My Favourite Estonian Foods (and Least Favourite Ones)

Most Favourite Estonian Foods

I have always been fascinated by the food culture in the countries I visited. Who doesn’t love a good, authentic meal with a story? In this post, I put together a list of my most favourite Estonian foods and to keep things balanced, I also added my least favourite Estonian foods.

Most Favourite Estonian Foods:

1. Kohuke – Curd snack

Favourite Estonian foods: kohuke, curd snack
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Kohuke is basically sweet curd covered in chocolate glaze. It doesn’t sound too delicious, but trust me, it tastes divine! My favourite type is the original, but you can find flavoured varieties filled with different kinds of berries, coconut or chocolate. It has easily become my favourite sweet snack!

2. Birthday Salad (Sünnipäevasalat)

Favourite Estonian foods: sünipäeva salat, potato salad
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Sünnipäevasalat which directly translates to “Birthday Salad” is made of potatoes, eggs, green peas, cucumber, onions, sausage, dill and parsley. All these ingredients are covered in mayonnaise forming a super tasty salad, which is the hero of any Estonian birthday celebration.

3. Potato and Barley Porridge (Mulgipuder)

Favourite Estonian foods: Mulgipuder, potato and barley porridge
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Mulgipuder is a very traditional Estonian food made of potato and barley. It is a delicious, very filling, but low-fat food (if you don’t sprinkle bacon crisps on top). Even Jamie Oliver’s blog featured this famous Estonian porridge and this is exactly what I’m having for dinner tonight.

4. Kama

Favourite Estonian foods: Kama
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Kama is not really translatable. This ingredient is a mix of different flours, usually barley, rye, oat and pea. The traditional way to eat kama is with sour milk or kefir, but deserts made with kama are the real treat!

Check out the 15 things I learned about Estonians so far.

Least Favourite Estonian Foods:

1. Blood Sausage (Verivorst)

Least favourite Estonian foods: Verivorst, blood sausage
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Blood sausages are sausages filled with blood, that are cooked or dried and mixed with a filler until they are thick enough to solidify when cooled. Variants are found worldwide, but Estonians love this type of sausage and they eat it for Christmas. I once moved past the creepy definition of this dish and tried a piece of “verivorst”… uh… never again!

2. Rye Bread (Must Leib)

Least favourite Estonian foods: rye bread, must leib
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Must leib is adored in Estonia. In fact, most Estonians who live abroad say this is the food they miss the most from their homeland. It is considered very healthy and it is also common in Denmark, but I couldn’t bring myself to like it over there either. Thanks, but no thanks!

3. Aspic (Sült)

Least favourite Estonian foods: aspic, Sült
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Aspic is a savoury jelly made with meat stock, set in a mould and used to contain pieces of meat, seafood, or eggs. The equivalent in Romania is “Piftie” and I’m sorry to say but I’ve never liked this shaky dish. Full disclosure: when I was a kid, I thought that I will start shaking myself, if I eat it.

4. Buckwheat porridge (Tatrapuder)

Least favourite Estonian foods: Tatrapuder, buckwheat porridge
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Oh there’s a funny story with this one. The first time I visited Estonia, my boyfriend (now husband) took me to visit his family, of course. He absolutely loves “tatrapuder” and his mother prepared this dish for him. I tried it as well and even thought I really didn’t like it, I politely complimented his mother and said that I like it very much. I was trying to impress her. Little did I know about the consequences of my statement…. She took my compliments seriously, and every time we came to Estonia and visited her, she cooked this dish “because she knows how much I like it”. I still haven’t come clean, even though I moved to Estonia and we see each other more often than we did, when we lived in Denmark. Help?!

So what do you think? Do you agree with my list? Let me know what are your most (and least) favourite Estonian foods!

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  1. I don’t like aspic and tatar as well! But I learned how to appreciate good quality rye bread. There are different intensities and the lighter ones with seeds are my favorite! Maybe you can try it out 😉
    Also, I LOVE kohuke! Who doesn’t?! 😀

  2. Verivorst and Must Leib on your LEAST favorite list?! My my my….i miss both. This past Christmas / New Year in Estonia was a special treat for our family, and I got lots of both of those. And with good leib, must have Saaremaa Atleet Juust! I used to prefer Tallinna Peenleib with my juust, but this past visit my preference went to varieties of leib a bit darker. Also Borodino Leib has been a favorite of mine ever since my first visit to Estonia, which included a several day visit to Saaremaa. Until this past visit, I knew that bread as “Saaremaa Leib”, however now know its proper name. And with good leib and juust, next on the sandwich goes good Estonian pickled Herring!

    A very appropriate gif to describe Sült. “Meat should NOT wiggle!” I agree with you there! Jello may wiggle, NOT meat! 😉

  3. Rye bread, salted herrings, boiled potatoes with sour cream and dill”, heavenly food. Also sült , vervi vorst home made of course…

  4. Don’t ever compliment an Estonian if you don’t truly mean it. We are not used to people saying nice things just to be polite and it’ll cause a lot of confusion and disappointment. You said it was good, pretty, fun – we’ll believe you and try to make you happy! I am an Estonian living in USA (South – all about being polite), and it took me quite a while to learn the difference between genuine statement and “polite” one. Straightforwardness makes life a lot easier:). My recommendation would be to be honest with her, or if that seems way too hard – pick another dish she makes and you genuinely like, and request that, many times:). You both will be happy ?!

  5. I loved all the dishes mentioned even the ones you like least. Who knows, maybe I’m estonian at heart. All food I had while I visited there was amazing! ?

  6. My grammy made aspic often! We ate it with a splash of vinegar and of course rye bread with lots of butter 🙂 Now that I’m an adult, I can’t stand the thought of wiggly meat!


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