I think it is safe to say that most Estonians wouldn’t claim that their country is best-known for its food. In fact for the majority of us the local cuisine might stay the next big secret, but in case you are curious – traditional Estonian kitchen celebrates simple peasant food: meat, fish, potatoes, as well as rye bread and a variety of dairy products. Estonian eating habits are also closely linked to the food traditions of nearby countries and are deeply influenced by pure Estonian nature.
However, it is absolutely fair to say that Estonia is a country of good quality food. For instance, the local taste palate is stipulated by four seasons. A necessity back in the days, but in the age of food abundance, rather a mindful use of a local produce. A culinary trend more and more widely recognized in the world.
As Estonian cuisine, the national fish of Estonia – Baltic herring – is also often overlooked. Coming from the Baltic region myself, I felt responsible to share with you my experiences with this little sea fish and perhaps even to encourage you to try something new.
A spoonful of Baltic with a twist: pickled herring bites
Preparation + cooking time: 30 min / Serves 4 as a starter
We would need:
- a knob of butter or some oil
- 2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
- 2 big carrots, grated
- handful of dry prunes
- handful of raisins
- handful of dry apricots
- 3-4 tsp of tomato sauce
- a pinch of cinnamon
- 2 herring fillet
- In a large skillet melt the butter over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until tender, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon.
- Soak dried fruit in a warm water bowl for about 10 minutes. Then remove excess water and cut fruit into small pieces. Add to the skillet and continuously stirring cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in tomato sauce, sprinkle with pepper and cinnamon and cook for few more minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, cut herring fillet in a bite-size pieces, roll up and secure with a tooth pick.
- Serve on a bed of sweet carrots and rye toast. Head isu!