EATING IN ESTONIA
Over the centuries Estonian local cuisine was based on black bread (known as “leib”), salted herrings and roast pork. Nowdays these three foods keep on being the most eaten foods in Estonia. The typical Estonian appetizer is represented by sült, a jellied meat dish made from boiled pork.
In addition to salted herring, other popular Estonian foods are smoked eel, salmon and sausages. Soups (supp) with vegetables and meat or fish are particularly appetizing. Another typical local dish is the rossolye, a vinaigrette salad with herring and beetroot. Although the Tallinn gastronomic offer is rich and varied, in the rest of the Country meat accompanied with vegetables - especially potatoes – represents the main dish. This gastronomic tradition derives from the deep agricultural roots characterizing Estonia till a few decades ago. Foods were really nourishing in order to face the hard work in the fields.
Climate deeply influences the alimentary habits of the Estonian people.The temperatures below zero encourage people to eat sauerkrauts soups, roast meat and stews. During the summer, they are used to eat “less nourishing” foods.
In the last ten years Estonian gastronomic offer has been receptive to other cuisines and food cultures, particularly in Tallinn, where many European, Asiatic and African Restaurants have opened. Nowadays in Estonian supermarkets it is possible to find foods coming from all around the world.
DRINKING IN ESTONIA
Like in all other Northern European countries, Estonian people are used to drink large amounts of alcohol. Beer is certainly the most popular beverage. The local beer production is remarkable and qualitatively excellent. Two of the most popular beers in Estonia are Saku and Le Coq that are also known abroad and have won many prizes.
During the cold winter nights, Estonians are used to drink mulled wine together with traditional vodka. One of the most popular liquor - among the tourists, too – is Vana Tallinn that has a somewhat syroupy aftertaste.
Even though there is not a local wine production, Estonian people like wine very much and often drink it in one of the many wine bars, opened in the main cities during the last few years.