On a foodie holiday to Vilnius in Lithuania, I got to sample some weird and wonderful dishes.

Perhaps with the exception of the beigel, the former Soviet state's cuisine has not migrated across the Baltic Sea to the UK.

So, on the lookout for their equivalent of a Full English or fish and chips, I sought out a traditional eatery in the Lithuanian capital.

Daily Echo: Lokys is in a medieval merchant houseAnd they don't come much more traditional than Lokys, the longest continuously running restaurant in Vilnius' Old Town; an oasis among Soviet canteens when it was founded in 1972.

But believe it or not, the menu’s inspiration goes back as far as the building it inhabits, a merchant’s house from the Middle Ages.

Devised by Le Cordon Bleu-trained Rita Keršulytė–Ryčkova, who consulted historians, the forest food concept features ingredients that would have graced the table of the Grand Duke of Lithuania: game meats, foraged mushrooms, berries and nuts.

Daily Echo: Beaver stew at LokysOne dish leapt out at me in particular: beaver stew.

Popularised in the 14th Century, when the Grand Duchy was the largest country in Europe, the dish coincided with the late introduction of Christianity to Lithuania.

During periods of fasting, meat and poultry could not be eaten.

But because they swam in rivers and had a fin-like tail, beavers were classed as fish, making them a guilt-free aristocratic delicacy.

Stewed with mushrooms and tomato and served with mashed potato – the staple carbohydrate – the meat was meltingly tender. It could have passed for beef, despite the historical classification.

Daily Echo: Apple cheese at LokysOther local dishes I tried included pig's ear, the Lithuanian pork scratching; apple cheese (think posh fruit Winder); and arguably the national dish, Šaltibarščiai: a chilled beetroot soup blended with buttermilk and served with potato, cucumber, dill and egg.

Rich and refreshing, the pleasingly pink bowlful is so beloved that Vilnius hosted a festival in its honour earlier this year.

It was not the only unusual morsel I munched down on the trip.

Daily Echo: The ice cream with ants at Nineteen18At Nineteen18, a fine dining restaurant in the Old Town's Glass Quarter, the dessert was rather eyebrow-raising: ice cream, topped with ants.

Birch syrup was drizzled over a burnt butter ice cream – and the pesky ants which found their way into the sap were not wasted.

In the thrifty spirit of the country's Baltic tribes of yore, they were used as a topping by being fermented, an ancient tradition rooted in the country’s harsh winters.

To find out more about my trip to Vilnius, click here.