Forest bounty

As the sea has for centuries provided extras to the crops growing on Estonian fields and in gardens, so have Estonians always foraged delicious food from our versatile forests.

Almost every Estonian person has threaded delicious wild strawberries on a straw at an edge of a forest around Midsummer’s Day. Blue fingertips also reveal people who have been picking blueberries to prepare tasty desserts or different conserves. Our marshes and swamp forests also have plenty of blackberries, with the honeysweet fruits charged with vitamin C excellent for jam and dried bracts great for brewing tea.

One often spots cowberries and cranberries in autumn forests – they may taste too sour for a treat, but are both very healthy and have therefore been irreplaceable in herbal medicine for centuries.

Estonian forests also have a lot of mushrooms. Although milk-mushrooms and russula are most wide-spread, Estonians have always preferred boletus and chanterelle – these delicious-tasting mushrooms may be cooked straight on the pan and mushroom sauce made of them is the favourite dish of quite many people.