WELCOME TO ESTONIA!
Estonia is a tiny country located on the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea and on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland. There are more than fifteen hundred islands and islets and over fourteen hundred lakes that makes up its landscape. The capital of Estonia is Tallinn and total population of 1.35 million people.
The highest point in the land is 318 m high and is known as Suur Munamägi, which translates to mean Big Egg Hil
For centuries, because of its strategic location, Estonia has been forsed to play host to a number of its more powerful neighbours: Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Russia. Each of these occupiers inevitably played a part in influencing Estonia`s culture, language, lifestyle, and especially its culinary art.
Traditionally, during its extremely long, dark and cold winters, Estonians tend to eat heavy, high energy meals such as stews, chunky soups, oven roasts and the ever popular sauerkraut dishes. During the lenghty, sunny days in summer Estonians lighten their diet by indulging in fresh produce such as wild mushrooms, potatoes, vegetables, wild berries such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries.
Estonians are gatherers at heart. Come July-August, the forests and marsh edges become filled with blueberries, used in both desserts and conserves.
Generally, Estonian meals are quite simple. The main ingredients in most recipes are salt and black pepper for seasoning, pork, a variety of wild mushrooms and potatoes. Not only are potatoes served as a side dish, but when baked in the oven with pork or when served mashed with cracked barley, they can also be the main course.
Christmas is the most important holiday and is always celebrated with a well-laden table. Weight watching or empty wallets do not matter at Christmas time, head cheese Estonian style (sült) - this dish, uniquely Estonian, resembles head cheese and was traditionally served at Christmas time, Christmas goose or pork roast, oven baked potatoes, sauerkraut and blood pudding are a must on every Christmas table.