Beauty doesn’t fill your stomach.
Local cuisine—depending heavily on pork, potatoes and garden vegetables—has its roots in the countryside. The main culinary influence came from Germans, who ruled here for centuries. A few typical foods:
Leib, or black bread. Estonians don’t horse around about their
leib. It’s almost taken on a sacred quality. It’s so prized, some Estonians refer to meat only as “something to go with the bread.” One Estonian version of
bon appetit is jätku leiba—which literally means “may your bread last.”
Kartulid, or potatoes, were introduced here in the 1700s. They’re now part and parcel of virtually all genuine Estonian meals.
Kotlet, hamburger patty with onions.
Verivorst/blood sausage. An acquired taste, to say the least.
Sült/jellied meat. As with Scottish haggis, it’s better if you don’t know what’s in it (One hint: pigs feet).
Kohupiim, cottage cheese-like, often used in cakes and pastries.
Kringel is a sweet German-style bread knotted and sprinkled with nuts and raisins. A standard at Estonian birthdays.
Other foods you’ll commonly find on an Estonian’s table: pancakes, beet salad, honey, herring, pickled pumpkin, and crayfish.