Estonia

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Unusual Fact: In the Estonian capital of Tallinn, there is free public transport.

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I’ve had a secret love for the Baltics for a while now… There’s somethings about them. Something mysterious.

This is getting weird now, but you can imagine that I was super excited when I saw that Estonia was out next country!

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My best friend Emma-Kate’s sister Brie is a fair bit older then us, she’s in uni at the moment and was lucky to be able to do a semester exchange to England. While she was over there she did a lot of travelling and went to heaps of countries including Estonia! I asked here is she could give me any information on Estonia or some photos. Brie, you went way over what I though you would send me, thank you so so much!

Adorable Old Town

Morning Elly 🙂

So I only saw the captial of Estonia, which is Tallinn. We stayed in the old town, which was built in like the 15th Century and is absolutely adorable. Tallinn a really interesting mix of a picturesque old town, and the communist bunkers and huge concrete buildings that surround it. (Estonia was annexed by Russia during WW2)
 Glass Blowing
 The whole place is very traditional- we saw a glassblowers workshop and watched actual glass being made which was then sold, something that I didn’t see anywhere else in Europe. The food was traditional as well, and my favourite meal was in a medieval-style restaurant which served deer stew (surprisingly good haha), mushroom pasties and mulled wine. The woman serving was fully into a grumpy middle-aged medieval character, the whole place was dimly lit, and the food was excellent. Remember that Estonia has quite a troubled history and has never been very wealthy- their food is home style, with farm ingredients, nice and simple.
Pancake House
Another place I ate that you might find interesting was a pancake house. Savoury pancakes are an Estonian staple, and these were absolutely delicious. I’ve actually managed to find their website for you which i think includes a menu, so you can get some ideas 🙂
If you google “Kompressor Pancakes” you’ll get lots of image results too, to show you what they look like 🙂 Kinda more a crepe than a pancake.
 
It’s a marvellous place to visit if you ever get the chance too. Full of wonderful people and strange but exciting experiences (someone tried to sell me a Russian passport in a market for about $100!!) Good luck with your cooking!
Brie

Suuper cute

If you have been to any upcoming countries, countries that we’ve already done, have any family recipes or stories I would love to hear from you. I love hearing first hand stories rather than getting recipes from doubtable sources online.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a recipe for the Kompressor pancakes but I found some equally as interesting recipes.

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Up first is bread. This is Odrajahu-kohupiimakarask or Estonian Soda Bread. It is suuuper easy. You don’t have to wait for any yeast to ferment or dough to rise. Do you have last minute guests? Excellent! Make this bread. Single catch though. it has a strong smell. I think it was just because we used buckwheat flour when it asked for barley, but I did find the smell a little off putting.

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The recipe calls for barely flour or any other wheat free flour. This means any flour that is’t made from wheat that still had gluten. This is harder to find than it sounds. We had lots of wheat free flour, buckwheat, sorghum, quinoa, rice – the lot. But they all had in big letters across the top GLUTEN FREE as this is the current fad. The only one that didn’t have this was the buckwheat flour so we went with that. Although on the back of the packet it did say ‘may contain traces of gluten’ which lead me to think that it was gluten free.

Gluten is important as it is what gives the bread that nice, well, bread-y texture. I believe that our buckwheat flour was gluten free as it was more like cake that tasted like bread. Weirdest combination.

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As you can see, we served this bread with soup. Both of these recipes are from an actual Estonian who blogs aver at Nami-Nami. When I was researching for Estonia this recipe caught my eye. Köögivilja-piimasupp (Milk and vegetable soup). I have never seen anything like it before. It look so dainty and pretty, in all honesty I didn’t think I’d be able to make it. Not to mention the fact that it was boiled milk and vegetables. I had decided on a completely different menu, until I realised that it was all French recipes. That went out the window and in flew the milk and vegetable soup.

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This actually pleasantly surprised me. It was super light, I thought the milk was going to make it very creamy, it didn’t! Though I did substitute 1 cup of milk for water. The flavouring was all from there vegetables and it was very subtle.  Somehow I conquered warm milk and veggies but I don’t know if I could do cold… We didn’t serve the soup steaming hot just warm and I think it is better this way, you can fully appreciate the flavour of the veggies without getting your tongue burnt off!

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Do not leave week old milk soup in the bin for three day and leave your family guessing what made the kitchen smell so bad. When you finally figure it out, and take the bin bag out of the box your family will refuse to go back into the house for ten minutes. Then when they do come back in they will look like they are doing some weird tribal dance as they jump around the kitchen with their shirt over their face waving incense sticks around.

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Finally the dessert, this caused a little bit of grief, but don’t worry, I’ve figured out where the problem is so you can have a perfect pie. The crust worked out beautifully, it was the filling that was playing up.

