Estonia on the plate – dishes worth eating on holidays there
Estonian cuisine can be surprising! Seemingly boring and predictable (as perceived by Estonians themselves), it will surprise you with unique combinations of flavours on at least several occasions! Have as much as you can, for some dishes are truly excellent!
Cuisine of the poor
Many traditional Estonian dishes, which can be termed as "peasant's food", have their roots in the poverty of old days. This part of the menu is dominated by bread, groats with cream and pork rinds, and flour-based soups. One dish from such simple and modest cuisine is enough for you to have a different look on your everyday menu.
Fish and bread - an excellent combination
The omnipresent Baltic Sea has its impact on what is put on local tables. Naturally then, Estonian delicacies are dominated by fish. They are served in many ways, but fish soups seem the most interesting option. Containing a lot of chunks of meat, potatoes and vegetables, and thickened with bread, they are nourishing enough to be served as a main course. If you are still hungry, you must have baked cod. For a snack or appetiser, we recommend excellent salted herrings, which taste best in the company of dark bread. Speaking of which, Estonians eat lots of bread, particularly whole grain. As for a combination of bread and fish. You must try a sprat, egg and onion sandwich.
Meat prepared in various ways
There were times when Estonians did not eat too much meat, but the country's gradual economic growth and the improving standard of living caused animal product consumption to grow throughout the 20th century. A slice of baked pork in sauce has become the most popular holiday dish. It is served with potatoes and a "vegetable" addition in the form of stewed or fried sauerkraut. Estonians often eat a dish which can be compared to the Polish traditional cold jelly – a clear Russian accent in their culinary tradition. Some eastern inspirations can also be seen in soups, particularly in the popular soljanka with lots of various vegetables, meat and sausages. Since Estonians like cabbage very much, an aromatic, slow-cooked cabbage soup is very popular there. Cabbage and potatoes are also added to blood sausage fried on lard.
Cranberry and beer delicacies
Estonia is a country on the border of various cultures, and it has been under a strong influence of not only Russia, but also Scandinavia. This is true also for the country's eating habits, and so many dishes, be it desserts or meats, are eaten with the addition of cranberry. You must also try the natural cranberry juice, which is a delicious and truly nourishing vitamin bomb! Beer is a popular drink in Estonia, with its alcohol-free variants held in high esteem. Try the root one, made on the basis of rye bread – its flavour may surprise you! In Estonia, like everywhere in this part of Europe, you can naturally get some refreshing kvass.
Unconventional finale - kama!
At the end of your meal, try one of Estonia's delicacies - kama. It is a beverage served as… a dessert. It is made by mixing grains of rye, barley, oat with flour, buttermilk and, optionally, honey. A mixture that would not be shunned by chefs of luxury restaurants!
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