Estonian Cuisine: A Symphony of Flavors with 22 Not to be Missed recipes

Take Me to the Recipes

Nestled in the northeastern corner of Europe, Estonia is a charming land blessed with a unique blend of cultural influences from its neighbors which have helped to evolve the Estonian Cuisine. With the invigorating Baltic Sea to its west, a sprawling, lush landscape scattered with lakes, and beautifully preserved medieval towns, Estonia paints a vivid tapestry of nature and history.

Estonian cuisine is a delightful blend of rustic charm and Baltic flavors. Rooted in its agrarian heritage and influenced by neighboring cultures, it features hearty stews, flavorful sausages, and fresh seafood from the Baltic Sea.

Forest bounty shines through in mushroom and berry dishes, while grains like rye and barley form staple foundations. The cuisine also boasts unique treats like kama and kohuke. Seasonal, fresh, and with a touch of the wild, Estonian food is a true reflection of its serene landscapes and traditions.

Take Me to the Recipes

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Interesting Facts About Estonia

Island Charm in Estonia

Estonia boasts over 2000 islands, a surprising fact for a country not associated with tropical paradises.

These islands, such as Hiiumaa, Kihnu, and Saaremaa, offer a glimpse into a traditional way of life, untouched by modern civilization.

Abundant Green Spaces

Estonia, being one of Europe’s least densely populated countries, is a haven for nature lovers.

Nearly 50% of the country is covered by forests and bogs, making Estonia one of the greenest countries in Europe.

Wife-Carrying as a Sport

Husband-wife duos compete in this unique Estonian sport where husbands carry their wives upside down through various obstacles.

The ‘wife’ must be at least 17 years old, and yes, this is a world championship sport.

Free Public Transport

Residents of Tallinn, the capital city, enjoy free public transport.

Although this privilege doesn’t extend to visitors, the extensive and easy-to-use system offers great value for local travel.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Tallinn’s Old Town, dating back to the 13th century, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Struve Geodetic Arc, a chain of survey triangulations, is also a UNESCO site, showcasing Estonia’s scientific heritage.

Pioneering Online Voting

Estonia was the first country to allow online voting in 2005.

With extensive WiFi hotspots and online government services, Estonia is considered one of the most digitally advanced societies globally.

The Kroon Currency

Before adopting the Euro in 2011, Estonia used the kroon as its official currency during two periods: 1928–1940 and 1992–2011.

Religious Diversity

Despite only 16% considering religion essential, Estonia houses well-preserved religious sites like St Madeline’s Church in Ruhnu.

St Olaf’s Church, once the world’s tallest building, is infamous for being a lightning magnet.

Seto Singing Tradition

Seto singing, a traditional chorus, expresses emotion and passes down history and culture.

Traditional singers showcase this ancient polyphonic serenade on the island of Setomaa.

Pristine Air Quality

Estonia boasts some of the cleanest air globally, ranking alongside sustainable countries like Finland and Iceland.

The abundant green spaces contribute to the country’s exceptional air quality.

Flat Landscape, Tall People

Estonia’s landscape is mostly flat, with its highest point, Egg Mountain, standing at 318 meters.

Estonians, however, are among the tallest in Europe, with women averaging 169 cm and men 180 cm.

Linguistic Proficiency

Estonians are linguistic talents, with many being proficient in multiple languages, including English, Russian, Finnish, and German.

Enchanting Christmas Market

Tallinn claims the honor of hosting the first Christmas tree in a European town square in 1441.

The Christmas Market in Tallinn’s Town Hall offers a magical experience with mulled wine and local Estonian Christmas delights

Estonia’s History and the Effect it Has Had on the Cuisine

Estonia’s history has been marked by various periods, each leaving its imprint on the country’s culture, including its cuisine. Here’s a brief overview of Estonia’s historical periods and the influence they’ve had on its culinary traditions:

Estonia’s early culinary traditions were shaped by its native tribes, who relied heavily on agriculture, fishing, and foraging. The use of local ingredients, such as grains, root vegetables, berries, and fish, laid the foundation for Estonian cuisine.

Barley and rye were staple grains, and dairy products were essential, showcasing a reliance on the resources available in the region.

During this period, Estonia experienced the influence of Swedish and Livonian cultures. The introduction of new cooking techniques, such as smoking and marinating, impacted Estonian cuisine.

Pickled and preserved foods became more common, reflecting the need for longer shelf life during harsh winters. Additionally, the Swedish influence brought dishes like herring and various Baltic-style fish preparations to Estonian tables.

Independence (1918–1940) and Soviet Era (1940–1991)

Estonia gained independence after World War I but was subsequently occupied by the Soviet Union during World War II. The Soviet influence significantly impacted Estonian cuisine, introducing centralized planning, collective farming, and a shift toward more standardized and mass-produced foods.

Despite challenges, Estonians maintained their love for local produce, especially potatoes, dairy, and fish.

Post-Soviet Independence (1991–Present)

After regaining independence in 1991, Estonia experienced a culinary renaissance. The country embraced a return to its roots, with an increased focus on local and organic ingredients. Modern Estonian cuisine often combines traditional flavors with contemporary twists.

Nordic influences, particularly from neighboring Finland and Sweden, are evident, emphasizing seasonal and fresh produce, as well as innovative cooking techniques.

Throughout Estonia’s history, the cuisine has evolved in response to external influences, climatic conditions, and the availability of local resources.

Today, Estonian food reflects a harmonious blend of traditional flavors and contemporary culinary trends, showcasing the resilience and adaptability of this Baltic nation.

How Estonia’s Climate and Geography has Influenced Estonian Cuisine

Estonia’s climate and geography have influenced its cuisine in various ways. Here are some of the main aspects:

Estonia is on the Baltic Sea

Estonia is located on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, and has a long coastline with many islands.

This means that fish and seafood are abundant and diverse in Estonia and form an important part of the Estonian diet. Some of the most popular fish dishes are sprats, herring, eel, flounder, and perch, Smoked fish is especially popular in summer, when it can be bought fresh from the local fishermen.

The Neighboring Countries

Estonia is also influenced by its neighboring countries, such as Germany, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Scandinavia. This means that Estonian cuisine has adopted and adapted many dishes and ingredients from these cultures, such as rye bread, sausages, potatoes, sour cream, dill, and parsley.

Estonia has a rich Forest and Bog area

This covers almost half of the country

This means that Estonian cuisine has access to a variety of wild berries, mushrooms, herbs, and game animals, such as elk, deer, boar, and hare. These ingredients are often used to make jams, juices, soups, stews, pies, and cakes.

Some of the most typical forest and bog products are lingonberries, blueberries, cranberries, cloudberries, chanterelles, porcini, juniper, and peat.

As you can see, Estonia’s climate and geography have shaped its cuisine into a diverse and unique one, that reflects both its natural resources and its cultural influences. I


Understanding the Essence of Estonian Cuisine

Understanding the Essence of Estonian Cuisine
Understanding the Essence of Estonian Cuisine

Estonian cuisine, anchored in the rhythms of the seasons and the bounty of its landscapes, is a delightful mix of simplicity, tradition, and adaptability. It offers a gustatory experience that is both comforting and innovative, drawing deeply from its historical roots while embracing contemporary culinary trends.

The Estonian Forest, rich and abundant, generously offers berries, mushrooms, and game. Berry jams, mushroom soups, and dishes featuring elk or wild boar are staples, revealing a profound connection to the wild.

Baltic herring and sprats, reflecting Estonia’s maritime heritage, are frequently found on the table. They’re often smoked, salted, or pickled, and enjoyed with dark rye bread, another cornerstone of Estonian cuisine.

