19 September 2010

Cooking in Estland

From what I've seen, Estonians are some of the most hospitable people I've met. We've seriously been taken from one end of the country to the other, seeking out historical sites and Estonian experiences - including food. This country is a meat-lover's paradise. For vegetarians, there is black bread, potatoes, cabbage and beets... okay maybe a little bit more but mostly everything is meat. I've learned not to ask questions... except for "How do you spell...?"

For dinner at Sirje and Lembit's place last night, we were treated to blood sausage with pumpkin, cabbage, potatoes, and also sült with horseradish. Our family chuckled at us as Scott and I bit into the blood sausage at the same time. They knew that most Americans don't eat it... Surprisingly, Scott and I both enjoyed it! Then came the sült, which is meat boiled in water for four hours, which then becomes like a jellied meat. It sounds awful, looks to me like cat food, and I don't even want to know what parts of meat are in it. My verdict? With horseradish, it's not so bad but it definitely isn't something I'd buy for myself. 
Blood sausage with pumpkin, cabbage, and potatoes
Sült - the only thing I asked was how to spell it and how they made it....
After dinner, we got to meet another of our relatives, Sirje's son Mait, via Skype. (Did you know that the software for Skype was actually created by Estonians?) Mait is living in The Hague, Netherlands and hopefully he and I will be able to meet up sometime while I'm in Europe! 
Then, Scott and I got a lesson in making our new favorite food - lihapirkad! I still want to get a recipe for it. Sirje wanted to know if I'd made them before because I was a pro at it and said I should start a business at home. If not for the public, I can at least make them for you! 
The filling - meat, egg, onions, spices... 
The dough - yeast, water, flour
Rolling out the dough
Dropping spoonfuls of meat
Folding the dough over the pockets of meat
Cutting apart the lihapirkad
Frying them up before enjoying them! 
It's quite easy and delicious! Me eating fried food? Only in Estonia. 


  1. Love reading your blog Kelsey. I am so happy you and Scott are experiencing Estonia together. Blood sausage and head cheese...I don't think so!

  2. It's great to have someone to share it with! On the menu tonight is something we're a bit more used to. Jane and I are cooking baked salmon with potatoes and carrots. Honestly, the blood sausage was really good. They do eat a lot of mushrooms here but I haven't gone near them (Jane doesn't like them either). Wish you were here because you'd love it!

  3. This is so awesome Kelsey! I am so proud of you for jumping in (literally, in the case of the Sauna!) and learning/enjoying your family's culture. You will never forget these experiences. Bravo!! -Scott

    PS: can't wait to try lihapirkad some day!