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Estonian Cuisine

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  • Ruta
  • September 16, 2016 11:35:14 PM

A Little About Us

Estonian Food and Cuisine. This is blog created to promote and introduce Estonain Cookery. Maybe these recepies are not uniq, but these are typical. Food we are eat at home. Do You Know where Estonia is? This is the one of the smallest country in European Union. In Estonia lives only 1 235 000 people, but we have our own language, university and culture. Thanks for challenging history our food is influenced by German, Russian, Swedish… Estonian Food is real fusion. And it seems to me, that we have taken the best of everything. We eat a lot of milk products. We love sour cream (hapukoor), quark (kohupiim) and our children like for breakfast chocolate glazed curd snacks (kohuke).

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Marinated chicken fillet rolled in fresh weeds. Roheline kana rabarberimarinaadis.

Great spring or summer recipe.

greenchicken (3)Great spring or summer recipe.

The Tart rhubarb marinate softens poultry.

Beautiful green cover from weed gives a final outstanding look and great taste and flavour.

Marinated chicken fillet rolled in fresh weeds. Roheline kana rabarberimarinaadis.

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A beautiful green chicken fillet with fresh weeds cover for a dinner

greenchicken (12)


  • 2-3 handfuls of fresh weed: nettle, goatweed…
  • garlic
  • chopped fresh basil, marjoram and parsley
  • grated hard cheese
  • hazelnuts
  • little bit oil
  • salt, pepper
  • Marinade:

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 rhubarb stalks, peeled, sliced
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • (1 tablespoon horseradish)
  • little bit oil
  • salt, pepper
  • 4 slices of chicken fillet
  • little bit oil


  1. Combine rhubarb slices, honey, oil, garlic and horseradish in a shallow dish.  season. Taste. Marinade must be a little bit too strong. Add chicken slices and turn to coat. Cover and marinate in the fridge at least for a 1 hour, turning occasionally.
  2. Gather your herbs and garlic and chop them. Put into the blender weeds, salt,  nuts and cheese and little bit good oil
  3. make fine. Season with smashed garlic, and some pepper, if needed
  4. Mix together.
  5. Remove chicken from dish, discarding marinade, and pat dry with a paper towel.
  6. Heat oil in a large roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add the meat and sear on all sides.
  7. Spread chopped herbs on a large sheet of baking paper. Roll pork in herbs, pressing to coat.
  8. Transfer to the oven and roast at 200 C for 10- 15 minutes.  
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Estonian Kringel with marzipan and cowberry filling. Kringel.

Kringel is something very important in Estonia. Does not matter. Birthday or christening. Sweet, warm, soft bread was in place.

kringel (20)Kringel is something very important in Estonia.
Does not matter. Birthday or christening.  Sweet, warm, soft bread is in the place. The smell in the house while baking is divine. Hardly could someone resist this rich and buttery, mouth-watering Kringel.
I have written that Estonians like black rye bread. So Kringel, delicious, fluffy and sweet bread, full of butter and sugar was an important dish during events. Later came the custom, that the girls got for christening a cake and boys got Kringel.

Kringel is so important that we do not use this name only for delicious pastry. If very cold and freezing, we are saying: ” Külmast Kringel/ Cold made from me Kringel” And playful, disobedient, a restless child is “Kringel”

When we celebrate our birthdays in a workplace, Kringel is a very comfortable and easy solution. And there are not only sweet options. Estonians like Kringel with savoury filling: cheese, ham, mushrooms…, as well.

Birthday Kringel in workplace
Workplace Birthday party Kringel

Just name it.

In friendly Kringel family are three delicious members. Kringel is big. And look like a pretzel.FB_IMG_1549396957256 The smaller Kringel look like a round wreath. And the smallest Kringel is just a loaf. We call this ” Stritsel”.

Estonian Kringel

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A soft, fluffy, warm and sweet Estonian Kringel

kringel (18)


  • 700-800 g flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 50 g yeast
  • 200 g butter
  • 0,5 glass of milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cardamom
  • Filling

  • 200 g butter
  • marzipan and ca 300 g cowberry apple sauce. Look for a recipe.


  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the cold butter and salt, cardamom and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Mix together egg yolks and sugar.
  3. Dissolve yeast with lukewarm milk. And mix everything together.
  4. Mix and knead the dough until it separates from the bowl. Add some more flour if necessary.
  5. Sprinkle a little flour on the surface, cover the bowl with a towel and place in a warm place to rise until the volume has doubled. This takes 1-2 hours.
  6. Form the dough into 2 or 3 pieces.  Form “hoses”. Roll each dough hose to a rectangle sheet. Use flour when rolling, Spread with butter and Spoon the filling over top. I used marzipan and cowberry apple sauce. But you can add just raisins and sugar, cinnamon. Roll up.  Now you have 2 or 3 filled hoses.
  7. Lift them very carefully on the (greased or baking paper covered) oven plate. And now starts the most interesting part.
  8. You must form Kringel.  Look at my photos or [gallery ids="11708,11709,11710"]

    using 3 hoses braid as girls plait.

