Sunday, July 06, 2014
Festival food: Estonian Song and Dance Celebration 2014
This is a very special weekend for Estonia - our 26th Song Celebration and 19th Dance Celebration takes place. You'll get all the necessary information on this website, I'll focus on food here ;)
It's a huge festival - with about 100 000 people gathered at the Song Festival Square, among them over 20 000 singers! You can imagine the amount of food you need to feed all those people during the weekend :)
Festival food isn't usually known for its gastronomic finesse and wonderful flavour, but the food I saw yesterday at the Tallinna Lauluväljak (Song Festival Square) was pretty interesting. Here's a short overview for you, should you head to the celebrations today.
The main eating area is marked with the red circle on the map below. "Merevärav" marks the "sea entrance" on Pirita road, so in case you're hungry, you should head to the right after entering the Song Festival grounds:
It's also where the EESTI TOIDU VÄLJAK aka Estonian Food Court is located. This consists of three large tents, marked by coloured signs. The Green sign marks the tent that represents the Estonian Food Industry Association. The tent with a Blue sign hosts the local small producers, Estonian Horticultural Association and the Estonian Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce. The Red signs marks the Estonian Chefs Association.
Let start with the "Blue" tent (well, the tent is white, the sign is blue :)), hosting the small/artisanal/local producers. You could feast on "haugišašlõkk" (pike shashlik, type of white fish), "soolakurgid" or fresh salted cucumbers, or small goat cheese and rye crisp "burgers":
Saaremaa is the biggest island in Estonia and they're increasingly becoming big players on the culinary scene as well. What about sandwich with elk fillets, a floral tea mixture (primrose, apple and meadowsweet), or smoked pork and rye sandwich?
The "Green" tent hosted several big food producers, including Saaremaa Delifood that introduced their new "kohuke" (curd cheese bar, top right) with cloudberries and lemon as well as Semu with their really nice sea-buckthorn drinks.
Finally, the "Red" tent, hosting the representatives of Estonian Chefs Association. There were three catering companies present, Tervise Catering, Event Catering and House Gourmet. Some of the festival food items were flatfish terrine with roasted vegetables (lestavorm röstköögiviljadega); pulled lamb with wild-garlic pearl barley (rebitud lammas karulaugu-odrakruubiga); hot smoked perch with tomato-cucumber salad (suitsuahven tomati-kurgisalatiga):
Pike fishcakes with curd cheese and cucumber dressing (haugikoogid kohupiima-kurgikastmega, below left). You could also a buy a selection of six dishes for 6 Euros (below right):
This being Estonia, black rye bread was served everywhere - either fresh (below right) or as garlic bread (below left; yes, that's what you'd get if you ask for garlic bread (küüslauguleib) in a pub in Estonia).
There's food outside the Estonian Food Court as well. I spotted these happy people from soon-to-be-opened Inspiratsioon Catering, serving vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free food:
I didn't have a chance to look into the big "beer and food" area, where many food stalls were located, but overall I can say the food was pretty decent for a festival food :)
What type of food did you have last time at a music festival?