Over centuries, external influences have been absorbed and adapted. German-style sausages, Russian-inspired borscht, and Scandinavian gravlax have been integrated but often carry a distinct Estonian touch, like a unique spice or preparation method.

Modern Estonian cuisine is experiencing a renaissance. Chefs are revisiting traditional recipes with fresh perspectives, leading to dishes that are both nostalgic and avant-garde. This New Estonian cuisine emphasizes locally sourced, organic ingredients and often draws inspiration from the New Nordic movement.

To understand Estonian cuisine is to recognize its dance between past and present. It’s an appreciation of the land’s generosity, a nod to historical influences, and an eagerness to innovate. Above all, it’s a celebration of simplicity, nature, and the joy of sharing meals that resonate with stories and traditions.

How Healthy is Estonian Cuisine?

Estonian cuisine is a mix of traditional and modern influences, with a strong emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients. Some of the health benefits and risks of Estonian cuisine are:

Dangers of Estonian Food

Estonian cuisine also relies heavily on meat, potatoes, and fat, which are high in calories, carbohydrates, and saturated fat. These foods can increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular problems.

Estonian cuisine also uses a lot of salt and sugar, which can affect the blood pressure, blood sugar, and dental health. Some of the preserved foods, such as smoked fish and pickled vegetables, may contain harmful substances, such as nitrates, nitrites, and acrylamide, which can cause cancer.


Estonian Culinary Traditions

Estonia, a country characterized by its dense forests, extensive coastline, and a tapestry of historical influences, presents culinary traditions that reflect its unique journey. Through the ages, Estonian kitchens have nurtured practices that are deeply rooted in nature, sustainability, and communal celebrations.

One cannot speak of Estonian culinary traditions without mentioning rye bread or “leib”. Dark, dense, and slightly sour, this bread accompanies most meals, symbolizing the nation’s agrarian roots. Often, older generations pass down the family’s bread recipe, maintaining a tangible link to ancestry.

Estonians hold a special place for their dairy products. “Kohuke”, a curd snack often covered in chocolate, is a beloved treat, while “hapukoor”, a type of sour cream, graces many traditional dishes.

Foraging is a tradition that many Estonians still practice, showcasing their deep connection to the land. Wild berries, especially blueberries, strawberries, and lingonberries, are turned into jams, juices, or even wines. Mushrooms, another forest bounty, are often pickled, dried, or used in hearty soups and stews.

Festive Traditions

Midsummer’s Eve, or “Jaanipäev”, offers a glimpse into Estonia’s festive culinary traditions. Bonfires are lit, and grilled sausages, potato salads, and homemade beers are shared, celebrating the longest day of the year.

In more recent times, Estonia has seen a resurgence in rediscovering and modernizing age-old recipes. Contemporary chefs, inspired by both history and global movements, are crafting dishes that retain Estonian soul while embracing innovation.

In essence, Estonian culinary traditions are a testament to the country’s respect for nature, its historical tapestry, and the enduring spirit of community. Each bite tells a story of the land, the seasons, and the people.

Traditional Estonian Recipes

Take Me to the Recipes

Traditional Estonian recipes feature a wide variety of dishes, influenced by the country’s rich culinary history.

Popular examples include verivorst (blood sausage), kama (a mixed grain and yogurt dish), and kohuke (a sweet quark snack). These recipes often incorporate local ingredients such as fish, potatoes, and forest berries, offering a taste of authentic Estonian cuisine.

Verivorst with Mulgikapsad (Blood Sausage with Sauerkraut and Pork)
Verivorst with Mulgikapsad (Blood Sausage with Sauerkraut and Pork)

Take Me to the Recipes

Estonian cuisine features a variety of dishes influenced by the country’s history and geographic location. Here are some popular foods in Estonia:

Potatoes are a staple in Estonian cuisine. Kartulipuder is mashed potatoes mixed with milk or buttermilk and often served as a side dish, accompanied by various stews or meats.

A traditional Estonian dish, verivorst is blood sausage made from pork blood, pork fat, groats, onions, and spices. It is a popular choice, especially during Christmas.

A traditional Estonian salad, rosolje is made with boiled potatoes, carrots, beets, herring, and sometimes apples. It is often seasoned with mustard and accompanied by a dollop of sour cream.

A hearty Estonian dish, mulgi puder is a combination of mashed potatoes and groats, usually barley or oats. It is often served with pork and is a comforting, filling meal.

A unique Estonian dish, kama is a mixture of finely milled roasted grains, including barley, oats, peas, and rye. It is often combined with yogurt or kefir and sweetened with honey, creating a popular and nutritious dessert.

Sauerkraut soup is a traditional Estonian dish, especially popular in winter. It typically includes sauerkraut, potatoes, carrots, and pork.

A type of Estonian bread, karask is made from a mixture of barley or rye flour, buttermilk, and baking soda. It is often baked in a pan and served as a side dish with various meals.

Rye bread is a staple in Estonian households. Dense and dark, it is often served with butter, cheese, or various toppings.

A popular Estonian sweet, kohuke is a curd snack coated in chocolate or icing. It comes in various flavors and is a common choice for breakfast or as a snack.

A traditional pastry eaten during Shrove Tuesday or Vastlapäev, vastlakukkel is a sweet bun filled with whipped cream or marzipan, often accompanied by hot pea soup.

Estonian cuisine reflects the country’s agricultural history and the use of locally available ingredients. The dishes are hearty, flavorful, and often celebrate the natural bounty of the region. Whether it’s the comforting mashed potatoes or the unique flavors of blood sausage, Estonian cuisine offers a diverse and delicious culinary experience.

Bringing Estonia to Your Kitchen

While Estonia’s landscapes and history play a significant role in shaping its cuisine, the true magic lies in the flavors and techniques that make every dish special.

And the good news? You don’t have to travel to Estonia to experience its culinary delights! You can easily recreate any traditional Estonian recipes in your own kitchen.

With a handful of authentic ingredients and a sprinkle of love, you can embark on a delightful gastronomic journey, right from the comfort of your home. Dive into the following recipes and let your taste buds explore the Estonian terrain.

We have tried and tasted each recipe in our home – they have produced wonderful meals for friends and family alike.

Estonian Food – Rosolje

Estonian Food - Rosolje

A traditional Estonian salad featuring boiled potatoes, carrots, beets, herring, and sometimes apples. Seasoned with mustard and accompanied by sour cream.

Unveiling the Stories of Estonia with Rosolje

Greetings, food enthusiasts! Today, we’re delving into the heart of Estonian cuisine with a dish that’s not only a feast for the taste buds but also a piece of the country’s history – Rosolje. Originating from the beautiful landscapes of Estonia, Rosolje is a traditional salad that embodies the flavors and heritage of this Baltic nation.

Let’s embark on a journey to discover the roots of Rosolje and bring a bit of Estonia to your table.

Estonian Food – Rosolje Ingredients:

Get ready to assemble the taste of Estonia with these essential Rosolje ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized boiled potatoes, diced
  • 2 medium-sized boiled beets, diced
  • 2 medium-sized boiled carrots, diced
  • 4 boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup herring fillets, diced
  • 1 medium-sized apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh dill for garnish

Estonian Food – Rosolje Recipe:

Boiling the Vegetables

  • Boil the potatoes, beets, and carrots until they are tender. Allow them to cool, then peel and dice them into small, bite-sized pieces.

Preparing the Eggs and Herring

  • Boil the eggs until they are hard-boiled. Once cooled, chop them into small pieces.
  • Dice the herring fillets into similar-sized pieces.

Creating the Base

  • In a large bowl, combine the diced potatoes, beets, carrots, chopped eggs, and herring.

