From forest to plate - seasonal cuisine

Source: Karl Ander Adami

From forest to plate - seasonal cuisine

Estonian dishes revolve around nature's bounty.

Autumn's ingredients

The Estonian kitchen uses a collection of pure, regional ingredients. Staples like rye bread, cheese and herring compliment seasonal products. In autumn, forest mushrooms are foraged, wild game like elk appears on tables, apples are picked from orchards and root vegetables are unearthed. What cannot be served fresh is preserved and enjoyed throughout the winter thanks to methods like salting or marinating. These age-old methods remain popular even today.

Autumn's preserves, winter's treats

Preservation techniques were once a necessity before the popularisation of refrigeration in the 1930's, but are now practiced out of tradition. 

Photo by: Kaarel Mikkin

Restaurants serving up Estonian fare

In the heart of Tallinn's Old Town, Restaurant MEKK and Restaurant Farm serve contemporary interpretations of Estonian cuisine. At Ööbiku Gastronomy Farm Restaurant, a short drive from Tallinn, enjoy a five-course meal of local ingredients and forest products. For national dishes en route to Tartu, stop at the 19th century Põhjaka Manor. On the island of Muhu, you'll find Nordic coastal cuisine at Estonia's best restaurant three years running, Alexander, at Pädaste manor.

Mind your manors  

Põhjaka Manor dates back to 1820. The three chefs who refurbished it keep the cellar full of homemade juices, jams and compotes. 

Photo by: Magnus Heinmets

Recipe: frozen beet sorbet

Beetroot, the rich, purple vegetable, is an essential in Estonia. It's packed with immune and metabolism boosting nutrients, making it a perfect ingredient for the autumn season. Though typically served in salads, try making a healthy frozen beet sorbet! Heat 100 g honey in 150 g of water for five minutes. Puree 150 g of blackcurrants, 50 g of sea buckthorn berries and 150 g of beet and combine with honey syrup. Run mixture through a sieve and cool in freezer. Once liquid begins to freeze, whip together with one egg white until foamy. Freeze for 12 hours and serve with frozen berries and raw buckwheat.

Last updated : 11.12.2017

In category: Food & Drink & Nightlife