  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 200 C until golden brown. For the last 10 minutes, you can reduce the oven temperature to 180 C.

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Nettle Soup. Nõgesesupp

Sour and sweet weed soup with onions and balanced with rye bread.

weedsoup (17)Sour and sweet weed soup with onions and balanced with rye bread.

The recipe is basing on classical onion soup recipe.

Nettles are very important and has been used in Estonian folk medicine centuries.
Folk wisdom teaches that nettle contains vitamins C and K, B vitamins, as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium and iron, to name a few
The nettle takes away fatigue, abdominal pain and water swelling, reduces and stops bleeding, reduces the appearance of diabetes mellitus

And did you know: nettles contain vitamin C 2.5 times more than the lemon (660 mg%).

But of course, you can use any weed to replace nettles. Goutweed taste like carrots and celery. Nettles are a little bit sweet. And wood sorrel is sour.
Nettles keep 1-2 minutes in the boiling water. Goutweed and wood sorrel are edible fresh.

NB! Use only young, fresh, new, small weed, growing in the pure environment.weedsoup (1)

Nettle Soup. Nõgesesupp

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A fresh, light vegetable dish

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  • a couple of handfuls of nettles (200 g)
  • 2 onion
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 tablespoon (brown) sugar
  • salt, pepper
  • 3 tablespoon flour
  • 1,3-litre broth
  • 250 ml white wine
  • for serving

  • chopped dill or parsley
  • 3 boiled eggs
  • 4 slices of rye bread


  1. Pour fresh nettles over with boiling water, pour into a sieve and cool down using cold water
  2. drain
  3. nettle (1)
  4. put butter in the pan, Add the onions and fry with the lid on for 10 mins until soft. Sprinkle in the sugar and cook for 20 mins more, stirring frequently, until caramelised.
  5. add flour and brown.
  6. add nettles. Increase the heat and keep stirring as you gradually add the wine, followed by the hot stock. Cover and simmer for 15-20 mins.
  7. season.
  8. serve with boiled eggs and grilled rye bread

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Viljandi #visitestonia #eesti100 #estonia100 #viljandi

Viljandi is a town and municipality in southern Estonia. Viljandi #visitestonia #eesti100 #estonia100 #viljandi

viljandi (65)Viljandi is a town and municipality in southern Estonia.  This adorable little town hidden deep within southern Estonian forests boasts impressive castle ruins, former home of the ruling Livonian Order. The scenic views of the nearby lake and wooden architecture make Viljandi a place of interest to both nature and culture lovers.

I am from Viljandi. Viljandi is my childhood hometown.

Mulgi- Mulgimaa is an area in South-Estonia, with own culture, traditions, food and dialect.

This area and culture is a perfect example of the globalisation already in 19th of century. During the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865 was the lack of cotton and price was very high.


So, as demand for alternatives. South Estonia, Mulgimaa has perfect conditions for the cultivation of linen. Bondage was in Estonia abolished 1816, but still, farmers were very poor and the land was owned by landlords. But because of America and demand for linen, farmers gets enough money to buy from landlords land and farms. And this area becomes rich and successful. This made others little bit jealous and they started to call people and this area Mulgimaa 🙂

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Symbol of Viljandi the boatman of Viljandi who fell hopelessly in love with a blue-eyed girl.

Prehistoric hillfort (9th-13th) century AD( was located on Kaevumägi. In 1223 it was conquered by the German crusaders. Stone fortifications were started from AD 1224. The Convent building was erected at the turn of the 13th-14th century.




 The castle was badly damaged in the Livonian War 1558- 1583 and the following Polish- Swedish wars 1600- 1623.


These photos are made last year on the 1st of May. The grass was already green, but trees just were promising. The Grand Race around Lake Viljandi is an annual cross country running a competition that takes place around the Lake Viljandi in Viljandi, Estonia. It is also the oldest traditional running event in Estonia and has been organized already since 1928. It is held annually on the 1st of May.
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What to do and see in Viljandi

  • ruins of the Viljandi Order Castle
  • two lakes
  • a lot of modern art
  • Viljandi is sometimes referred to as the cultural capital of Estonia and is well known for the Viljandi Folk Music Festival that takes place in July.
  • read more about Viljandi


In Estonia

  • Practically all Estonians speak or at least understand English. Generation +40 speak and understand Russian. Because of the similarity of languages Estonians are able to understand Finnish. Children learn German, French and some Swedish or Chinese at school
  • almost everywhere you can pay with a card. ATM -s are in bigger places and petrol stations.
  • and yes, this is not a fairy tale. almost everywhere in Estonia is Wifi



In South Estonia and Mulgimaa:

