t’s impossible to write a blog about Estonian food without talking about quark. To be honest, I’m not quite sure whether should I say ”quark”, ”curd” or ”fromage blanc”.
The quark in every country has a different acidity, texture and consistency due to the processing of the product.
Quark is not
.. riccota. ricotta. Ricotta is made from whey, which gives the cheese its specific taste and texture.
… cream cheese. Cream cheese is usually a salty soft product made from cream and milk. It has a different consistency, texture and acidity. Usually in cream cheese has added salt
… mascarpone. Mascarpone is not fermented product. Protein is curdled with acid.
Estonian quark is fat-free, made from skimmed milk and mesophilic starter. The latter means that the quark is fermented at a low temperature.
If you have children, don’t hesitate to ask them to join the process. Making quark is fun and educating. You can learn a lot about food chemistry, cooking, health and fermentation!
As You probably know, Estonians are the least religious nation.
The Estonian wordjõulud (Christmas) is of ancient Scandinavian origin and comes directly from the word Jul/ Hjul which means “cycle”, and has no real connection with Christianity.
In 22th of December the Sun rises in Estonia at 9. 17 a clock and sets at 15.22. So, we do not need any fairy tales. We have very practical reason to celebrate 🙂
Jõulud as the winter solstice , when the day is the shortest and the night the longest, is celebrated between December 21 and 25. According to folk-tradition, “the sun was laying in the nest” and the day was celebrated as the Sun’s birthday. From that day on, the Sun started to rise and move slowly to the north again.