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Pille

eG Foodblog: Pille

142 posts in this topic

After seeing your "haggis tower", I am motivated to bid at the next annual Robbie Burns dinner where they always auction off several haggis (s? es?) at the end of the evening. Yours looks like a great way to serve haggis!


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Pille, what are knedle? noodles? dumplings? something else?

Jensen - they're small plain dumplings, about 2 cm in diameter. No filling, just a mixture of eggs, flour and some milk usually.

I'm intrigued that the word "knedle" is so similar to the Yiddish word for a matzoh ball, "kneidl," plural "kneidlach" (seeing as how matzoh balls are basically a variety of dumpling). Makes me suspect that both words have a common root--possibly/probably German?

Germanic, for sure.

Knödel is dumpling, in German. I'm sure the same root led to 'noodle' in English.

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I'm enjoying your blog tremendously.  I always love to see soups in blogs, and of course, this line about a kosher restaurant caught my attention. Is there a demand for one?

Pam - we eat quite a lot of soups in our home, and they're mainly main course soups - easy, healthy and nutritious. Well, it's only Thursday, so who knows, maybe there will be more :laugh:

Is there a demand for a kosher restaurant? Well, I guess the 3000 or so Jews who live in Estonia want one, and there's always demand for good restaurant and cafes. It'll be quite a large restaurant, seating 100, so they're obviously got big plans.

I just wanted to say what an interesting blog and what beautiful photographs!

MagFoodGuy - thank you :rolleyes:

After seeing your "haggis tower", I am motivated to bid at the next annual Robbie Burns dinner where they always auction off several haggis (s? es?) at the end of the evening. Yours looks like a great way to serve haggis!

Dejah - hope they're auctioning off good haggis!!!

I'm intrigued that the word "knedle" is so similar to the Yiddish word for a matzoh ball, "kneidl," plural "kneidlach" (seeing as how matzoh balls are basically a variety of dumpling). Makes me suspect that both words have a common root--possibly/probably German?

Germanic, for sure.

Knödel is dumpling, in German. I'm sure the same root led to 'noodle' in English.

Jensen, thank you for answering Mizducky's question! The Estonian word is klimp/klimbid, actually, and I thought they'd translate as knedle/knedliky rather than dumplings, which for me are larger and filled. Confusing :wacko:

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Few words about last night, before I'll tell you about today's breakfast. As I said, it was a long and tiring day, so I didn't get to have dinner until 10.30pm - very untypical for me, as I usually eat dinner around 6pm or 7pm! I nibbled on some chocolates (Fazer Dumle chocolates from Finland) during the cookery school class, and grabbed a singi-seenepirukas alias a ham and mushroom pierogi from the deli counter of Stockmann food hall on the way from cookery school to photography course. No picture, as I was eating the pastry while walking on the street - very bad manners on itself :unsure: and I didn't want to make it worse by then photographing this! :laugh:

When I got home, we heated up the leftover haggis, neeps & tatties from the night before and finished the dinner with a small glass of very nice Estonian apple wine:

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Being so far up north, we're obviously not producing grape wines here in Estonia, but apple & fruit wines have been made in Põltsamaa since 1920. Põltsamaa Kuldne 1992 is a sweet dessert wine made of apples, and it's a great after-dinner drink. It's also served on official state occasions, so it's indeed a respectable drink :biggrin: I love its colour - such a wonderful deep caramel shade!

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I can't believe it's already the fourth day of my foodblog!!! Time flies when you're having fun :laugh:

Breakfast today was pretty similar to yesterday's, only hot. Here's the full thing:

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There were grilled rye bread slices with ham and cheese and a sprinkle of thyme:

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We drank green Japanese tea today, a gift from Keiko of the stunning Nordljus blog (I met Keiko for a coffee when I was in Cambridge in April). Here's our new teapot:

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I fell in love with it in Denmark last November, but couldn't find it anywhere in Estonia. Finally, a Finnish foodblogging friend of mine bought one in Sweden few months ago and sent it over to Estonia for me :cool: It's a Swedish Höganäs brand, and I've written more about it here.

