Estonians have a saying: breakfast eat yourself, lunch share with friend and dinner give to the enemy.
So, from childhood has been repeated to us: breakfast is very important.
I am a “breakfast person”. I’m hungry in the morning and I want to eat.
And there is a huge difference between Workdays and Weekends. On Workday mornings I am so sleepy and not able to act or cook. I prefer to have breakfast something very easy to prepare.
But On Weekends I have time. Weekend Breakfast is more complicated. A lot of Estonians has a tradition: Sunday Pancakes. I usually cannot eat sweets in the morning but I like for Weekends to prepare some eggs: fried, omelette, scrambled, boiled…
Talking about breakfast habits I have to admit that as probably everywhere, Estonians has different preferences and habits 🙂
But I would say that most typical Estonian breakfasts are:
- Porridge. There are some people, who eat porridge as sweet dish: with (strawberry, raspberry, cowberry/lingonberry) jam. But more typical is porridge as a savory dish. Served with butter.
And of course, there are people between two of them. For example, my husband eating morning porridge with butter, sour cream and jam. All together 🙂 🙂 :)I would say that typical Estonian porridge is prepared from oatmeal or mixed grains (oat, barley, rye, buckwheat..)
And, Estonians love milk products. Adults drink usually coffee for breakfast, but children (and a lot of adults) like milk or kefir with porridge.
During summertime hot porridge is too much and easier is to get “morning carbohydrates” from “Kama“. Of course, nowadays nobody is preparing the Kama at home, because we can buy ready Kama mixtures from the shop.
- Sandwich. Typical Estonian sandwich is a (open sandwich) slice of the rye bread + butter or cream cheese or processed cheese “Merevaik” + some salads or greens + ham or cheese or sausage or herring or salmon or sprats or cottage cheese or… + slice of the radish or cucumbers or tomatoes.
Estonian rye bread https://estoniancuisine.com/2017/02/23/how-to-do-estonian-black-bread-leib/
- And of course “ Kohuke”. This is a chocolate glazed quark snack/bar. Because of quark, Kohuke is rich in protein and because of chocolate, it is energy bar:) Older people eat just quark with sour cream and/or vegetables (without chocolate :))
Look how to make Estonian quark https://estoniancuisine.com/2017/01/08/how-to-do-homemade-quark/
4. Cottage Cheese is a healthy breakfast. The cottage cheese is protein-rich, combining it with carbohydrates to make a very healthy breakfast
5. Most of Estonians have Sunday morning pancakes. Served with cold milk and homemade jam. (I do not personally know anyone who does not have a garden. The younger generation has grandparents. And Estonia is covered with forest. So, if you do not have own personal strawberry bed. You pick from the forest blueberries, cranberries, wild strawberries, cow/lingonberries and cooking or freezing jam for winter)
Estonians pancakes can be thin as crepes, like on this photo but for example, my grandmother did always thick and small pancakes ( from sour milk).
But to be true, time is changing. My grandparents did not prepare for breakfast something special. They ate yesterday lunch “leftovers”- fried potatoes, eggs, meat. For nowadays it seems (to me) too heavy and too much.
And today younger people are more aware of health and everything. Like my daughter. She had grown up with “Kohuke”, but now… she prefers smoothies and morning cereals or porridge without sugar….:)
6 thoughts on “The Estonian Kitchen: 5 Estonian Breakfast Ideas”
What a fabulous post, Ruta ! Am laughing my head off – I cannot, have not and will not go past a ‘sandwich’ and a huge mug of strong, black stevia-sweetened coffee – I have had that all my life, ever since Mom stopped feeding me herself and I do NOT want anything else 🙂 ! I mean there are hundreds of delightful choices I can and do make with my very stupid morning head . . . am definitely not a morning person ! Oh, methinks I oft had porridge as a child . . .I liked ‘manna’ but Mom usually made ‘herkulo’ ! I cannot get ‘kama’ here, am too Sunday-lazy to make even the healthiest pancakes in the morning, ‘approve’ of the cottage cheese but think ‘kohuke’ is pretty wicked and am glad your daughter thinks so too 1!!! Thanks heaps and this post I’ll pass on !
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Lovely dishes, and I love the quote!
Thank you ! 🙂
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I really fell in love with Estonia and eesti keel! 😍 I haven’t been to Estonia yet but ilI definitely will one day. Thank you so much for this website, it’s such a great inspiration and a source of information! ❤️
You welcome 🙂 🙂