If somebody ever asks me, how could I describe Kaunas in four words, I would say :
- graffiti and
Donuts is the reason why I bought a ticket late Friday evening and woke up the next day at 6 a.m. to get on the train that took me to Kaunas.
But Kaunas donuts are not just “donuts” but donuts that you will never get in any other place in Lithuania. They are made of dough which recipe is kept secret and can bring you back to childhood when you did not care about the sugar level in your blood.
So, here I am at the Kaunas railway station and my journey begins.
The only surviving Soviet-style café “Spurginė” is located on Laisves Allee 84. It is one of the unspoken symbols of Kaunas. The cafe opened in 1979 and has not changed much since then.
The institution was renovated several times, but the outside and inside of the cafe have not changed. The same stretch ceilings, high bar stools, and leather tapestries have been preserved.
Some aesthetic of our time would say that the premises require European-quality renovation, but the owners are well aware that this will only doom it to rapid destruction.
On my way to Laisves Allee.
And I am there. As I expected, a queue of the clients the waiting outside the cafe. Due to the quarantine measures no more than 2 customers are allowed to be inside.
The menu is pretty simple:
- a crumpet with meat
- sausage in dough
- pie with mushrooms, chicken, bacon (lašinukai), or cabbage
tea, coffee, cocoa
However, the main reason why tourists and locals keep coming here for 30 years are:
-cottage cheese donuts “varškės spurgos / varskės spurgos” and
-brushwood “žagarėliai” / zagareliai.
The brushwood is huge and sprinkled with icing sugar. Very much like a donut.
It did not take too much time though till my turn has come. The ocean of dough, fat, and sugar that you are not afraid to drown in.
And after 10 minutes of waiting. This brushwood and the cottage cheese donut are in my hands.
The recipe is taken from Soviet pastry books. The most important secret here is the peculiarity of production, which only the skilled pastry chef can understand. And of course a lot, a lot of icing sugar. If you ever come to Kaunas, I recommend visiting cafe “Spurgine”