In 1925, the largest percentage of potato field from overall arable land was in Northern-Estonia and its islands. By observations made in the beginning of the 20. century, potato was daily on the table, which wasn`t so elsewhere. It was common to eat potatoes with gravy for breakfast in 1930 at Harjumaa.



Whole grain barley meal and slurry made from quern grounded barley flour and groats, broth, porride, dumplings and bannocks can be concidered the oldest food made from grain. Porride of groats was a ritual meal all over Estonia. Barley-bread was one of ancient courses.


Baltic herring or salted small herring was the most important food besides bread. People from Harju-, Järva- and Virumaa got it from the Northern coast. They got it for themselves of from the fishermen. Baltic herring which was left over from personal consumption was being distributed in different ways. It was sold to the forestallers, if possible. Also certain Baltic herring friends turned out, fish was sold and traded between fishermen and farmers and their offspring during generations.


In Estonia distillation of spirits started probably at the end of 15. century. From 1646 it became the monopoly of landlords. Active merchandise trade with St. Petersburg influenced manor houses’ material situation, spirit became the most importatnt article of merchandise. Due to the St. Petersburg market Virumaa turned out to be the most important region in distillation of spirits.


Estonians have used summer kitchens for cooking in summer time for centuries, it started to fade in the XX century. Läänemaa and Põhja-Harjumaa used them longer, even in 1920-30. Due to increase of gardening numerous greenhouses were built, earlier called conservatories (Treibhaus in German). Besides growing exotic plants, they were used for enjoying coffee in winter. Conservatories next to manor houses are specific to North-Estonia.


As it is characteristic to Viru-, Harju- and Järvamaa to have very even flower embroidery diffusion, which genetic code does not connect to the embroideries of South-Estonia, then flower and food culture could imaginary be connected. Edible flowers could be used in culinary art and the connection with flower embroidery emphasized. Exotic flowers embroidered on sleeves must not be held on to, local flowers like wild rose, cowslip, lime tree flowers etc can be used.

Photos: Brand Estonia and Rene Seeman


test eng