  • check for my blog tag ” Mulgi”. Mulgi cuisine is famous and you should eat Mulgi kapsas, Mulgi puder, Mulgi korbid.
  • swim in a forest lake after smoke sauna
  • Berries and mushrooms can be picked from July until the first snow falls. And yes, this is very ok, eat wild berries picked from the forest.


viljandi (46)
“Virve” by Eduard Wiiralt. Old painting in a new presentation 🙂


Best Souvenirs to buy from Estonia

  • Kalev chocolate, liqueur Old Tallinn/Vana Tallinn, Balbiino ice cream and Tallinna spiced sprats (Tallinna vürtsikilu)
  • Handicrafts made of linen, wool, wood, juniper or limestone. Haapsalu scarf.
    (NB! In Tallinn Viru Street you can find a lot of amber and Matrjoschka. Amber is from Lithuania and Matrjoschka from Russia. Both countries are beautiful and with a rich culture and interesting history. I suggest to visit Lithuania and Russia :))
  • for children, everything about and with Lotte.



Estonian Food you Must to Try

  • visit Estonian supermarkets and buy some Estonian dairy products: kohuke, kodujuust (cottage cheese), hapukoor (sour cream). Buy Kama and rye bread, handicraft beer
  • In restaurants ask for quark cake, soups with dumplings, meatballs or cabbage. Semolina cream, quark cream or bread cream. Local lake fish. Drink kefir, kvass or local beer. Värska mineral water. And Estonian tap water and forest spring water are clean, pure and drinkable.




  • check and google timetable for Viljandi Folk, Pärnu Weekend, Jazzkaar, PÖFF or Laulupidu.
  • buy movie about Estonian history: ” Nimed marmortahvlil”, ” Tants aurukatla ümber”, ” “Tuulepealne maa”. Or ” Malev”, this is a comedy and pseudo-history, but very good summary about Estonians.
  • Music: Pärt ja Tüür. Tõnis Mägi, The Sun; Metsatöll and TradAttack. And read my blog posts. I gave a lot of links for good Estonian music.

Soft and Crispy Quark and Rhubarb Cake. Kohupiima- rabarberikook

This is soft and Crispy Quark Cake is a creat combination of tart apples/rhubarb and sweet and light quark.

rabarb kohupkook (3)This is soft and Crispy Quark Cake is a great combination of tart apples/rhubarb and sweet and light quark.

The crunchy base and topping give the pie structure and character.









Quark and Rhubarb Cake

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A light, soft and crispy quark and rhubarb cake

rabarb kohupkook1 (4)


  • 100 g butter
  • 100 ml of oil
  • 250 ml of cold water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 60 g sugar
  • 50 g yeast
  • 550 g flour
  • Filling

  • 1 kg quark. Look how to make quark
  • 180 g sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2-3 dl peeled and sliced rhubarb
  • Crumb

  • 80 g flour
  • 50 g sugar
  • 70 g cold butter
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  1. For the preparation of the dough, all materials must be at room temperature.
  2. In a medium bowl, toss together lukewarm water and yeast. Dissolve yeast.
  3. Mix together flour and salt, sugar, add lukewarm oil and butter and mix everything
  4. leave in a warm place to rise at least for  0,5 hour
  5. Prepare to fill: mix together beaten eggs and quark. Slice rhubarb into slices
  6. prepare crumb: Chop and mix cold butter with flour and sugar.
  7. share dough into 2/3 and 1/3 pieces.  Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread bigger part on it.
  8. Pour filling on to the dough and sprinkle with rhubarb. Cover cake with remaining dough, and sprinkle over with crumb.
  9. Bake at 180 C  for 40-50 minutes.

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Beetroot Fritters. Peedikotletid

Beetroot is delicious. And healthy. While beetroot is sweet I prefer to serve it with pickled cucumber or cheese to complement sweetness with sour and salty. Caraway seeds is something Estonian. This is obvious that beetroot and caraway seeds goes...

Beetroot is delicious. And healthy. While beetroot is sweet I prefer to serve it with pickled cucumber or cheese to complement sweetness with sour and salty.
Caraway seeds is something Estonian. This is obvious that beetroot and caraway seeds goes together.
peedikotlett1 (7)
Add semolina to achieve best conistent and thickness. In case beetroot is very juicy you need this maybe more.

Beetroot Fritters

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A light vegetable fritters for a dinner.

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  • 400 g boiled, peeled and grated beetroot
  • 0,5 dl – 1 dl semolina
  • 2 eggs
  • 25 g soft butter
  • salt, pepper, caraway seeds, fresh chopped parsley
  • breadcrumbs


  1. In a medium bowl, toss together beet, eggs, soft butter and semolina. Season. Let set
  2. Pinch off a piece of the mixture and gently roll between your wet hands to form balls.
  3. Dip the balls in the breadcrumbs, and shape fritters.
  4. Fry the fritters for about 2-3 minutes on both sides until a deep golden brown.
  5. or place on the greased or baking paper lined oven plate and bake at 200 C for 15 minutes on one and then 15 minutes on other side.

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