News and Tribune

Z_CNHI News Service

November 4, 2013

European capital's delicacies reveal its rich past

During a too-brief visit to Tallinn, Estonia,  this summer, I devoted an afternoon to an eye-opening tour that gave me a taste of foods served in the days when the city - the oldest capital in Northern Europe - was a rich Hanseatic League town named Reval.

After linking up with guide Iveta Mandla, a charming lady who leads groups through Tallinn's Old Town, we started off on a romp that included four tasting stops and had turned into a complete dinner by tour’s end.

Our first stop was the Old Town Pharmacy, the oldest in continuous use in Europe, for a sample of marzipan, the tasty confectionery made with sugar or honey and ground almonds from an "ancient recipe."

No exact date chronicles when the pharmacy, thought to be the birthplace of marzipan, opened. But records show it already had its third owner in 1422.

The "raeapteek," as the pharmacy is called in Estonian, still stocks medicinal essentials such as aspirin and cough syrup. But at one time  patrons could also find things like swallow’s nests, burnt hedgehogs, bat powder - even unicorn horn powder - in the pharmacy inventory.

Later, a quick but fascinating stop at Haa Eesti Asi gave me a look at a foodie’s dream emporium. In between sampling several tasty foods, I jotted down the names of things that caught my eye including Estonian cheeses; flavored honeys; crackers made from blueberries, cranberries or black currants; as well as canned bear meat, wild bear terrine, moose meat, jarred eel and moose and horse sausage.

Moving on to the town’s 1404 City Hall, we stepped into a candlelit, brick vaulted, Medieval tavern on the first floor where ladies in period garb handed us bowls of delicious elk and wild boar soup along with meat pies that resembled a flaky croissant.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Z_CNHI News Service
LOCAL MAGAZINES
Easter 2014 photos


Click on any photo to purchase it.

SPECIAL CONTENT
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
2013 Photos of the year


Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.