A woman who has four university degrees including one in international business management and another in dairy product technology has settled down in Iceland after a short holiday that turned into a five-year adventure, where she now makes cakes inspired by the countries’ natural wonders.
Loreta Ciunkaite-Liutkuviene, 49, travel to the country from her homeland Lithuania after being invited for a short holiday and although she usually plans things carefully, said on this occasion she had not really thought about it much.
Yet she had fallen in love with the country, and now spends her time making amazing cakes inspired by the landscape that she fell in love with from the first time she visited.
She told newsflash: “As far as I can remember, I have always been creating something, always trying different materials. My two artistic degrees (jewellery and ceramics) have taught me how to use various materials, the hard as well as the soft ones. I do believe it helps me while baking and decorating my cakes. My family and friends do support me a lot, they are always excited about my creations and obviously, they are the first people to try my cakes and my new recipes.”
She added that despite having four degrees she did not have a degree or even any professional training in baking and that she was completely self-taught.
She said: “My first cake, as well as all the following ones, were inspired by Icelandic nature. I have travelled around Iceland quite a lot and I have fallen in love with each and every part of the landscape. It is really breathtaking and it leaves me speechless every time.
“I remember baking a green sponge cake for my friends. When I took the cake out of the oven, the idea suddenly came to me. It looked exactly like the Icelandic moss that is covering most of the country. That is how I came up with the idea of using it to recreate mountains, rocks and volcanoes that I have seen in Iceland. I suppose it is nature itself that inspires me and gives me the ideas for my cakes.
“All of my cakes are edible. Moreover, I use only natural and organic products, thus all my cakes and other desserts are free of artificial food colouring or taste enhancers. All the colours I use are obtained from freeze-dried fruits and vegetables without any chemical additives. This way, my cakes are not only delicious but also much healthier than something you would buy from a grocery store.
“Bakery and cake decorations are a great passion and a hobby for me. Recently, it has garnered a lot of attention that I had not expected at all. As more and more people take interest in what I do, I have started thinking of ways more people could enjoy the sight and taste of my creations. I am actually looking for investors who could help me do that.
“My Icelandic friends love recognising the places that are recreated on my cakes, while I am really happy to be able to surprise and make people happy with such gifts.
“I would love to make cakes with landscapes from other countries as the world is huge and full of marvellous places. I pay particular attention to details, thus when I travel I take a lot of pictures from every possible angle. Later, I use those photos to make realistic landscape recreations on my cakes. Therefore, it is possible that after my next trip abroad, I am going to recreate some of my impressions and memories on a cake.
“Usually, it takes a couple of days to make one landscape-decorated cake from start to finish.”
She added: “I travelled to Iceland on a whim. One summer, five years ago, I received an offer from my colleague to visit Iceland. I agreed without thinking about it too much, I was on holiday. When I arrived, the temperature difference was more than 30 degrees and the wind made it hard for me to stand straight. Despite that, the country mesmerized me from the very beginning. I finally understood why people compare it to the Moon. It is like a different planet.
“Never-ending fields of lava covered in moss, the mountains, countless waterfalls, glaciers, amazingly beautiful canyons… Life worked out in such a way, that I stayed. Slowly, I began to build my life in this country, it became my second home. I invited my sister, who created a family here, I offered my friends to come. Everybody liked it here, and now, we live close to each other. Many new friendships were also born and I’m glad I decided to live in this extraordinary country. I have been living in Iceland for 5 years.’
”I like to plan, but I think life worked out better without carefully calculating everything. Also, I do not fancy the word “never”. As of now, I love it here. If one day I decide to live elsewhere – I will do it! But Lithuania will always remain in my heart. It is my language, my roots, my streets, it is my home. I visit Lithuania as often as I can, I get homesick for everything that is native.’
”What fascinates me the most is the rawness and the power of nature. Icelandic people love their country and try their best to maintain the uniqueness of their island, without much human intervention. Even the trails leading to popular landmarks are built around every stone, every tree, without damaging anything, leaving it behind as it was found. Everything here inspires me. Even the unpredictable weather, which used to tire me, became familiar. When nature’s elements collide, it is hard to not be impressed.”
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Story By: Arian Movileanu, Sub-Editor: James King, Agency: Newsflash
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