E-ating in E-stonia

Hello everyone,

I am not a food expert and this is not a food blog (though, I might share some recipes once in a while, especially when I taste something potentially inedible on myself and it will turn out to be good). But today I would like to write something about food in Estonia. Or to be more specific – on what you can buy and what is not super expensive comparing to Poland :)

Shopping in Tallinn is super-convenient. As I mentioned in a post where I added pluses and minuses of living here, you can find supermarkets everywhere. There are five main ones: Maxima, Rimi, Selver, Säästumarket and Prisma. The last one is my favourite but most of my groceries are done in Maxima as it’s the closest to my home.

International products

The good thing about shops in Tallinn is that you can easily find products from several countries. Including Poland of course. What is even funnier – some of them are really inexpensive comparing to my home country.

Shopping for Polish products is easy for me. The cheapest yellow cheese is Polish. The cheapest (and the most delicious – in my opinion of course) yoghurts are Polish. The cheapest grated cheese? Polish as well… and the quality is not bad. I ate that in Poland and so far it did not kill me, right? I also buy Polish margarine-butter spread (yes, I know margarine is not healthy, but I still like it).

The typical prices for Polish products are:

  • Dutch cheese – 0,69 EUR
  • Russian cheese – 0,75 EUR
  • Gouda cheese from Mlekovita – 0,79 EUR
  • Tylżycki cheese from Mlekovita – 0,79 EUR
  • Polish “Polskie smaki” yogurt – 0,29 EUR
  • Delma margarine-butter spread – 0,79-0,99 EUR.
  • Pack of grated cheese from Łomża factory – 0,69 EUR.

Apparently Mlekovita cheeses seem to be cheaper than in Poland or at least – priced at the same level. Estonian cheeses are… over 1 euro. I tried them once and I do not think there is any big difference in taste or quality so – why should I pay more?

Here is my “typical sandwich” ingredients:

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Pehmik must – black buns (4 in pack, love them), Tylżycki cheese (my fav. Polish one – does not have a very strong cheese taste), Delma margarine with salt and Saarema cold cuts – that is what I would take to work tomorrow :)

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Delicious Polish yoghurts – Bakoma (the producer) is definitely my fav. brand for yoghurts in Poland. They cost 0,29 EUR a piece.

PS. Yes, I have also just noticed my table and stove are messy (shameful ;) )

A little bit of a sweet tooth :)

I won’t lie to you – I like sweets. And in this category you can also find Polish products (e.g. wafer rolls from Tago and some competition for Kit Kat bars, but I’ve never seen that in Poland – it’s called “Magic” and Maxima sells that).

Still my top favourite sweets are Kalev products, especially chocolates. The chocolate bar is quite expensive (the cost is 1,25 EUR per bar, while similar in Poland is around 0,90 EUR) but… it’s really worth the money. My favourite taste is tiramisu one, however I could not find it in the stores lately and I hope they did not stop producing it. There is a variety of white, milk and dark chocolates with many different tastes. I also love cookies from Kalev.

The other one I like is called “Pergale” and it is a chocolate with different fillings (I would kill for vanilla one!). I think it’s Lithuanian. Of course there are known brands too like Milka or Fazer, but I think Kalev is much better.

I also tried many different Swedish and Finnish treats (if you’d like to try Finnish food – the easiest place to find them is Prisma – as it is a Finnish chain. Btw – the least crowded Prisma in Tallinn is Prisma Sikupilli, I tested it on myself, so if you’d like to come there after 5 pm, you can make groceries easily. How to get there: tram no. 2 or 4 and jump off at Lubja stop – then walk up for around 300 m :) ).

My favourites are Daim bar, KEX wafer, menthol candy from Cloetta and surprisingly – Finnish Salmiakki – yes, I like it and I know I am in minority – in my office only 2 people like Salmiakki – one is Finnish and the other one… well, hello :) I also like some Finnish candy bars (classic ones – similar to Mars, Snickers and Twix bars) but I don’t remember the name. You can find them in Prisma and they are around 0,50 EUR per piece.

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Some sweets I had at home: Kalev cookies with raisins, KEX wafer (Swedish), Daim bar (Swedish as well) and Magic bar (Polish)

“Normal” food

Estonian supermarkets are full of food that I can also find in Poland – there is a good variety of vegetables (e.g. some types of potatoes, tomatoes, onions etc.), fruits and ready food. From the ready food there are ready soups in cans, ready meat (e.g. meatballs & cutlets) and also – instant products. There is also a great variety of frozen products – I am quite often buying frozen broccoli and cauliflower which I really like. Basically, if I’d like to cook some Polish dinner – I would have no problems with that at all. Ok, maybe some typical Polish products are missing, but most of them are here. Maxima sells Polish herbs as well, which I spotted just today.

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Pack of Estonian “kotlets” (cutlet), they look like hamburgers and probably do not have much meat (maybe 59% is the thing I am searching for). I like them though :)

National Estonian food

Quite honestly – I do not really know what can be called typically Estonian. All I can associate with Estonia is definitely “kohuke” which is a type of candy bar made from curd. Usually it has some filling, and is covered in chocolate.

As Estonian cuisine is based on meat and vegetables mostly – majority of the dishes in Poland in Estonia are the same. Estonians definitely eat more fish than Poles and the fish prices are not high. But let’s face it – this is an advantage of having a good access to the sea. There are also some bakery products with rice pudding or potatoes filling which I never saw in Poland (not a typical taste for Polish person for sure), but I think it might be Finnish invention, not Estonian. Please correct me if I’m wrong :)

And while I am being sorry for my ignorance – I know black pudding (or blood sausage) is eaten in Estonia. But in Poland as well, same with cabbage and mushrooms (it’s our typical Christmas food), kissel (in Poland we call it kisiel) and the same goes with drinks like keefir (Polish: kefir).

There is also some types of bread that might be not an Estonian invention, but it is very, very tasty. Especially breads and buns that are dark. I love them. You can see the pack of black buns in one of the pictures above. We do not have such ones in Poland.

I can definitely see a lot of traditional Russian products that are sold in the stores. For example, you can buy pelmeni (Russian equivalent to Polish dumplings – pierogi). And not just one – there is like a crazy variety. And guess what – I am quite happy with that, because thanks to that I do not miss Polish dumplings that much. Of course I should not forget about vodka, but that’s a different category :)

Eating out

I am not a person who goes eating out very often. But while walking in the city I can see many different restaurants – some pizza places, some shashlik places, grill bars, Moldovan restaurant, Russian restaurants, Balkan one, Indian one, Sushi bars etc. Of course, there are also some places where you can try the soup from Moose (it seems to be some medieval dish, I did not try myself though) and quite a famous “Olde Hansa” in front of Polish embassy which is I think the most famous medieval eating place in Tallinn.

Nevertheless, I have a feeling that the cuisine in Tallinn is very mixed. I am sure that if I visit some place, I would leave my review here, on my blog.

For the time being – I wish you to have a nice second half of the week!

Adam

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