Estonian Food: 12 Traditional Dishes to Taste

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Want to know more about Estonian food and cuisine?

Estonia is a cuisine with influence from its neighbouring countries, such as Germany, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Scandinavia. To get to know the Estonian culture, you have to learn more about the Estonian food and taste their local dishes.

Down below you can read more about Estonian food and its traditional dishes:


Sprats

Sprats is a common fish to eat in Estonia since there are so many of them in the Baltic Sea. Many Estonian dishes are made with sprats, and one of the most popular is Kiluvõileib.

Kiluvõileib is a sandwich made of dark rye bread topped with sprat, boiled eggs, and sauce.

Even though it’s not the most appealing food from Estonia, make sure to give it a try. It’s actually really tasty.

Estonian sprat sandwich

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Mulgipuder

Mulgipuder is one of the national dishes of Estonia, and is made from mashed potatoes and groat. Butter is added, and a sauce that contains bacon is poured over the dish.

Back in the days this dish was considered to be a luxurious dish, and was eaten during important holidays in Estonia.

national dish of estonia

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Rye Bread

Rye Bread is a staple in the Estonian cuisine, as well as in Latvia and Lithuania.

In Estonia there are different types of rye bread, which all of them are home made. It’s simply yummy, and a must to add to your Estonian food bucket list!

Rye Bread

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Smoked fish

This is something the locals like to eat during the summer months in Estonia. You can buy smoked fish in both supermarkets, as well as the outdoor markets during summer.

At the outdoor markets, also known as ”turg”, you can shop from the old ladies selling what their husbands have caught during the morning. It’s fresh, and delicious.

estonian food

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Verivorst (blood sausage)

Blood sausages are basically normal sausages filled with blood. There are several variations of the blood sausages in the shops and markets of Estonia.

Verivorst is a common Christmas food from Estonia. So make sure to taste it while you’re in the country!

blood sausage

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Sünnipäevasalat (birthday salad)

During Estonian birthday celebrations it’s common to eat Sünnipäevasalat.

Sünnipäevasalat is a salad made of potatoes, eggs, green peas, cucumber, onions, sausage, dill, and parsley. The ingredients are covered in mayonnaise before being served on the table.

If you’re going to attend an Estonian birthday party, then you’ll most likely see this dish on the table.

Aspic

Aspic is an Estonian jelly made of meat stock and pieces of meat, seafood, or eggs. It’s a festive dish to eat in Estonia, and is common to eat during both Christmas and Easter.

Aspic

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Pickled Estonian food

In Estonia you’ll find a variation of pickled food that can be bought at both supermarkets and food markets. Pickled mushrooms, cucumber, and fish are local favorites.

There’s even a festival in Estonia dedicated to pickled food. It’s called “Tahkuranna cucumberfestival”.

food in estonia

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Head cheese

Head cheese is not a dairy cheese, but more like a meat jelly made of the meat from the head of a pig or calf.

The parts that they use vary, but the eyes, brain, and ears are not used in this recipe. However, the lounge, feet, and heart are sometimes included when making head cheese.

This is a historical Estonian food that is eaten cold or at room temperature.

head cheese

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Rosolje

Rosolje is a delicious Estonian potato and beetroot salad that is served during parties, picnics, and different kinds of celebrations.

It’s made of cubes of beetroots and potatoes, chopped onions and pickles, and a creamy mustard dressing.

When it comes to the food in Estonia, Rosolje is a must to taste!

estonian food

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Tatrapuder

Tatrapuder is a buckwheat and pea porridge. It’s a local favorite!

food from estonia

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Shashlik

Shashlik is actually an Armenian dish, but it’s very popular in Estonia during Midsummer Eve (June 23).

During this holiday the Estonian supermarkets are filled with shashlik made from both pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, and in all different kinds of marinades.

On the night of Midsummer Eve, the locals have a bonfire and they grill the shashlik skewers.

If you happen to be around in Estonia during Midsummer Eve, join the locals and eat some shashlik!

Shashlik

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estonian midsummer food

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More about Estonian food

The Estonian cuisine have during the years been influenced by nearby countries such as Germany, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the countries of Scandinavia.

Rye bread, pork, potatoes, and dairy products are staples in the Estonian cuisine.

What’s the national dish of Estonia?

Estonia have several national dishes. The cold dish ”räim” and the main dish ”mulgipuder” are two of the national dishes of Estonia.

What is a traditional meal in Estonia?

A traditional Estonian meal often consists of meat and potatoes, or fish along the coastal and lakeside areas of Estonia.

The first course is based on cold dishes such as pickles, cold cuts, sausages, and kartulisalat (potatoe salad). Soups are commonly eaten before the main course, and is often made of meat or chicken stock mixed with vegetables.

For main course the Estonians eat a variation of traditional dishes, and it’s almost always accompanied by black rye bread.

Estonian desserts

  • Mannavaht
  • Kohupiimakreem
  • Kompott
  • Rhubarb Pies
  • Kama
  • Kissel
  • Kalev chocolate
  • Kringel
estonian desserts

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Estonian drinks

  • Estonian beer
  • Vana Tallinn
  • Kiiu Torn
  • Pirita
  • Vodka (Viru Valge, Saremaa Vodka, The Tall blonde)
  • Milli Malikas
  • Kali
  • Kvass
Estonian drinks

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Christmas food in Estonia

On the Estonian Christmas table you’ll see traditional Christmas dishes such as blood sausage, dark rye bread, head cheese, oven roasted potatoes, and sauerkraut.

Apples, mandarin oranges, gingerbread, and lingonberry jam are also typical Christmas treats.

christmas food in estonia

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Do you have any other questions about Estonian food and cuisine? Leave a comment below!

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