Adding the Apple

  • Gently fold in the diced apple to add a sweet and refreshing element to the salad.

Dressing Up

  • In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream and Dijon mustard until well combined.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to ensure an even coating.

Seasoning and Garnishing

  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Garnish the Rosolje with fresh dill for a burst of flavor.

Get ready to enjoy the vibrant and wholesome flavors of Estonia with this Rosolje recipe. It’s a delightful salad that brings together the best of Baltic ingredients, creating a dish that’s as visually appealing as it is delicious. Happy cooking!

Estonian Food – Hapukapsasupp (Sauerkraut Soup)

Estonian Food - Hapukapsasupp (Sauerkraut Soup)
Hapukapsasupp (Sauerkraut Soup)

Traditional Estonian soup featuring sauerkraut, potatoes, carrots, and pork. A popular choice, especially during winter.

Savoring Tradition: The Tale of Estonian Hapukapsasupp

Hello, foodies! Today, we’re embarking on a culinary journey through the beautiful landscapes of Estonia with a dish deeply rooted in its traditions – Hapukapsasupp, or Sauerkraut Soup.

Originating from the heart of the Baltics, this comforting soup is a testament to the resourcefulness of Estonian cuisine, where the preservation of cabbage through fermentation takes center stage.

Let’s delve into the history and flavors of Hapukapsasupp to bring a taste of Estonia to your home.

Estonian Food – Hapukapsasupp Ingredients

Get ready to enjoy the tangy goodness of Estonian Hapukapsasupp with these essential ingredients:

  • 2 cups sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
  • 1 pound pork shoulder, cubed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Estonian Food – Hapukapsasupp Recipe

Preparing the Pork

  • In a large pot, heat vegetable oil over medium heat.
  • Add cubed pork shoulder and brown it on all sides.

Sautéing Aromatics

  • Toss in finely chopped onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
  • Add sliced carrots and continue cooking until the vegetables soften.

Building Flavor

  • Stir in sauerkraut, caraway seeds, and bay leaf.
  • Allow the ingredients to mingle and infuse the flavors.

Adding Potatoes and Broth

  • Add diced potatoes to the pot, followed by chicken or vegetable broth.
  • Bring the soup to a gentle boil and then reduce the heat to simmer.

Simmering to Perfection

  • Let the soup simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until the pork and potatoes are tender.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish and Serve

  • Remove the bay leaf from the soup.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley just before serving.

Get ready to embrace the warmth and tanginess of Estonian Hapukapsasupp. It’s a bowl of comfort that reflects the resilience and flavors of Baltic culinary traditions. Enjoy this hearty soup that embodies the spirit of Estonia!

Estonian Food – Karask

Estonian Food - Karask

A type of Estonian bread made from a mixture of barley or rye flour, buttermilk, and baking soda. Often baked in a pan and served as a side dish.

Exploring Estonian Heritage with Karask

Hello, fellow food enthusiasts! Today, we’re venturing into the heart of Estonia with a traditional delight called Karask. Originating from the Baltic region, Karask is a humble yet hearty bread that holds a special place in Estonian homes.

With a history as rich as its flavor, Karask reflects the simplicity and authenticity of Estonian cuisine. Join me as we unravel the story behind Karask and embark on a journey to bake this rustic delight.

Estonian Food – Karask Ingredients

Let’s gather the essential ingredients for baking Estonian Karask:

  • 2 cups barley or rye flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Estonian Food – Karask Recipe

Preparing the Dough

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the barley or rye flour with baking powder and salt.
  • Pour in the melted butter, buttermilk, and honey. Mix until a soft dough forms.

Shaping the Bread

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Divide the dough into smaller portions and shape them into round, flat loaves.

Baking the Karask

  • Place the shaped loaves on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the bread turns golden brown.

Serving Fresh

  • Once baked, let the Karask cool for a few minutes.
  • Serve warm with butter or your favorite spread.

Enjoy the wholesome goodness of Estonian Karask – a bread that echoes the rustic charm of Baltic traditions. It’s a perfect addition to your table, offering a taste of Estonia’s culinary heritage. Happy baking!

Estonian Food – Vastlakukkel

Estonian Food - Vastlakukkel

A traditional pastry eaten during Shrove Tuesday or Vastlapäev. Vastlakukkel is a sweet bun filled with whipped cream or marzipan, often accompanied by hot pea soup.

Journey into Estonian Traditions with Vastlakukkel

Hey there, foodies! Today, we’re diving into the heart of Estonian celebrations with a delightful treat called Vastlakukkel. Originating from the Baltic region, Vastlakukkel is a sweet bun traditionally enjoyed during Shrove Tuesday or Vastlapäev, marking the pre-Lenten festivities. Let’s explore the history of this festive delight and bring a bit of Estonia to our homes.

Estonian Food – Vastlakukkel Ingredients

Gather the ingredients to make your own Vastlakukkel:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
  • Whipped cream or marzipan for filling
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Estonian Food – Vastlakukkel Recipe

Activating the Yeast

  • In a bowl, combine warm milk, sugar, and active dry yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.

Mixing the Dough

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and cardamom (if using).
  • Add the softened butter and the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix until a dough forms.

Kneading and Rising

  • Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 8-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise for 1-2 hours or until it doubles in size.

Shaping and Second Rise

  • Punch down the risen dough and divide it into small portions.
  • Shape each portion into a round bun and place them on a baking sheet.
  • Allow the buns to rise for an additional 30-45 minutes.

Baking to Golden Perfection

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Brush the buns with beaten egg and bake for 15-20 minutes or until they turn golden brown.

Filling and Dusting

  • Once the buns are cooled, slice them horizontally.
  • Fill each bun with whipped cream or marzipan and sandwich them back together.
  • Dust the tops with powdered sugar for a sweet finish.

Get ready to savor the sweetness of Estonian festivities with your homemade Vastlakukkel. It’s a delightful treat that captures the essence of Baltic traditions and makes any celebration a bit more special. Happy baking!

Estonian Food – Kiluvoileib

Estonian Food - Kiluvoileib

A classic Estonian open-faced sandwich featuring canned sprats or herring, often garnished with boiled eggs, mayonnaise, and fresh herbs.

Embarking on a Culinary Adventure with Kiluvoileib

Greetings, food explorers! Today, we’re immersing ourselves in the flavors of Estonia with a classic dish known as Kiluvoileib. Hailing from the Baltic region, Kiluvoileib is an open-faced sandwich that showcases the rich maritime influence of Estonia.

Let’s uncover the history and ingredients that make this dish a beloved part of Estonian culinary heritage.

Estonian Food – Kiluvoileib Ingredients

Prepare the ingredients to assemble your own Kiluvoileib:

  • Slices of dark rye bread
  • Butter for spreading
  • Canned sprats in oil
  • Hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Fresh dill for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Estonian Food – Kiluvoileib Recipe

Toasting the Rye Bread

  • Place slices of dark rye bread in a toaster or on a griddle until they are toasted to your liking.

Spreading Butter

  • Once toasted, spread a generous layer of butter on each slice of rye bread.

Layering the Ingredients

  • Arrange canned sprats on top of the buttered rye bread, ensuring even coverage.
  • Add slices of hard-boiled eggs on the sprats, creating a flavorful layer.

Adding Freshness

  • Scatter thinly sliced red onions on the sandwich to provide a delightful crunch and tang.

Seasoning and Garnishing

  • Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper to enhance the flavors.
  • Garnish the Kiluvoileib with fresh dill for a burst of herbal goodness.

Serving with Style

  • Your Kiluvoileib is now ready to be served. Arrange it on a plate and enjoy the delightful combination of flavors.

Indulge in the maritime charm of Estonia with your homemade Kiluvoileib. It’s a quick and tasty dish that pays homage to the coastal influences of the region. Enjoy the journey into Estonian flavors right at your own table!

Estonian Food – Kapsarullid (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)

Estonian Food - Kapsarullid (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)
Kapsarullid (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)

Cabbage leaves filled with a mixture of minced meat and rice, seasoned with spices, and then cooked until tender.

Unwrapping the Delicious Tale of Kapsarullid

Greetings, food enthusiasts! Today, we’re taking a culinary journey to Estonia with a classic dish called Kapsarullid, also known as Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. Originating from the Baltic region, Kapsarullid showcases the heartiness and comforting flavors of Estonian cuisine.

Let’s delve into the history and ingredients that make these cabbage rolls a beloved part of Estonian households.

Estonian Food – Kapsarullid (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls) Ingredients

Get ready to create your own Kapsarullid with these essential ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cabbage
  • 1 cup rice, uncooked
  • 1 pound ground meat (pork, beef, or a mixture)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups beef or vegetable broth
  • Sour cream for serving

Estonian Food – Kapsarullid Recipe

Preparing the Cabbage

  • Core the cabbage and carefully separate the leaves. Boil the leaves until they are pliable, then set them aside to cool.

Cooking the Rice

  • Cook the rice according to package instructions until it’s slightly underdone. It will finish cooking in the cabbage rolls.

Making the Filling

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, cooked rice, chopped onion, minced garlic, egg, dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

Rolling the Cabbage Rolls

  • Take a cabbage leaf, place a spoonful of the filling at the center, and roll it tightly, tucking in the sides as you go. Repeat until all the filling is used.

Preparing the Sauce

  • In a separate bowl, mix tomato sauce, tomato paste, and a bit of salt. This will be the flavorful sauce for your cabbage rolls.

Assembling and Cooking

  • In a large pot, arrange the cabbage rolls snugly.
  • Pour the tomato sauce mixture over the rolls and add beef or vegetable broth to cover them partially.

Simmering to Perfection

  • Cover the pot and let the cabbage rolls simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes to an hour, allowing the flavors to meld.

Serving with Love

  • Once cooked, serve the Kapsarullid hot, drizzled with some of the cooking liquid and a dollop of sour cream.

Enjoy the warmth and comfort of Estonia with these delicious Kapsarullid. It’s a flavorful journey into Baltic cuisine that’s sure to satisfy your taste buds. Happy cooking!

Estonian Food – Pelmeenid

Estonian Food - Pelmeenid

Dumplings filled with minced meat, usually pork or beef, and sometimes fish. Pelmeenid are typically boiled and served with sour cream.

Discovering Estonian Flavor with Pelmeenid

Hello, food enthusiasts! Today, we’re diving into the heart of Estonian cuisine with a beloved dish known as Pelmeenid. These delightful dumplings have a rich history in Baltic tradition, offering a taste of comfort and warmth.

Join me on a journey to Estonia as we unravel the background of Pelmeenid and learn how to create these flavorful pockets of joy in your own kitchen.

Estonian Food – Pelmeenid Ingredients

Get ready to make your own Pelmeenid with these essential ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 pound ground meat (beef, pork, or a mixture)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sour cream for serving

Estonian Food – Pelmeenid Recipe

Making the Dough

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and water to form a dough. Knead it until smooth, then cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Preparing the Filling

  • In another bowl, mix the ground meat, finely chopped onion, salt, and pepper. This will be the flavorful filling for your Pelmeenid.

Rolling and Cutting

  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut it into small circles using a round cutter or a glass.

Filling and Folding

  • Place a small amount of the meat filling in the center of each dough circle.
  • Fold the dough in half, creating a half-moon shape, and press the edges to seal.

Boiling the Pelmeenid

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Drop the Pelmeenid into the boiling water and cook for about 5-7 minutes or until they float to the surface.

Serving with Sour Cream

  • Once cooked, serve the Pelmeenid hot with a dollop of sour cream for that perfect Estonian touch.

Enjoy the authentic taste of Estonia with these homemade Pelmeenid. It’s a delightful dish that brings Baltic flavors straight to your table. Happy cooking!

Estonian Food – Pannkoogid (Estonian Pancakes)

Estonian Food - Pannkoogid (Estonian Pancakes)
Estonian Food – Pannkoogid (Estonian Pancakes)

Thin pancakes often served with jam, berries, or whipped cream. A popular choice for breakfast or dessert.

Savoring Tradition: Estonian Pancakes (Pannkoogid)

Hey there, foodies! Today, we’re bringing the flavors of Estonia to your kitchen with a delightful recipe – Pannkoogid, or Estonian Pancakes. These pancakes are a beloved part of Baltic breakfasts, boasting a history as rich as their taste.

Join me in exploring the background of Pannkoogid and mastering the art of creating these fluffy wonders in the comfort of your own home.

Estonian Food – Pannkoogid Ingredients

Prepare for a pancake extravaganza with these essential ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • Butter or oil for cooking
  • Maple syrup or jam for serving

Estonian Food – Pannkoogid Recipe

Mixing the Dry Ingredients

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Preparing the Wet Ingredients

  • In another bowl, beat the egg and add buttermilk and melted butter. Mix until well combined.

Combining Wet and Dry

  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined, making sure not to overmix.

Heating the Pan

  • Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Add a small amount of butter or oil.

Cooking the Pancakes

  • Pour a ladleful of batter onto the hot pan. Cook until bubbles form on the surface, then flip and cook the other side until golden brown.

Serving with Love

  • Repeat the process until you’ve made a stack of delicious Estonian pancakes.
  • Serve hot, drizzled with maple syrup or accompanied by your favorite jam.

Get ready to enjoy a taste of Estonia with these fluffy Pannkoogid. Whether it’s a leisurely weekend brunch or a quick weekday breakfast, these pancakes are sure to bring a smile to your face. Happy flipping!

Estonian Food – Porgandipirukas (Carrot Pie)

Estonian Food - Porgandipirukas (Carrot Pie)
Porgandipirukas (Carrot Pie)

A savory pie made with grated carrots, rice, and sometimes minced meat. A delicious and comforting dish.

Exploring Estonian Delight: Porgandipirukas (Carrot Pie)

Hey foodies! Today, we’re delving into Estonian culinary treasures with a scrumptious treat – Porgandipirukas, or Carrot Pie. Originating from the heart of the Baltic region, this pie reflects the simplicity and goodness of Estonian home cooking.

Let’s uncover the history behind Porgandipirukas and learn how to recreate this delightful dish in our own kitchens.

Estonian Food – Porgandipirukas (Carrot Pie) Ingredients

Get ready to bake up a carrot-filled storm with these essential ingredients:

  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • A pinch of salt
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Estonian Food – Porgandipirukas (Carrot Pie) Recipe

Preparing the Carrots

  • Grate the carrots finely and set them aside. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).

Creating the Batter

  • In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until creamy.
  • Add the vegetable oil and continue mixing until well combined.

Sifting the Dry Ingredients

  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt.

Combining Wet and Dry

  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, stirring until a smooth batter forms.

Folding in the Carrots

  • Gently fold in the grated carrots, ensuring an even distribution throughout the batter.

Baking to Perfection

  • Grease a pie dish and pour the batter into it.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Dusting and Serving

  • Allow the carrot pie to cool. Optionally, dust the top with powdered sugar for a decorative touch.
  • Slice and serve this Estonian delight with a smile.

Experience a taste of Estonia with this delightful Carrot Pie. It’s a perfect blend of sweetness and simplicity, making it an ideal treat for any occasion. Enjoy baking!

Estonian Food – Ahjukartulid (Oven-Baked Potatoes)

Estonian Food - Ahjukartulid (Oven-Baked Potatoes)
Ahjukartulid (Oven-Baked Potatoes)

Potatoes seasoned with herbs, garlic, and butter, then oven-baked until golden brown. A simple yet flavorful side dish.

A Taste of Estonia: Ahjukartulid (Oven-Baked Potatoes)

Hello, food enthusiasts! Today, we’re venturing into Estonian kitchens to explore a classic and comforting dish – Ahjukartulid, or Oven-Baked Potatoes. Originating from the Baltic region, this dish encapsulates the heartiness and simplicity of Estonian home cooking.

Join me on a culinary journey as we uncover the history behind Ahjukartulid and master the art of preparing these delicious oven-baked potatoes.

Estonian Food – Ahjukartulid (Oven-Baked Potatoes) Ingredients

Gather these simple ingredients to create your own Ahjukartulid:

  • 4 large potatoes, washed and scrubbed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Fresh herbs (rosemary or thyme work well)

Estonian Food – Ahjukartulid (Oven-Baked Potatoes) Recipe

Preparing the Potatoes

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
  • Wash and scrub the potatoes thoroughly to remove any dirt.

Parboiling the Potatoes

  • Place the whole potatoes in a pot of boiling water and cook for about 8-10 minutes until slightly tender but not fully cooked.
  • Drain the potatoes and let them cool for a few minutes.

Creating the Seasoning

  • In a small bowl, mix olive oil, salt, pepper, and finely chopped fresh herbs.

Coating the Potatoes

  • Place the parboiled potatoes on a baking sheet.
  • Using a fork or knife, gently smash each potato to flatten it slightly.
  • Brush each potato generously with the herb-infused olive oil mixture.

Baking to Perfection

  • Bake the potatoes in the preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or until they turn golden and crispy.

Serving with Flair

  • Remove the Ahjukartulid from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.
  • Serve them as a delightful side dish to complement your main course.

Enjoy the simplicity and deliciousness of Estonia with these Oven-Baked Potatoes. They make a perfect addition to any meal, bringing a touch of Baltic warmth to your table. Happy cooking!

Estonian Food – Lohesupp (Salmon Soup)

Estonian Food - Lohesupp (Salmon Soup)
Lohesupp (Salmon Soup)

A flavorful soup made with salmon, potatoes, carrots, and leeks. A popular choice, especially in coastal regions.

Savoring the Sea: Lohesupp (Estonian Salmon Soup)

Hey, fellow foodies! Today, let’s embark on a culinary journey to Estonia and explore the coastal flavors of Lohesupp, a delightful Salmon Soup. Originating from the Baltic region, this soup captures the essence of Estonian coastal living with its fresh ingredients and heartwarming goodness.

Join me as we dive into the history behind Lohesupp and learn how to create this savory bowl of comfort.

Estonian Food – Lohesupp (Salmon Soup) Ingredients

Gear up for a seafood adventure with these key ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh salmon fillet, skinless and boneless
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cups fish or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh dill for garnish
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Estonian Food – Lohesupp Recipe

Prepping the Salmon

  • Cut the salmon fillet into bite-sized cubes. Season with salt and pepper.

Sautéing Aromatics

  • In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook until translucent.
  • Add leeks, carrots, and celery. Sauté until vegetables are tender.

Adding Potatoes and Broth

  • Incorporate diced potatoes into the pot. Pour in the fish or vegetable broth.
  • Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and let it cook until the potatoes are fork-tender.

Introducing Salmon

  • Carefully add the seasoned salmon cubes to the soup. Allow them to cook until they turn opaque.

Infusing Creaminess

  • Pour in the heavy cream, stirring gently. Simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes.

Seasoning and Garnishing

  • Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Garnish with fresh dill for a burst of herbal flavor.

Serving with Citrus Zest

  • Ladle the Lohesupp into bowls. Serve with lemon wedges on the side for a touch of brightness.

Dive into the coastal flavors of Estonia with this soul-soothing Salmon Soup. It’s a bowl of warmth that celebrates the bounty of the sea. Enjoy your culinary adventure!

Estonian Food – Hakklihakaste (Minced Meat Sauce)

Estonian Food - Hakklihakaste (Minced Meat Sauce)
Hakklihakaste (Minced Meat Sauce)

A savory sauce made with minced meat, onions, and a flavorful broth. Served over potatoes or pasta.

Unveiling Estonian Comfort: Hakklihakaste (Minced Meat Sauce)

Hello, food enthusiasts! Today, we’re bringing a taste of cozy comfort from Estonia with Hakklihakaste, a delicious Minced Meat Sauce. Rooted in Baltic tradition, this savory sauce embodies the heartiness and simplicity of Estonian home cooking.

Let’s delve into the history behind Hakklihakaste and learn how to whip up this comforting dish that’s sure to warm your soul.

Estonian Food – Hakklihakaste (Minced Meat Sauce) Ingredients

Gear up for a flavorful adventure with these essential ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground meat (beef, pork, or a mix)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Estonian Food – Hakklihakaste (Minced Meat Sauce) Recipe

Sautéing Aromatics

  • In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and minced garlic. Sauté until they become golden and fragrant.

Browning the Meat

  • Add the ground meat to the skillet. Cook until browned, breaking it apart with a spoon as it cooks.

Creating a Roux

  • Sprinkle flour over the meat mixture and stir well to create a roux. Cook for a couple of minutes until the flour is lightly browned.

Incorporating Liquid Ingredients

  • Gradually pour in the beef or vegetable broth, stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
  • Add the whole milk, tomato paste, and dried thyme. Stir until well combined.

Simmering to Perfection

  • Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer. Let it cook for about 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the sauce to thicken.

Seasoning and Garnishing

  • Season the Hakklihakaste with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well.
  • Garnish the sauce with fresh parsley for a burst of herbal freshness.

Serving with Love

  • Serve the Hakklihakaste over mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta. Enjoy this comforting Estonian classic!

Experience the warmth of Estonian cuisine with this hearty Minced Meat Sauce. It’s a perfect accompaniment to your favorite starch, creating a comforting meal that’ll transport you to the heart of the Baltic region. Happy cooking!

Estonian Food – Ahjukala (Oven-Baked Fish)

Estonian Food - Ahjukala (Oven-Baked Fish)
Ahjukala (Oven-Baked Fish)

Fish fillets seasoned with herbs and baked in the oven. A light and healthy dish often served with fresh vegetables.

Embracing Baltic Flavors: Ahjukala (Oven-Baked Fish)

Hello, foodies! Today, let’s embark on a culinary journey to the beautiful Baltic region and explore the simplicity and freshness of Ahjukala, a delightful Oven-Baked Fish dish from Estonia. Rooted in the coastal traditions of the country, this recipe showcases the clean and vibrant flavors of the sea.

Join me as we uncover the history behind Ahjukala and learn how to create this easy and delicious dish in your own kitchen.

Estonian Food – Ahjukala (Oven-Baked Fish) Ingredients

Prepare for a taste of the Baltic with these key ingredients:

  • 4 fish fillets (cod, haddock, or another white fish)
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh dill for garnish
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Estonian Food – Ahjukala Recipe

Prepping the Fish

  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Pat the fish fillets dry with paper towels and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Seasoning the Fish

  • Drizzle olive oil over the fish fillets, ensuring they are well-coated.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, and place thin lemon slices on top of each fillet.

Baking to Perfection

  • Bake the fish in the preheated oven for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Garnishing with Freshness

  • Remove the fish from the oven and garnish with fresh dill. The aroma is already making your kitchen feel like a coastal haven!

Serving with Citrus Zest

  • Serve the Ahjukala hot, accompanied by lemon wedges for that extra burst of citrus flavor.

Enjoy the taste of the Baltic Sea with Ahjukala. It’s a light and flavorful dish that captures the essence of Estonian coastal cuisine. Let the sea breeze (or kitchen aromas) transport you to the shores of Estonia. Happy cooking!

Estonian Food – Kodujuustukook (Cottage Cheesecake)

Estonian Food - Kodujuustukook (Cottage Cheesecake)
Kodujuustukook (Cottage Cheesecake)

A delicious cottage cheese cake, often layered with a crumbly crust and topped with fruit compote or berries.

Exploring Estonian Sweetness: Kodujuustukook (Cottage Cheesecake)

Hey there, sweet enthusiasts! Today, let’s dive into the delightful world of Estonian desserts with Kodujuustukook, a scrumptious Cottage Cheesecake. Rooted in the heart of Estonia, this dessert embodies the simplicity and charm of Baltic baking.

Join me as we uncover the history behind Kodujuustukook and create a heavenly cheesecake that will transport you to the cozy kitchens of Estonia.

Estonian Food – Kodujuustukook Ingredients

Prepare for a sweet journey with these essential ingredients:

  • Crust:
    • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
    • 1/3 cup melted butter
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Filling:
    • 2 cups cottage cheese
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Topping:
    • 1 cup sour cream
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Estonian Food – Kodujuustukook Recipe

Preparing the Crust

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Press the mixture into the base of a greased springform pan.

Blending the Filling

  • In a blender, combine cottage cheese, sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla extract, and lemon zest. Blend until smooth.

Baking to Golden Perfection

  • Pour the cottage cheese mixture over the crust in the springform pan.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until the center is set and the top turns golden brown.

Creating the Topping

  • In a small bowl, mix sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract for the topping.
  • Spread the sour cream mixture over the baked cheesecake and return it to the oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Cooling and Chilling

  • Allow the cheesecake to cool completely before refrigerating for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Serving with Sweetness

  • Once chilled, slice the Kodujuustukook and serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or fresh berries.

Indulge in the sweet delights of Estonia with this Cottage Cheesecake. It’s a perfect blend of creamy, zesty, and sweet, bringing a taste of Baltic joy to your dessert table. Happy baking!

Estonian Food – Riisipuder (Rice Porridge)

Estonian Food - Riisipuder (Rice Porridge)
Riisipuder (Rice Porridge)

A creamy rice porridge often flavored with cinnamon and sugar. A classic Estonian comfort food enjoyed for breakfast or dessert.

Nourishing Tradition: Riisipuder (Estonian Rice Porridge)

Hey, foodies! Today, we’re taking a step into the heart of Estonian kitchens with Riisipuder, a comforting Rice Porridge that’s been a staple in Baltic homes for generations. This humble dish reflects the simplicity and warmth of Estonian culture.

Join me on this cozy journey as we explore the history of Riisipuder and learn how to create a bowl of nourishing goodness.

Estonian Food – Riisipuder (Rice Porridge) Ingredients

Embark on a comforting culinary adventure with these simple ingredients:

  • 1 cup short-grain rice
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Sugar and cinnamon for serving

Estonian Food – Riisipuder (Rice Porridge) Recipe

Preparing the Rice

  • Rinse the short-grain rice under cold water until the water runs clear.

Cooking the Rice

  • In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed rice, whole milk, water, and a pinch of salt.

Bringing to a Boil

  • Place the pot over medium heat and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Simmering to Perfection

  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the rice simmer, covered, for about 25-30 minutes or until the rice is tender and the mixture has thickened.

Adding a Touch of Richness

  • Stir in the butter, allowing it to melt into the creamy porridge.

Serving with Sweetness

  • Serve the Riisipuder warm, sprinkled with sugar and a dash of cinnamon for a delightful touch of sweetness.

Experience the comfort of Estonian homes with Riisipuder. It’s not just a dish; it’s a warm hug in a bowl. Enjoy the simplicity and heartiness of Baltic cuisine. Happy cooking!

Estonian Cuisine – Silgusoust (Herring in Sour Cream)

Estonian Cuisine - Silgusoust (Herring in Sour Cream)
Estonian Cuisine – Silgusoust (Herring in Sour Cream)

Originating from coastal communities, this is a dish that pays homage to Estonia’s Baltic roots. Traditionally served during celebrations like Christmas or Jaanipäev (Midsummer), Silgusoust holds a special place in Estonian festive menus.

Silgusoust Ingredients

  • Fresh herring fillets: 4-6, cleaned and deboned
  • White onion: 1 large, thinly sliced
  • Sour cream: 1 cup (240 ml)
  • Mustard: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: 1 tsp or to taste
  • Pepper: 1/2 tsp or to taste
  • Fresh dill: 2 tbsp, chopped, plus extra for garnish


  • Preparation of Herring: Ensure that the herring fillets are clean, deboned, and cut into manageable serving pieces. If they’re very salty, you might want to soak them in milk or water for a couple of hours, then drain.
  • Layering: In a deep dish or glass container, start layering the herring fillets and thinly sliced onions.
  • Mixing the Sauce: In a separate bowl, combine the sour cream, mustard, salt, and pepper. Mix them well until you achieve a smooth and even consistency.
  • Coating the Herring: Pour this sour cream mixture over the herring and onion layers in the dish, ensuring that the fish pieces are fully covered.
  • Refrigeration: Cover the dish with plastic wrap or a lid and place it in the refrigerator. Allow the herring to marinate in the sauce for at least 12 hours, preferably overnight. This ensures that the flavors meld beautifully.

Silgusoust Presentation

  • Once marinated, the Silgusoust is ready to be served. Place the pieces on a plate, drizzle some of the creamy sauce on top, and garnish with freshly chopped dill.
  • Accompaniments: It’s traditionally enjoyed on slices of dark rye bread but can also be served as a standalone appetizer.

Drink Pairing

A crisp, dry white wine or a cold beer complements the creaminess and cuts through the richness of the herring.

Enjoy this traditional Estonian delicacy, which captures the fresh flavors of the Baltic and the country’s love for creamy, rich textures.

Estonian Cuisine – Sült (Meat Jelly)

Estonian Cuisine - Sült (Meat Jelly)
Estonian Cuisine – Sült (Meat Jelly)

A classic Estonian starter, Sült has its roots in rural Estonia where no part of the animal was wasted. Reserved for special occasions and family gatherings, it’s a dish that speaks of tradition.

Sült Ingredients

  • Pork meat (preferably legs or hocks): 2 lbs (about 900g)
  • Pork trotters: 2, for natural gelatin
  • Onion: 1 large, halved
  • Bay leaves: 2-3
  • Whole black peppercorns: 1 tsp
  • Garlic cloves: 3-4, minced
  • Salt: 1.5 tsp or to taste
  • Water: Enough to cover the meat in the pot

Sült Recipe

Preparation of Meat

Start by cleaning the pork meat and trotters. Remove any excess fat if desired, but remember, some fat gives the jelly its rich flavor.


Place the pork meat, trotters, halved onion, bay leaves, and whole black peppercorns in a large pot. Add enough water to fully cover the ingredients.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, allowing it to simmer for several hours. A good indication it’s done is when the meat is falling off the bones and the trotters are soft.

Removing Meat

Once boiled and tender, take the meat out of the broth and let it cool slightly. Once manageable, discard the bones and finely chop or shred the meat. Discard the trotters or chop the gelatinous parts and add them to the meat for extra texture.

Straining the Broth

Strain the broth into another pot or large bowl, discarding the solids like onion and spices. Add minced garlic and salt to the strained broth and stir well.

Combining Meat and Broth

Return the chopped meat to the broth. Stir to evenly distribute the meat.

Setting the Jelly

Pour the meat and broth mixture into molds or a deep dish. Some people use loaf pans, rectangular dishes, or even individual ramekins for portioned servings.

Allow it to cool to room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator to set. It can take several hours to overnight for the jelly to fully set.


Once set, take the Sült out of the mold. If using a deep dish, you might want to slice the jelly into serving portions. Served it with a splash of vinegar or mustard on the side and sprinkle fresh parsley or dill.

Drink Pairing

A glass of schnapps or vodka keeps it traditional and balances the richness.

Sült is a true testament to Estonian culinary tradition where no part of the animal was wasted. It’s a dish that speaks of history, resourcefulness, and the heartwarming comfort of family gatherings. Enjoy this unique delicacy and savor a taste of Estonia’s past.

Estonian Cuisine – Mulgipuder (Potato and Barley Porridge)

Mulgipuder (Potato and Barley Porridge)
Mulgipuder (Potato and Barley Porridge)

Traditional Estonian Recipes – Mulgipuder

Mulgipuder is a beloved Estonian rustic, heartwarming dish that speaks of simplicity, comfort, and warmth.

Its rich, hearty texture makes it a favorite during colder months, offering both sustenance and a deep connection to Estonian traditions.

Whether enjoyed as a standalone meal or as a side dish, it carries the essence of the Estonian countryside in every bite.

Mulgipuder Ingredients

  • Potatoes: 500g, peeled and cubed
  • Pearl barley: 200g, rinsed and drained
  • Salt: 1 tsp or to taste
  • Butter: 50g (plus extra for serving)
  • Water: Enough to cover the ingredients in the pot
  • Crispy bacon or pork cracklings (optional): For garnish

Mulgipuder Recipe

Cooking Barley

In a large pot, add the rinsed pearl barley and enough water to cover it by about an inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

Adding Potatoes

After the barley has been cooking for 30 minutes, add the cubed potatoes to the pot. Ensure that there’s enough water to cover the potatoes and barley. If needed, add a bit more water.


Add salt to the pot and mix it in.


Simmer the mixture until the potatoes are soft. This can take around 20-30 minutes.


Once both the barley and potatoes are tender, drain off any excess water, but keep about a cup on the side. Start mashing the mixture in the pot, adding the butter as you do so. If the mixture is too dry, you can add a bit of the saved water until you achieve the desired consistency.


Mulgipuder is traditionally served hot and is often dished up with a dollop of additional butter melting in the center. If you’re looking to add some extra flavor and texture, garnish with crispy bacon or pork cracklings.


It pairs well with pickled vegetables, especially pickled beetroot, or with a side of smoked fish for a full meal.

Drink Pairing

Enjoy with a mug of cold milk or a robust dark beer.

Estonian Cuisine – Verivorst with Mulgikapsad (Blood Sausage with Sauerkraut and Pork)

Estonian Cuisine - Verivorst with Mulgikapsad (Blood Sausage)
Estonian Cuisine – Verivorst with Mulgikapsad (Blood Sausage)

Traditional Estonian Recipes – Verivorst

Traditionally, this combination is enjoyed with a side of boiled potatoes and paired with a cold Estonian beer or a warming glass of spiced wine.

The contrasting textures and flavors of the Verivorst and Mulgikapsad come together to create a harmonious and hearty meal that embodies Estonian festivities and traditions.

Verivorst (Blood Sausage) Ingredients

  • Fresh pig’s blood: 1 liter
  • Barley: 500g, pre-cooked
  • Onions: 2-3, finely chopped
  • Salt: 2 tsp or to taste
  • Pepper: 1 tsp
  • Allspice: 1/2 tsp
  • Sausage casings: cleaned and soaked in water

Recipe for Verivorst

Sautéing Onions

In a pan, sauté the finely chopped onions until they’re translucent and slightly golden.

Mixing Ingredients

In a large bowl, combine the sautéed onions, pre-cooked barley, salt, pepper, and allspice. Mix well.

Adding Blood

Slowly pour in the fresh pig’s blood, stirring constantly to ensure even mixing.

Filling Casings

Once the mixture is well combined, start filling the soaked sausage casings with it. Be careful not to overfill.


In a large pot of simmering water, boil the filled sausages for about an hour. Keep them fully submerged.

Cooling and Storing

Once boiled, remove from water and allow to cool. Vorst can be stored in the refrigerator and then fried or grilled before serving.

Mulgikapsad recipe – Ingredients

  • Sauerkraut: 1 kg
  • Pork (shoulder or belly): 500g, cut into chunks
  • Onion: 1 large, chopped
  • Bay leaves: 2-3
  • Whole black peppercorns: 1 tsp
  • Water: Enough to cover
  • Salt: to taste

Mulgikapsad recipe

Preparing Pork

In a large pot, brown the pork chunks on all sides to seal in the flavors.

Sautéing Onions

Add the chopped onions to the pot and sauté them until they become translucent.

Adding Sauerkraut

Incorporate the sauerkraut into the pot, mixing well with the pork and onions.

Seasoning and Simmering

Add the bay leaves, whole black peppercorns, and enough water to cover the mixture. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Let it cook for at least 1-2 hours, or until the pork is tender and flavors meld together. Adjust seasoning with salt as needed.


Once the pork is tender and the sauerkraut has absorbed the flavors, remove from heat. Discard the bay leaves before serving.

Serving Tips for Verivorst with Mulgikapsad


Fry or grill the blood sausages until the casings are crisp. Slice them into manageable portions.


Serve the sauerkraut and pork mixture as a base, placing the sliced Verivorst on top.

Drink Pairing

We suggest you opt for a spicy red wine or traditional Estonian beer.

Estonian Cuisine – Marineeritud Seened (Marinated Mushrooms)

Estonian Cuisine - Marineeritud Seened (Marinated Mushrooms)
Estonian Cuisine – Marineeritud Seened (Marinated Mushrooms)

Traditional Estonian Recipes – Marineeritud Seened

A nod to Estonia’s bountiful forests, this dish captures the essence of Estonian woodlands.

Estonians love to forage, and their forests offer a rich variety of mushrooms. Marinating these fungal delights is a way to preserve their flavor and enjoy them year-round. Chefs serve Marineeritud Seened as a snack, salad, or a side dish, especially during festive occasions.

Marineeritud Seened Ingredients

  • Fresh wild mushrooms (like chanterelles, boletes, or any other edible varieties): 500g, cleaned and cut if large
  • Water: Enough to cover the mushrooms for boiling
  • White wine vinegar: 150ml
  • Sugar: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: 1 tsp or to taste
  • Black peppercorns: 8-10
  • Bay leaves: 2
  • Garlic cloves: 3-4, sliced
  • Fresh dill: Several sprigs
  • Onion: 1 small, thinly sliced
  • Vegetable oil or olive oil: 100ml



Clean the mushrooms properly. Remove any dirt or debris. If using large mushrooms, cut them into manageable pieces.


In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Add mushrooms to the boiling water. Boil them for about 10-15 minutes until they’re tender. Drain the water and let the mushrooms cool.

Marinade Preparation

In a separate pot, combine the white wine vinegar, sugar, 1 tsp of salt, black peppercorns, and bay leaves. Bring this mixture to a boil, ensuring the sugar dissolves completely.

Once boiling, reduce heat and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.

Combining Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl or jar, layer the boiled mushrooms, sliced garlic, fresh dill, and thinly sliced onion. Pour the cooled marinade over the mushrooms and keep them fully submerged. Finally, pour in the vegetable or olive oil.


Cover the bowl or jar and refrigerate. Allow the mushrooms to marinate for at least 24 hours. The longer they marinate, the more intense and absorbed the flavors will be.


Before serving, remove the marinated mushrooms from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature. Serve the on their own, with slices of rye bread, or as a garnish for salads.

These marinated mushrooms are a taste of the Estonian wilds, carrying with them the earthy aromas of the forest floor. Enjoy Each bite as a delightful burst of tangy, herby, and umami flavors. They’re a perfect accompaniment to a summer picnic or a festive winter spread.

Drink Pairing

A chilled glass of Chardonnay accentuates the tangy flavors.

Estonian Cuisine – Kama Dessert

Kama Dessert
Estonian Cuisine – Kama Dessert

Traditional Estonian Recipes – Kama

Kama is a unique Estonian ingredient – a mixture of roasted barley, rye, oat, and pea flour. Historically, Kama was a non-perishable, easy-to-carry food for herders and travelers.

Today, it’s often enjoyed as a delightful dessert, combining the earthiness of the grains with sweet and tangy elements.

Kama Dessert Ingredients

  • Kama flour: 3 tbsp
  • Plain yogurt or kefir: 200ml
  • Fresh cream: 100ml
  • Sugar or honey: 2-3 tbsp (adjust based on sweetness preference)
  • Fresh berries (like blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries): A handful for topping
  • Nuts (like crushed almonds or walnuts, optional): For garnish
  • A pinch of salt

Kama Dessert Recipe

Mixing Base

In a mixing bowl, combine the Kama flour with yogurt or kefir. Mix thoroughly to ensure there are no lumps.

Adding Sweetness

Stir in sugar or honey, adjusting the amount based on how sweet you like your desserts. Add a pinch of salt to balance the flavors.

Incorporating Cream

Gently fold in the fresh cream, ensuring the mixture remains smooth and creamy.


Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least an hour. This allows the flavors to meld and the Kama to absorb some of the moisture, resulting in a thicker texture.


Once chilled, spoon the Kama dessert into individual serving bowls or glasses. Top with a generous helping of fresh berries. If you like a bit of crunch, garnish with some crushed nuts.


For added richness, you can also layer the Kama mixture with berry compote or jam in a glass, creating a parfait-like dessert.

The Kama dessert is a testament to Estonian ingenuity, turning a simple grain mixture into a luxurious treat. It’s the perfect blend of rustic charm and modern elegance, capturing the essence of Estonia’s culinary heritage in every spoonful.

Drink Pairing

A sweet dessert wine or elderflower cordial matches the dessert’s lightness.

Estonian Cuisine – Kohuke (Curds Snack)

 Kohuke (Curds Snack)
Estonian Cuisine – Kohuke (Curds Snack)

Traditional Estonian Recipes – Kohuke

Kohuke is a beloved snack in Estonia, often enjoyed by both children and adults. These are sweet curd cheese bars coated with chocolate or flavored glaze, often embedded with bits of fruit, berries, or chocolate chips.

Kohuke offers a delightful blend of creamy texture from the curd cheese and the indulgent outer layer of chocolate or glaze. It’s a taste of Estonian childhood, a simple yet satisfying treat that evokes fond memories. Whether enjoyed as a dessert, snack, or quick pick-me-up, Kohuke remains a timeless favorite.

Kohuke Ingredients

  • Fresh curd cheese (like quark or farmer’s cheese): 500g
  • Butter: 50g, softened
  • Powdered sugar: 100g (adjust based on sweetness preference)
  • Vanilla extract: 1 tsp
  • Gelatin: 10g (or as per package instructions for the given amount of curd cheese)
  • Chocolate or flavored glaze: For coating (can use melted chocolate mixed with a bit of coconut oil for smoothness)
  • Optional additions: Dried fruits, berries, chocolate chips, or nuts

Kohuke Recipe

Gelatin Preparation

Soak the gelatin in cold water for about 5-10 minutes, or as per package instructions. Once soaked, gently heat it (without boiling) in a small saucepan until completely dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly.

Mixing the Base

In a large mixing bowl, combine the curd cheese, softened butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Blend the mixture until it’s smooth and creamy.

Incorporating Gelatin

Gradually add the dissolved gelatin to the curd mixture, ensuring it’s well combined.

Adding Extras

If you want to include any optional ingredients like dried fruits, berries, chocolate chips, or nuts, now is the time to fold them into the mixture.

Forming Bars

Once the mixture is well combined and any extras are evenly distributed, take small portions and shape them into bars or small rectangles. Place these bars on a tray lined with parchment paper.


Allow the curd bars to set in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours.


Once the bars are set and firm, dip them in your chosen chocolate or flavored glaze, ensuring they’re fully coated. Return them to the parchment paper and let them sit until the coating hardens.


Store the finished Kohuke in the refrigerator until you’re ready to enjoy them.

Drink Pairing

Enjoy with a cup of freshly brewed coffee or a glass of milk.


Estonian cuisine, a tapestry woven with rich traditions, seasonal ingredients, and a touch of Baltic innovation, offers culinary explorers a unique journey into flavors both familiar and unexpected.

From the hearty main courses inspired by the chill of Baltic winters to the sweet delights that conclude a meal, each dish tells a story of the land, its history, and its people. Whether you’ve savored these treats in the heart of Tallinn or in the comfort of your own home, there’s an undeniable charm in these recipes that beckons one to return to them time and again.

Embracing Estonian food is not just about satiating hunger; it’s an embrace of a culture, a way of life, and a celebration of simple, honest cooking. So, the next time you seek comfort in a plate of food, let the flavors of Estonia whisk you away on a delectable journey.

FAQ: Estonian Cuisine

The traditional Estonian kitchen is known for its simple yet hearty dishes. Common ingredients include potatoes, fish, and dairy products. Traditional Estonian meals often feature dishes such as herring salad, blood sausages, and sauerkraut. Rye bread is a staple in the Estonian diet and is often served with meals.

  • Answer: Kama is a traditional Estonian ingredient made from a blend of roasted barley, rye, oat, and pea flours. Historically used as a travel-friendly food, today it’s often enjoyed as a breakfast mixed with yogurt or kefir or as a base for desserts.
  • Answer: Absolutely! Due to its location, Estonian cuisine has been influenced by nearby countries such as Russia, Latvia, Finland, and Sweden. However, while there are shared dishes and ingredients, Estonia has its own unique take on these influences.
  • Answer: Extremely important. Estonia has a strong tradition of using seasonal and local produce, especially given its rich forests, lakes, and coastal regions. Foraging, fishing, and local farming play significant roles in their culinary practices.
  • Answer: Estonia has a range of traditional drinks, including kali (a fermented rye bread drink similar to kvass), berry wines, and herbal liqueurs. Vana Tallinn, a sweet, dark liqueur often enjoyed as a digestive, is a popular export.
  • Answer: While Estonian cuisine has a significant emphasis on meat and fish, there are vegetarian dishes too. Dishes like mulgipuder (potato and barley porridge) and various vegetable, mushroom, and berry preparations offer vegetarian options.
  • Answer: Festive foods in Estonia, like Verivorst (blood sausage) and Kohuke (curds snack), are often linked to specific celebrations and seasons. For instance, Verivorst is traditionally enjoyed during Christmas, and Kohuke is a beloved treat year-round, especially among children. These dishes are not just about flavors but also about celebrating tradition, togetherness, and cultural history.