Julie & Julia: Inspirational cooking

Julie & JuliaToday I went to see Julie & Julia in the cinema. Wow! I loved that movie, it was sweet and funny and it truly made me think about the role of cooking in the lives of Estonians.

It might be a foreign concept to many what is a common thing to us: growing your own vegetables 🙂 (Don’t crucify me if you feel otherwise ) My mother garden, she grows all sorts of different vegetables: potatoes, carrots, beet root etc. The best thing is getting fresh vegetables for cooking. It gives the food a better taste, and you a sense of accomplishment.

So, I’m getting a bit sidetracked here. Estonians love food, and most of us love cooking. We have many good restaurants but due to growing numbers in tourism the variety is huge and Estonian cooking is slightly pushed to the background. Don’t get me wrong I love foreign cuisine.

Several years ago I was living in Thailand and I was feeling very homesick, so I decided to cook boiled potatoes with minced meat sauce, it is delicious. I tried offering some of my aussie coworkers some but their response was that they wouldn’t eat anything that looks like cat’s vomit…well, thank’s a lot you guys, you happen to live in a country where tasting different and unknown dishes is like walking through a mine field: you’ll never know when you’re safe i.e. when something is tasty…all you gotta do is man up and go for it. I admit, minced meat sauce looks funny, but in the end it’s the taste that matters. Whit that attitude I managed to get to know Thai cuisine pretty well.

On that note, potatoes are to Estonians what rice is to the Chinese or the Thai people, it plays a big part in the food culture. There are just so many things you can do with it. It’s great. Another interesting thing about Estonian food appears mostly during Christmas time: black pudding. Now many people might be grossed out by the idea, I’m definitely not one of them. Black pudding is great and I couldn’t imagine Christmas without it. Add sour kraut, potatoes, loads of pork and cranberry jam on the side and you have the perfect dinner.

What can I say about desserts in Estonia? Well, I’m not much of a dessert person myself, but I’ve always loved berry cake in the summer i.e. fresh berries. Imagine going to the woods, with a basket, collecting blueberries. One goes into the basked, the other into your mouth, a couple of hours later you go home and fix the cake dough. When the cake is ready you place the blueberries on top and spread a healthy amount of sweet whipped cream on top….mmmmmm….heaven.

Another delicious thing we have here is sort of like a pretzel..well…what I mean by that is that it’s shaped like a pretzel, and it tastes like a pretzel on occasion but it’s much bigger…like a pretzel cake. It normally has raisins and chocolate and it’s braided. I’m not sure if I made any sense but If you ever have a chance to attend an Estonian birthday party (and by that I mean with a proper table where people sit and eat and drink) or a wake or something of that kind, you will have the oportunity to taste something really good.

I’m going on and on about food. Well, I love it! As a matter of fact, I’m going to go and cook myself something good. Tonite’s menu: Thai Green Curry with Chicken…ironic, since I’ve devoted today’s blog on Estonian food.

Head isu kõigile!

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