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The recipe said to coat the rhubarb and strawberries in sugar and flour then to put into the pan and pour over the cream. I did that except our cream was really thick so it didn’t fall between the fruit well so I kept on pouring on more and more (almost double the recipe amount). Although the crust and pan could hold it, it didn’t cook all the way through. Next time I would coat the fruit in the flour in a bowl, pour over the cream, stir it through and then put it into the pan. That way it will cook al the way through. Ours was in the oven so long while I was waiting for it to set that the cream started splitting!

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I’m not going to show you a photo of it cut cup because, I kid you not, it looked like baby vomit, tasted like summer but looked like vomit!

I didn’t put too much sugar with my rhubarb because the strawberries were already nice and sweet. Speaking of rhubarb. I have a friend from Belgium, in French the other day we were looking up tongue twisters in English and Dutch and seeing if the other could say them. There is this awesome tongue twister about rhubarb. It’s not even a tongue twister, it’s one word! Rhababerbarbarabarbarbarenbartbarbierbierbarbärbel! You can read more about it here. I cannot get over how much I love that word, someone else had to know to.

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There’s a little bit of behind the scenes work that goes on with these posts. Such as when I cooked from Estonia, it was two days before exams so  I had taken over the front table where I wanted to photograph. So they just got pushed aside and the soup came in.

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Bread

Mum 7

Dad 7

Me 7

Soup

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Dad 8

Me 8

Rhubarb Pie

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Dad 8

Me 8

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Odrajahu-kohupiimakarask (Estonian Soda Bread) Recipe from Nami-Nami

Makes one 23×23 cm bread

200 g ricotta* or curd cheese
2oo ml milk
1 egg
200 ml (115 g) barley flour
100 ml (70 g) plain/all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp rapeseed or olive oil

(Add 2 Tbsp sour creme, if using ricotta cheese)

Combine ricotta/curd cheese, milk, egg, salt and sugar in a bowl. Combine barley and wheat flour with baking soda, then fold into the ricotta and egg mixture. Pour in the oil and mix until combined.
Butter a spring form with butter, or line with parchment paper (I use 23×23 cm skillet, lined with paper). Spoon the batter into the form and bake at 200 Celsius for about 25-30 minutes, until the bread is lovely golden brown.

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K̦̦givilja-piimasupp РEstonian milk and vegetable soup Recipe from Nami-Nami
Serves four to six
a handful of baby carrots
1 small head of cauliflower or white cabbage
a large handful of (sugarsnap) peas
a large handful of new potatoes
500 ml (2 cups) water
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
1 litre (4 cups) full-fat milk
fresh dill, finely chopped

Scrub the carrots and potatoes clean, then cut the potatoes into small chunks and the carrots into slices about 3-4 mm thick (if you’ve got pretty slim carrots, then you can also halve or quarter them lengthwise instead, see the photos). Divide the cauliflower into small florets, or shred the cabbage into small thick slices. Pod the peas, if using regular green peas.

Place carrots, potatoes and cauliflower/cabbage into a medium saucepan. Add water, season with salt and butter. Bring into a boil. Half-cover with the lid and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are almost cooked. Add the peas and cook for 5 more minutes.

Now pour in the milk. Bring slowly into a boil, stirring gently. Remove from the heat, add the dill and season to taste. Serve and enjoy.

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Strawberry Rhubarb and Cream Pie Recipe from Global Table Adventure

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

For the dough:

2 cups flour
1 stick salted butter (8 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 cup brown sugar
water – about 4-6 Tbsp

For the filling:

1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom

2 cups rhubarb cut in bite-size pieces (about 1/2-1 inches long, depending on thickness)
2 cups strawberries (quartered)

1 cup heavy cream
2 egg yolks

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Meanwhile, pulse together the flour, butter, baking powder, and sugar in a food processor.

Drizzle water into the mixture until it comes together and can be formed into a ball of dough.

Next, press the dough into a 10″ sprinform pan, being sure to go up the sides at least 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 inches (so the liquid doesn’t overflow).

Refrigerate until needed.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon. In a measuring cup whisk the cream together with the egg yolks.

Add chopped strawberries and rhubarb to a large bowl.

Toss with flour mixture.

Add the strawberries to the tart and pour the cream/egg yolk mixture over the top.

Bake 30-35 minutes, or until the berries are softened and the cream is set.

You can serve this cold or hot with vanilla ice cream

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2 thoughts on “Estonia

  1. I am an Estonian (originally from Tallinn!) living in Italy, and your pictures make me feel as if I am back home 🙂
    You have some wonderful recipes, and I admire your desire to try new foods 😀
    I think it is the first time I have actually *stumbled* upon an Estonian recipe online 🙂
    Happy cooking (or, as we would say in Estonia, õnnelik toiduvalmistamise!) 🙂
    – Saara

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