I sweeten my tea with an extract made with finely chopped flowering quinces, my mum's speciality. It lends a lovely sweet and sharp flavour to the tea, and a lovely fragrance. It's also delicious simply with hot water:

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Apart from grilled sandwiches and tea, we had some yogurt for breakfast. Today we opted for the cream cheese and cloudberry jam yogurts - you can see golden speckles of cloudberries here:

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Kristjan had also one banana for breakfast, I grabbed along 4 'Valge Klaar' apples from my mum's garden. I've already eaten three of them, and it's not even noon :laugh:

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What a beautiful place, so evocative and exotic! At least it seems so to myself, stuck in Australian suburbia, with nary an edible wild mushroom to be found.

Thank you so much Pille, for showing us the beauty in your life that we would never have seen any other way. :smile:

That flowering quince extract looks very interesting. Do I understand correctly that it is made from the fruit of ornamental (grown for the flowers) quince plants? How do you make it, do you have a recipe? And how long does it keep in the jar on the table; do you have to put it into the fridge?

Northern European food is almost all new to me. Those mushrooms look amazing! :biggrin:


" ..Is simplicity the best

Or simply the easiest

The narrowest path

Is always the holiest.. "

--Depeche Mode - Judas

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Okay, maybe two.  How open is Estonia to the foods and dishes of other countries whose traditions are quite unlike its own?

Sorry, Pontormo, I overlooked this question last night. I'm going to give you a very ambivalent answer :biggrin: I think it depends a lot on the age of the person. My grandmothers (I'm lucky to have both of them still around - one is 86, the other 87) would cook a very humble and traditional fare - lots of potatoes, carrots, turnips, pork, cabbage, rye bread, sour cream, thick soups & stews etc. My parents, on the other hand, would be a bit more adventurous in their cooking, though still very simple.

Younger people who have had a chance to travel since the end of the Soviet era would probably cook happily Italian, Indian, Chinese etc for dinner. Same in our home - lots of 'exotic' dishes appear from our kitchen, although I'm also consciously trying to cook a lot of 'traditional Estonian food', as I find it comforting after such a long period abroad.

As far as ethnic restaurants go, then the whole world is probably represented. There are few great Italian places (Controvento, Bocca), some Indian (Elevant), classic French (Le Bonaparte, Egoist), Japanese (House, Silk) etc. What is unique to Tallinn restaurant scene is a good choice of excellent Russian restaurants (Troika, Klafira, the new Tchaikovsky in Telegraaf hotel, Nevskij) and Caucasian restaurants (Bakuu, Must Lammas, and many others), and even a Roma restoran (Romale) that reflects the ethnic composition of the country.

The country has currently about 68% ethnic Estonians, 26% Russians, 2% Ukrainians, 1% Finns, 1% Belorussians, plus large communities of Georgians, Aserbajianis, Armenians, Tatars etc. When I say 'large communities' take it with a pinch of salt. The whole population of Estonia is 1.3 million inhabitants. That's less than most cities in the US :laugh:

There's also a good number of very nice restaurants serving traditional Estonian food: Kuldse Notsu Kõrts, Eesti Maja, Vanaema juures, Lydia, Olde Hansa (the great medieval place), Maiasmokk. One of my favourite restaurants, Stenhus, had a wonderful Estonian special menu last year that I loved to bits!! I should go and check if they still do it..


Edited by Pille (log)

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I really never thought anything would inspire me to try haggis, but those towers of yours would be the thing. Haggis is probably one of those misunderstood foods, but it sounds revolting. However, all the rest of your tastes in food seem right up my alley, so I'd probably like haggis too.

That synagogue does have stunning architecture. Is it Finnish-influenced, or typically Estonian?

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I needed to get something from a bookstore at Viru Keskus, a shopping centre at the city centre, and decided to have lunch there as well. Rahva Raamat (People's Book) has actually two cafes now - Bestseller on the 3rd floor, and Boulangerie on the 4th floor - both are a brainchild of Imre Kose, a young - and probably our only - 'celebrity chef', who also runs the upscale Vertigo restaurant and will open a another venture in a few months (see here). Both Bestseller & Boulangerie are good places for a quick coffee, as Viru Keskus is right in the middle of all transport routes, so it's a place I frequent quite often.

Here's the counter of Boulangerie:

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I had a coffee (30 EEK) and a salad - a Caesar salad topped with pesto chicken wrapped in ham (120 EEK). There's also a good selection of cakes and pastries, and they do a daily soup (today it was bouillabaisse) etc. Here's my salad:

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And then I rushed off for this week's last cooking class, which was on kitchen safety and various machinery used. A bit boring, to be honest :unsure:

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That flowering quince extract looks very interesting. Do I understand correctly that it is made from the fruit of ornamental (grown for the flowers) quince plants? How do you make it, do you have a recipe? And how long does it keep in the jar on the table; do you have to put it into the fridge?

