Cumberland Times-News

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
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Basketball stars may linger on campus a while longer

    The NBA seems serious about raising its minimum age, which could signal the end of the one-and-done era in college basketball.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cats outsmart the researchers

    I knew a lot had been written about dogs, and I assumed there must be at least a handful of studies on cats. But after weeks of scouring the scientific world for someone - anyone - who studied how cats think, all I was left with was this statement, laughed over the phone to me by one of the world's top animal cognition experts, a Hungarian scientist named Ádám Miklósi.

    April 22, 2014

  • McCain 1 House Republicans are more active on Twitter than Democrats

    Your representative in the House is almost certainly on Twitter. Your senator definitely is. But how are they using the social network? Are Democrats more active than Republicans, or vice versa? Who has the most followers on the Hill?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads