Sõir, Estonian Quark Cheese with caraway seeds is very known in South Estonia. And this is my father recipe.
Traditionally was it dish for Midsummer and Pentecost.
Do you know, that in Latvian is cheese – Siers and in Russian сыр. And even in English, cheese sound very similar. So, all these cheeses are related 🙂
quark must be as dry, as possible. And better is fat-free quark
Ricotta is not alternative to use. Make your quark yourself
Be sure your quark is natural and Do NOT consist gelatine or whatever.
Never gift for Estonian womans red Dianthus…
Today is International Woman Day. Have you heard about this? Necessary and nice holiday with “red background”but with good idea. Celebrate and recognize all woman, not only mothers.
During soviet times we do not celebrated Mothers day, was only Woman day on 8th of the March. Soviet Union was terrible, but about feminism and women rights was everything perfect. Woman was welder,tractor driver,cosmonaut. And not only career at work. Woman took care about household and children. Clothes were washed by hand and shops were not full of prepared products…:)
In Estonia we have a saying. Woman must be able to feed man and 6 children:)
So, Viva women!
But what about red Dianthus… These times were not very large choice of cut flowers. Just and mostly only expensive roses and cheaper dianthuses.
So, You baked black bread and probably have some leftovers. This is the easiest dessert in the world.
NB! of course, if you have very salty bread with cumin, this is not dessert to you. Then make better Garlic Breads.
Estonian Black Bread is fermented Rye Bread.
For this bread we have even the own word: LEIB.
“white wheat bread” we call “Sai”.
Of course, shops are full of different breads, even with nuts and chocolate.
But some years ago, our first lady Evelin Ilves promoted the homemade bread. So, today, I believe, all Estonian woman has their own home-made bread recipe.
Each estonian eat ca 10 kg white wheat bread and 30 kg black rye bread per year, so Rye bread is very popular and I can say, that this is something very “Estonian”.
24th February is Estonian Independence Day, our republic become 99 years old 🙂
so this is the best day to bake the Estonian traditional rye Leib.
Estonian Style Sauerkraut with Pork and Barley is called ” Mulgikapsad”. Kapsad- means Cabbage and
Mulgi- Mulgimaa is area in South-Estonia, with own culture, traditions, food and dialect.
This area and culture is perfect example about the globalisation already in 19th of century. During the American Civil War from 1861 to 1865 was lack of cotton and price was very high.
So, was demand for alternatives. South Estonia, Mulgimaa has perfect conditions for cultivation of linen. Bondage was in Estonia abolished 1816, but still farmers were very poor and land was owned by landlords. But because of America and demand for linen, farmers gets enough money to buy from landlords land and farms. And this area become rich and successful. This made others little bit jealous and they started to call people and this area Mulgimaa 🙂
In Latvia means word- Mulk- ” silly” and in Estonia it means “hole”- in meaning that the all richness went in to the one hole…:)
I am Mulk ( person, who is living and born in Mulgimaa), as well. My mothers ancestry have been lived in Mulgimaa more than 400 years. Maybe more, but we have first written documents from 1630 of year 🙂
Mulgikapsad can be served as a meal unto itself, usually with boiled potato and certainly with some fermented milk for drink. You may cook this as vegan, without meat.
Impossible to write Estonian food blog without quark.
To be honest, I am not sure, which word is right
quark or curd or fromage blanc.
In each country you get the different product with different acidity, texture, consistent….., because of leavening, milk.
Quark is not
.. riccota. Riccota is made from cheese whey, which give the specific taste and texture
… cream cheese. Cream cheese is made from cream and has different consistent, texture, acidity and usually in cream cheese has added salt
… mascarpone. Mascarpone is not fermented product. Protein is curdled with acid.
Estonian quark is made from skimmed milk and mesophilic starter. This is fat-free and mesophilic means, that quark is fermented on the low temperature.
If you have children, call them to join. To make quark is fun process and lesson about chemistry, cooking, health and fermentation 🙂
A fresh, light, homemade natural quark for several dishes
1 litre ” milk”
From 1 litre milk you receive ca 200 g quark.
What to use:
skimmed milk + ca 150 g sour cream
yoghurt. But! Be sure, that yoghurt is not consist thickeners or stabilizers
NB! DO NOT use products with signs UHT (ultra high temperature), ESL (extended self life), aseptic, thermized… You need living bacteria and natural product.
1. You need:
hot water bath
thigh sieve and (gauze) cloth for straining
2. Pour ” milk” in to a pot, and put pot in to hot water bath. Ideal temperature is 55 C- 65 C. Water bath is not necessary. And if you want result quicker (for example you making lesson for kids:)), do not use water bath but make quark directly on the stove and use higher temperature.Higher temperature gives you less curd, but you get this quicker.
For better result stir as little as possible, and if, then very carefully
Quark is ready when has formed clumps and whey has separated. It takes ca 40 minute.
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.
Homemade Sauerkraut, Fermented Cabbage, Hapukapsas is very important and popular dish in Estonia during autumn winter time and mandatory food during Christmas time.
In ancient time, Hapukapsas and cranberries were only sources of C vitamin, during winter time.
Sauerkraut is fermented food and this is not only source of vitamin, this is source of probiotic bacterium and this is excellent for your health.
By the way, ancient Estonians believed, that Sauerkraut succeed best, during New Moon. So, 7th of December is right time to test it 🙂