Yes, you're right, Ondine! Chaenomeles are indeed grown for ornamental purposes, as they've got lovely flowers:

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There are two types of Chaenomeles in Estonia - C. speciosa and C. japonica, but I cannot tell which one my mum grows :huh: In any case, the fruit of both are edible. They're contain as much Vitamin C as lemons do, which explains why they're sometimes called 'Nordic lemon'. They're also high on citric and malic acid (and can be used instead of vinegar in canning some fruit and vegetables). Furthermore, as they've got very high pectin content, they're excellent for making jams and jellies (I made a huge batch apple and flowering quince jam last weekend). Here are some flowering quinces still attached to the bush (note that they've got no 'tail' like apples do):

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My mum's got two bushes, and they're both full of fruit this year. I got about 10 litres from her:

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And the last photo is of a cut fruit:

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Note the huge amount of seeds - there could be as many as 100 seeds per fruit! It's best to remove the seeds, as they're high on amygdalin and apparently it's not good for you :sad: For the extract you saw above, you cut the ripe fruit into small slices (no need to peel - the peel has most of the vitamin C), remove the seeds and mix the slices with an equal weight amount of sugar. Cover, and keep in a cool storage for a few weeks, until the sugar has dissolved. Shake every now and then.

The finished extract should be kept in the fridge and used as one uses sweetened lemon slices - in teas, in baking. (Ours is on the table because it's the last bit from a larger glass of extract, and it was more convenient to de-cant it into a small bowl rather than try to scoop it from a glass every morning). Instead of sugar, you can also use honey for making this extract..

I really never thought anything would inspire me to try haggis, but those towers of yours would be the thing.  Haggis is probably one of those misunderstood foods, but it sounds revolting.  However, all the rest of your tastes in food seem right up my alley, so I'd probably like haggis too.

That synagogue does have stunning architecture.  Is it Finnish-influenced, or typically Estonian?

Abra, I hope you'll think that our food tastes are right up the same alley after you'll see my dinner pictures :laugh: I cannot say I've seen anything like this synagogue before either here or in Finland. But considering both the architects are young Estonians, it might just be a modern Estonian architecture :wink:

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As someone noted, the US isnt as friendly to foragers who want to sell their goods. Check out this old topic: LA / wild mushrooms :sad: . The market mushroom ladies you've been showing us are just too cool. However, we do have a 'driveby' tamale lady in our neighborhood. :wub:


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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And finally, tonight's dinner post. Suzilightning requested that I blog about exotic meats :laugh: Well, we only do pork, beef, veal, rabbit/hare, wild boar, venison, elk and brown bear here in Estonia, and none of them qualifies as exotic :wink: (though I must confess I've never had bear meat myself. If you're ever in Olde Hansa, the medieval restaurant, ask for it..) So I thought hard, and decided to go with offal instead :biggrin:

For dinner tonight we had maksakaste or Estonian liver gravy with potatoes and salted cucumber- the latter being a traditional garnish for this dish, at least according to Kristjan (I had thought of fresh cucumber and dill salad, but apparently it would have been all wrong). Here's the dish:

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The prep is easy - slice beef liver thinly, dust with flour/black pepper, quickly fry in oil with a finely chopped onion; then add cold water, stir and simmer gently for about 5-7 minutes. Add sour cream, heat through and season. Here's the full story in small fuzzy pictures - just in case offal puts some of you off :cool:

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For dessert we had Kristjan's special pudding - the squeaky Finnish bread cheese (leipäjuusto in Finnish, leibjuust in Estonian) softened in a mixture of cream, sugar and rum, and served with a dollop of cloudberry jam (Eden, take note!!!):

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The only acceptable accompaniment for that dessert is a honey-coloured cloudberry liqueur - murakaliköör - from Finnish Lapponia. As you can see, we're eating this dessert quite often: :laugh::laugh::laugh:

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Terviseks!!! - that's cheers in Estonian, or 'for your health'. I've met quite a few foreigners who know this as their only word in Estonian. I wonder why? :laugh:

Time for bed, I'm afraid. Tomorrow I'll have lunch in a very nice place near university, and after work we're going to see a play at Linnateater (Marie Jones' Stones In Your Pocket. I've seen it in Edinburgh before, so I'm quite excited to see how they compare).


Edited by Pille (log)

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Wow, these pictures and commentary are so interesting that you actually made haggis and liver look GOOD. I'm still not eating any, but the seed has been planted!


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“A favorite dish in Kansas is creamed corn on a stick.”

-Jeff Harms, actor, comedian.

>Enjoying every bite, because I don't know any better...

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And finally, tonight's dinner post. Suzilightning requested that I blog about exotic meats  :laugh:  Well, we only do pork, beef, veal, rabbit/hare, wild boar, venison, elk and brown bear here in Estonia, and none of them qualifies as exotic  :wink:  (though I must confess I've never had bear meat myself. If you're ever in Olde Hansa, the medieval restaurant, ask for it..) So I thought hard, and decided to go with offal instead  :biggrin:

I'd say bear qualifies as fairly exotic here in the U.S., or at least unusual, although there are certainly a few people around who hunt it and eat it.

Heck, even venison and rabbit qualify as exotic to a lot of people. I have known people who were seriously freaked out by the idea of eating rabbit. Fortunately for me, my dad did a lot of hunting when I was kid. He never brought home a bear, though!

So, can you buy bear meat in the market in Estonia? How about horse?

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It seems like Estonians do a lot of foraging, for mushrooms, berries, etc. When you go foraging, is it typically on public lands? Private lands? Do you have to pay a fee or get a license?

The sale of foraged foods is pretty strictly regulated here. In some places or for some things you have to get a license or a pass, for example to forage for mushrooms in the state forests of Oregon. I think there you have to buy a day pass.

In other places, there is a strict season, and if you are caught foraging out-of-season, you can get fined. For example, in areas of the southern Appalachians there is a limited season for ginseng, aka "sang", to reduce over-foraging.

Did you ever do anything with your green tomatoes? Here is how I make them:

Heat a cast-iron skillet.

Slice tomatoes to about 1/4" thickness.

Dredge the slices in seasoned (salt and pepper, maybe a little cayenne) cornmeal, or in a mix of cornmeal and flour.

Add bacon fat to the hot skillet.

When the fat is hot, put in a few slices- don't overcrowd.

Let the tomatoes cook for a bit, don't stir them around. Flip them over when the bottoms are nice and golden, then cook until the other side is golden, too.

Be careful not to burn them! Cornmeal burns pretty easily.

Drain the fried tomato slices to a plate lined with paper towels, then serve while hot with some spicy mayo or whatever dipping sauce you like. Remoulade is traditional.

You can also fry them in butter.

These are really good when hot. I like them for breakfast with fried eggs.

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The fifth day of my eGullet foodblog - and starting with breakfast again. I made something that could be called 'my savoury French toast'. It's something my mum used to make quite a lot when we (me and my sister Merle, that is) were kids. I know French toast is usually sweet, made with sugar and cinnamon, but I like the savoury version a lot, too. You whisk some eggs with some milk, season with salt, pepper and herbs (I used dill), soak (stale) white bread or rye bread slices in the mixture for a few minutes, and then fry the bread slices on a medium hot frying pan, pouring the extra egg mixture over:

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After few minutes, turn the bread slices around and cook from the other side. Serve with slices of cooked ham and cheese:

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And today's fruit (in addition to the tomatoes from our windowsill container) was a tiny watermelon ("Sugar Baby") that we had grown in a container on our windowsill just for fun. Surprisingly sweet and flavoursome, even if it was only the size of a tennis ball :laugh:

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We drank coffee, and then drove to work. It's drizzling outside. Reminds me of Edinburgh :biggrin:

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Wow, these pictures and commentary are so interesting that you actually made haggis and liver look GOOD. I'm still not eating any, but the seed has been planted!

Well, both are worth checking out, Kent! Re: liver - it might be a good idea to start with chicken liver - it's got a milder flavour, but the texture and taste are still 'livery' enough for you to decide if it's something you're keen to explore further..

I'd say bear qualifies as fairly exotic here in the U.S., or at least unusual, although there are certainly a few people around who hunt it and eat it.

Heck, even venison and rabbit qualify as exotic to a lot of people. I have known people who were seriously freaked out by the idea of eating rabbit. Fortunately for me, my dad did a lot of hunting when I was kid. He never brought home a bear, though!

So, can you buy bear meat in the market in Estonia? How about horse?

Scottie, I don't think you can buy bear meat here, but occasionally hunters catch a bear, and the meat then ends up in restaurants (bear hunting season is from August till October; about 20 bears are shot each year to keep the population under control). Olde Hansa in Tallinn has it on its main menu, as does Seegi Maja in Pärnu - both are serving medieval food. It has appeared occasionally in the menu of the fancy Russian restaurant, Nevskji, in Tallinn. But it's not a meat you'd use in your everyday cooking - it's way too expensive and hard to find for that! I've seen crocodile meat for sale here in Estonia - imported, obviously :laugh:

We do not eat horse meat.

It seems like Estonians do a lot of foraging, for mushrooms, berries, etc. When you go foraging, is it typically on public lands? Private lands? Do you have to pay a fee or get a license?

The sale of foraged foods is pretty strictly regulated here. In some places or for some things you have to get a license or a pass, for example to forage for mushrooms in the state forests of Oregon. I think there you have to buy a day pass.

In other places, there is a strict season, and if you are caught foraging out-of-season, you can get fined. For example, in areas of the southern Appalachians there is a limited season for ginseng, aka "sang", to reduce over-foraging.

Thank you for the fried green tomatoes recipe, Scottie - I haven't had a chance to try them yet!

For hunting and fishing you need to buy a license, depending on the equipment you use, the amount you plan to fish/hunt, etc. There's an exception, however - if you're rod-fishing, then that's fine - no fees need to be paid.

According to Estonian legislation, it's ok to forage for wild mushrooms and forest berries everywhere, including private lands and forests (gardens & courtyards are of course off limits). There are some exceptions, however, but I don't know all the fine print at the moment.


Edited by Pille (log)

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The flowering quince are really interesting. In Australia I grew up with them, but they never set fruit. I had no idea that you could eat the fruit until my trip to Vilnius. After that I picked all the fruit that ripened at The University of Edinburgh.

To my mind the freshly picked fruit smell of violets. The preserved fruit not so much.

A really wonderful blog.

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Ok, time for some supermarket photos. There are three shops we frequent regularly. If there's anything specific we need, then we head to Stockmann in the city centre:

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It's a branch of a large Finnish department store, and they've got a very well-stocked food hall. It's quite pricey compared to most other shops, but you are more or less guaranteed to get what you want, get it quickly (i.e. the cashier queues tend to be shorter than elsewhere), and be sure of high quality. Their meat and fish counter is known to be best in the country, stocking a wide variety of various meats and cuts and fish.

For regular everyday shopping we stop at Pirita Selver, which is en route to Viimsi where we live. It's a good supermarket chain (equivalent to Sainsbury in the UK, perhaps), and there are plenty of shops around the country. If it's just the basics we want like milk/butter/bread/flour, we shop at Viimsi Market, which is a local food store where we live. I did a lot of shopping there during summer, as it was within easy cycling distance.

Yesterday we did our grocery shopping at Stockmann, as I needed to get beef liver, and couldn't be sure I'd find it in other places.

Fish counter:

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And a bit closer view of the fish counter (sorry, a bit fuzzy again). In the front, from left to right: pike (Esox lucius, 75 EEK), pike-perch (Stizostedion lucioperca, 159 EEK), locally farmed sturgeon (259 EEK), baby trout (189 EEK). In the back, from left to right: perch (Perca fluviatilis, 141 EEK), eels (Anguilla anguilla, 299 EEK).

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And more fish. Note the almost empty container of gutted Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras) - the national fish of Estonia (yep, it won the title in a tight competition with pike (Esox lucius L.) at the national internet poll in February this year). It's a popular and cheap fish. There's tuna on the back, and the expensive white fillet on the left is perch (Perca fluviatilis) and cheaper one above it is bream (Abramis brama), both caught locally.

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Fresh salads and herbs (not a bad choice, and all local. However, they're much cheaper on the market. The iceberg lettuces you see on the shelf are from Uus-Kongo talu - the same people that sold fresh asparagus at the market in early spring and now sell really sauerkraut):

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If you cannot make it to the forest yourself, you can always get your mushrooms from the supermarket. Cultivated mushrooms (šampinjonid) from Lithuania on the top (the fresh yellow chantarelles are to the right, just outside the photo), and various salted and pickled wild mushrooms at the bottom (in this case, pickled Estonian chantarelles):

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General overview of the 'cool room', containing dairy shelves, frozen products, ice creams:

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Pontormo asked if Estonians are open to new foods. Well, we've definitely taken the Russian dumplings, pelmeny exceptionally well - look at the range! :laugh:

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A dairy counter. Roughly, the top shelf is full of various yogurts, the second shelf and the first half of the third shelf are full of various curd cheese products (plain and seasoned curd cheese, curd cheese creams etc); the further section of the third shelf is full of various cottage cheese and cream cheese products; milk, buttermilk, kefir, fernented milk and single, double and sour creams are on the floor:

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Apologies for a fuzzy photo (I was taking quick & sneaky shots), but here's a cold ready food counter that I wanted to share:

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You can see savoury sandwich cakes on the left (also a popular party food), and various salads on the right (note the number of beetroot salads). And more cold salads (prices per kilogram):

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And finally, something sweet, the cake counter:

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The prices are for each cake. Stockmann is celebrating a New York month (they do such themed months every now and then), so there are stalls selling Ritz crackers and peanut butter and Ocean Spray cranberry juice drink etc. You can see a New York cheesecake on the counter marking the occasion. Quite expensive, compared to other cakes! Other cakes on the top row are 'Exotic fruit & chocolate tart' (middle) and Drama Theatre cake (right).

On the next shelf there's Cream Cheese & Raspberry Torte, White Chocolate Cheesecake, and some kind of berry pie. On the third shelf from above there's Raspberry & Curd Cheese Torte (left), Bilberry & Yogurt Torte (middle), Cottage Cheese & Raspberry Torte (right). Bottom shelf: Cream Cheese & Cherry Torte (left), Whipped Cream & Berry Torte (middle), Cherry & Cream Cheese Cake (right). On the far right/bottom of the picture, you can see various marzipan figurines - very popular here, too.

You'd always have a fancy cake at birthdays and various family celebrations, so cake culture is well developed. Various bakeries and cafes would offer cakes. Stockmann would sell cakes from different bakeries, as well as cakes from their own bakery.


Edited by Pille (log)

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Lunch on Friday. About a year ago a cute little place opened on a street corner about 7 minutes' walk from the University, called Creperie Kristjan & Kristiine. It specialises on crepes & galettes & salads, and has become rather popular. You can still get a table for lunch, but booking is recommended for evenings, or you might end up having to look for another place. Luckily, I've had a fair number of lunches/dinners in this place during this year, and like their food a lot.

It's not as cheap as some of the nearby cafeterias - main course salads cost about 125-150 EEK, so it's not the place for your daily lunch (at least when you work in academia!). But today is Friday (that's a reason to celebrate already :raz: ), and I'm supposed to blog about my favourite places, so my friend Edith and I headed to Creperie for lunch. (It's also where I went for my birthday meal with my girlfriends back in April, so you know I like the place).

It's on a corner of Vase & Faehlmanni streets in Kadriorg, in this very humble-looking old building:

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The place is small, with one larger table in the front and six smaller tables (seating 2-4) in the back, with a dark and cosy atmosphere. I'm very fond of those large photos of old Estonian peasant life that are scattered on the walls:

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Choosing the food:

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I opted for their Le poulet salad (125 EEK): "Crunchy iceberg lettuce, cooling cucumber, cherry tomatoes, roasted mushroom in creamy sauce, juicy chicken fillet, piquant herb sauce" - a huge portion with plenty of chicken:

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My friend Edith wasn't feeling so hungry, so she ordered "Wonderful bruschetta with juicy tomato salsa, garlic and fresh basil":

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And we shared "Tender Crème Brule with colourful berries" (70 EEK) for dessert:

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Note that they use flower petals as garnish for both sweet and savoury dishes - I've never seen that elsewhere (but the petals definitely looked nice on my salad).

And finally, a view of the bar area with a large table in the front:

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Should you be in Tallinn and on your way to or from Kadriorg & the new KUMU art museum, then this place is recommended for lunch/dinner. Although there's another very special cafe in Kadriorg, that I'll be going tomorrow :wink:

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If you like savoury French toast, you should try savoury bread pudding. I don't normally care for bread pudding, but I love the savoury kind!

Are the flowers that garnish the food at the creperie edible?

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I'm so jazzed about this blog from Estonia and the Baltic Sea -- romantic, beautiful and so much to learn. (Don't forget the fridge and pet shots!)

The fridge. I warn you, it's pretty cramped, which is inevitable if you have a food-loving couple cooking a lot and not having an American-style huge fridge in their kitchen!!!

Here's the main part:

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Starting from the top shelf, left to right: a jar of pickled mixed wild

mushrooms (a housewarming gift from my cousin Maiu), on top is a jar of cherry & Amaretto jam (made by me). Then three Lock&Lock containers, containing sea buckthorn berries (bottom), blue cheese (middle, incl. Irish Cashel Blue), and another box of cheese. Then a ceramic bowl with fried gypsy mushrooms. A jar of adjika (remember the market lady?), another glass of jam, and the tall jar at the back is full of salted wild mushrooms.

Second shelf from above, left to right: a tub of cream cheese, a packet of whipping cream; a packet of puff pastry, and some cheese that Kristjan's mum brought back from her trip to Slovenia last week; the small glass with a white lid on the back contains my rye bread starter :raz: , and it's MacSween of Edinburgh haggis in the front; a jar of Kalamata olives, a jar of Fonduta (we went skiing in Italian Alps in February, and brought this back with us. Need to eat it soon!!!). The stripy bowl is full of salted gypsy mushrooms.

Third shelf from above, left to right: seven small jars of wild strawberry jam, and two jars of plum and vanilla jam (all made by me). A packet of eggs we get from these happy chicken. A tub of miso paste (on the back), a small bowl of sour cream.

Small plastic drawer contains garlic and butter.

Lower shelf, left to right: a bottle of soya sauce, a jar of pickled crab apples (by Kristjan's mum), a jar of wild mushrooms (picked by us and pickled by me), two tubs of sauerkraut (one white, one red), a jar of gooseberry chutney and some jam, and a large glass of salted cucumbers (from my mum).

The bottom drawer is stuffed with vegetables: beets, carrots, onions, cabbage, bell peppers, fresh horseradish/limes/lemons (hiding) and fresh herbs (you can see rue, sage and parsley on the photo). Green tomatoes aren't usually in that drawer, but the rest is pretty typical:

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And the fridge door:

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The very top shelf is empty (at least I've never used it :biggrin: ).

The second shelf contains some mouthwash ( :wacko: ), a small glass of peppermint oil, tahini, Thai fish sauce, horseradish, capers, wasabi, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard, tomato puree and Guinness-flavoured Marmite.

The third shelf contains (from left to right) hempseed oil, chocolate sauce, veal bouillon fond, Tamari soy sauce, agave syrup, soy sauce, and lemon & lime 'juice' for those moments when there's no fresh fruit in the house.

And the bottle shelf contains (left to right): half a bottle of Põltsamaa Kuldne apple wine, small jars of carrot jam bought from a market fair recently, a carton of kefir, /a carton of milk/, a large bottle of 100% unsweetened pure Azerbajiani pomegranate juice.

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Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras) - the national fish of Estonia (yep, it won the title in a tight competition with pike (Esox lucius L.)

You have a national fish - how cool is that! Was there a plebiscite or something? I would have gone with the pike (I caught a 40-pounder once as a kid)

Nice fridge shots. I think most people (North Americans at least) have an over-sized fridge, yours looks to be around 15 cubic feet which I think is ample for up to four people.

Loving your blog - I must make it to Estonia. Perhaps instead of a second wedding I could arrange a second stag party.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Pille: Thank you so much for answering my questions, and even keeping them in the back of your mind as you shopped. :smile:

One of the reasons I asked about openness to other culinary traditions is that I thought the question might be something a sociologist considers, especially in light of the focus of your research. As an American, I am constantly reminded of how important emigration has been in shaping the meals I eat.* Travel, of course, also broadens our tastes. It's always interesting to see other factors at play, especially in an Eastern European country.

Along those lines, one country's perceptions of another's food can be interesting, too. Or perhaps I misinterpret the English text on cases in the food department of the upscale store you just visited? Does Stockmann compare the high prices and quality of its fish to New York?

* * *

I also hope your rye starter is something we can replicate at home.

* * *

Yes, this really is a great food blog! Have a wonderful weekend!

*Choosing the correct preposition isn't always easy for native speakers, either. I revised this sentence to avoid a difficult decision.


Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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