I always enjoy dipping into a new cuisine, so when I headed off to
Estonia I was curious as
to what kind of food I was going to get. Would it be like Russian cuisine?
Scandinavian? A bit of both since the country is sandwiched between those two
Turns out it's a mix with its own local twist. At least that was my impression. I was only in the country a week and so take all my observations with a dash of salt.
The first thing I noticed is that bread comes with everything. The most distinct kind is a heavy black rye bread. Breakfasts include bread and an assortment of cold cuts and cheeses to fortify you against the cold day. Bread reappears for lunch and dinner and snacks. You'll see kids tromping down the street with a slice of black bread and butter for a snack.
Estonian cuisine includes a lot of meat, especially pork, usually served with some form of potato. One dish I tried was juniper-smoked pork with honey cabbage, mustard sauce and potato-groat porridge. A good recipe that was only adequately done at the place I tried it. In the winter Estonians like soups and stews. My favorite is seljanka, a meat soup that warmed me up after a cold morning chasing the Estonian army through some snowy woods. More on that story in the next post. The vegetable soups thickened with cream or yogurt will keep you going too.
Despite being a maritime country, fish doesn't rank high on the menu. Herring, eel and flounder are found the most, although I didn't try any of them.