Estonia as any seaside country has always honoured fishing. The sea, lake and river fish of the region have helped to provide livelihood for centuries, when crops have failed because of unruly weather or other problems.
Fishing is a field of sports for many, but for some, it provides an opportunity to spend tie with friends or one’s own thoughts in nature. Any self-respecting restaurant in Estonia offers at least one fish dish.
An average Estonian eats about 10 kilograms of fish per year. Fish has been and is an integral part of our national cuisine. Sandwiches with spiced Baltic sprats, boiled eggs and green onion have been an integral part of the Estonian festive table and maybe for this reason, our shops have sprat conserves as one of the most typical fish products. Estonians are also very keen on perch and Baltic herring, the latter was even chosen as Estonia’s national fish in 2007.
Flounder, bream, pike, eel, pike-perch, roach and smelt also make it to local smoke ovens, barbeque ovens and cooking pans, but the Estonian waters also hide very special and endangered species such as catfish, whitefish, sea trout and brown trout.
In addition to fish, the Estonian rivers and lakes also yield crayfish, known as the highest-quality crustacean species in Europe. Crayfish, also known as noble crayfish or broad-fingered crayfish, has such a thin crust that no special utensils are needed to eat it.