Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Markets of Estonia. Part 2. Farm Days

During the past few months I have had a chance to visit "Farm Days" twice. Robbins Farm Days in Robbins NC, and Jäneda Talupäevad in Jäneda, Estonia. While there were many differences - Estonians stay away from parades (most likely due to soviet times) while Americans love to show off their horses, tractors and cars... the main setup was similar: food vendors, people selling handicrafts, some musicians playing on the street, show of farm equipment etc. However - Estonians were showing the newest high tech big machinery available to farmers, while Americans seemed to dwell nostalgically in the past. (that is not qualitative statement just an observation).
I do have to say that food in Estonia was better. We ate boiled potatoes with gravy, black rye bread, a salad and something we call "kotlet" (basically meat loaf in small patties, fried in the skillet) off of ceramic plates, and had juice diluted with water ("morss") to chase it from glass cups, all of this was very "pocket friendly"; while in Robbins I treated my sister and kids to corn dogs and a plate of butterfly chips and 1 super sweet lemonade which cost us about 16 bucks... our food was on styrofoam plates, and a plastic cup... the alternatives were not much different.
The band we saw in Robbins was pretty good though!

Anyway, here are a few images from the event in Jäneda, Estonia.

Something exotic! We were excited to see those guys, until Maarja said:"Oh, I see them in Tartu all the time... they are not REALLY playing..."
Dried fish and onions! Yeah! Estonians eat a LOT of fish - dried, smoked, marinated, fried, salted...
This was a small company that offers an alternative to regular store bought bread, which is also of high quality. (Although, gone are the days when you could go to your local small store and buy fresh, warm, made-the-same-morning bread with crunchy crust and intoxicating aroma - and it was packaged right there in paper, not in plastic at the factory...)
All and all - we need more opportunities for moving food straight from the grower, baker or canner to the table, without the middlemen...

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