorgeous multi-layered Lithuanian honey cake, which sort of resembles crepe cakes. The cake’s cream is made with sour cream, and many recipes include sour cream in the cake layers too.
The Lithuanian Lentil Trail
When it came to lentils, it was initially a complete mystery to me. On the sleuthing surface, there was limited information on recipes that reflect how Lithuanians would cook and enjoy red lentils. Waving my metaphoric magnifying glass, I found some answers.
Searching with the Lithuanian words for red lentil (“raudonųjų lęšių”), I discovered a variety of recipes for red lentil soup (“raudonųjų lęšių sriuba”), red lentil stew (“raudonųjų lęšių troškinys”) and red lentil curry (“raudonųjų lęšių karis”) from Lithuanian food blogs and websites. All of these red lentil dishes exude cozy vibes. They made me want to begin munching on my red lentil-based Lithuanian snack right away!
Labas (Hello), Lentil Chips!
Needless to say, I was super excited to open the bag of treats! The packaging – which highlights bits of the chips’ nutritional information and indicates that they are vegan and vegetarian friendly – has a gourmet snack vibe with the paper-ish and foil-lined wrapper.
Upon opening the bag, sour cream and onion’s signature aroma graced my snacking atmosphere with its presence, much to my nose’s joy.
These lentil chips look pretty unique, as they somewhat resemble the design of crinkle-cut fries. However, unlike crinkle fries, they are curved in the center like an arch. Also, they do pay homage to the trademark aesthetics of regular sour cream and onion chips, with their light golden-brown chip base and specks of green onion in the seasoning that coats all the chips.
From my very first bite, my taste buds were treated to a flavorful experience. This lentil rendition of the chips have a similar taste to the classic snack flavor that many foodies are familiar with. Each chip has a nice crunch with touches of lightness and airiness, almost like corn-based snacks.
Both of the headlining flavors are presented nicely, and the balance between sour cream and spring onion is just right to me. While my palate did register the primary sour cream and onion notes from the get-go, there is a difference in the lentil chips’ holistic flavor profile in comparison to regular sour cream chips.
I can’t put my finger on what those additional notes are to a ‘T’, but I feel like they have some parallels to the flavor of vegan snack puffs that are commonly found in the organic section in the supermarket. I read the list of ingredients to investigate.
Red lentil flour, which is listed as 42%, might have made a contribution to the flavor. While red lentils are fabulous for absorbing flavors, their original note is a subtle earthy taste. Additionally, as it is stated that the chips are vegan-friendly, I reckon the substitutes for various ingredients may contribute to that edge in the flavor notes my taste buds had noticed.
Furthermore, I discovered that maize flour is included in the chips. This explains why I was reminded of corn snacks while pondering on the chips’ texture and flavor. That’s not all in the flour department: rice flour is a listed ingredient as well. The trio of flours – red lentil, maize and rice – bring ‘flour power’ to the munchie!
This highly snackable munchie is a perfect movie-watching snack (or in my case, a British cozy mystery TV show). The chips are inviting… so much so that they began to disappear before I knew it! I certainly had fun in this foodie adventure. Plus, I can officially say I’ve tasted food made in Lithuania!