They say that Estonians are the most stationary nation in Europe – thousands of years ago, our forefathers gathered on this land and decided to stay. We carry with us traditions and wisdom that has been passed down from generation to generation. The roots of our story go way back. Now it is time to look back, appreciate our old recipes and ancient customs. We want to prepare traditional dishes in a way that all Estonians know and love while also adding a contemporary touch.
You can't separate an Estonian from the sea or the forest. From summer to late autumn, you can find us in the forest, foraging for berries and mushrooms. We have plenty of them! Our land is also perfect for farming. Sometimes we can go crazy over the nasty weather, but the climate here is what really gives our vegetables their flavour and character. The Estonian character was built under foreign rule. We suffered but we also learned from the experiences. Traditions of foreign cuisines have also left their mark on Estonian plates. Sometimes we have even fully adopted new traditions without realising that they may not be entirely our own.
Estonia is such a rich place. There is no way you can call the land of four seasons poor! The seasons bring diversity in nature and food and force us to be inventive when it comes to preparing and preserving food. These recipes use old Estonian methods of food preservation: salting, smoking, marinating and fermentation.