TOP 5 Estonian Souvenirs
01 SOMETHING EDIBLE OR SOMETHING FOR DRINKING
There is nothing better than a food souvenir. Look for Kalev chocolates, kama (a mixture of roasted barley, rye, oat and pea flour eaten with buttermilk as a filling breakfast), dried fruit crisps, Olde Hansa roasted sweet almonds (you can smell these roasting outside of the restaurant), elk meat sausage, or black bread. You’ve probably already noticed that Estonians like their beer. A. Le Coq and Saku are the biggest brands, but smaller artisan producers are coming out with some good competition. Not a fan of beer? Look for Vana Tallinn liqueur, vodka (Saaremaa and Viru Valge are the top brands), or the Soviet era Kännu Kukk. Põltsamaa Castle produces great fruit wines, including Tõmmu (blackcurrant) and Kuldne (apple), which are two sweet wines, perfect for after dinner.
02 SOMETHING KNITTED
Although mildly itchy, the iconic Estonian wool sweater will keep you warm on those long, cold Estonian winter nights, as will the colourful mittens and socks.
03 SOMETHING MADE FROM JUNIPER You’ll know this wood by its very fragrant odour. Look for butter knives, tiny jewellery boxes, key chains, and trivets.
04 SOMETHING MADE BY A BLACKSMITH
With a shop located on Nunne in Tallinn’s Old Town, you don’t have to travel all the way to island of Saaremaa for a wrought iron souvenir from Saaremaa Sepad.
05 SOMETHING TO READ
We asked some expats living in Tallinn what their favourite books (fiction or non) were. Here’s what they suggested: My Estonia – Justin Petrone and John Bickerson Bolling
Purge – Sofi Oksanen
Carrying Linda’s Stones – Suzanne Stiver Lie, Lynda Malik, Ilvi Jõe-Cannon, Rutt Hinrikus
War in the Woods – Mart Laar
Sentence Siberia – Ann Lehtmets, Douglas Hoile
The Singing Revolution – DVD
Made in Estonia How to spot locally made souvenirs in Tallinn.
TEXT KRISTINA LUPP, PHOTOS ANDREI CHERTKOV