The magusa/lett (sweets counter) at the Gustav Cafe kohvik in Kalamaja, Tallinn on vastla/päev (Shrove Tuesday). All eyes were focused on the vastla/kuklid (Shrove Tuesday buns) on this day. These ones, with moos (jam) inside, in addition to the usual vahu/koor (whipped cream) were 1.65 € and worth every penny.
It can safely be said that vastla/päev, Shrove Tuesday, is the day when you see the most people on the streets in Tallinn walking and holding funny little boxes. The only day in fact. It's a growing trend that's nice to see. They were taking them home or to friends' places to share. They were mostly younger people. Not to say that older people don't eat and enjoy them, but the spectrum of vastla/kuklid is broad. Every year there are articles rating the best buns out there, but my experience is, that if you want that ones a year tasty treat, you should buy it at a bakery and not a supermarket. Alas, a lot of retired people are not willing or able to buy the fancier models.
I tried my first ever vegan vastlakukkel at a downtown kohvik this year and it was expensive, a whopping 2,90 €, but it was fantastically good. The bun wasn't simply bland white bread (which the cheapest once tend to be), and it contained a törts of moos (jam) and kookos/kreem (coconut whipped cream). The other traditional vastlapäeva food is herne/supp (pea soup). Check! And you should go tobogganing. Unfortunately vastlapäev was the warmest day in a while and all the snow we still had on Feb. 27 (not much, but the ground was white), was gone for the last day of the month. People used to believe that there was a great correlation between the length of your sled run and the height of your flax the following summer. The word vastlad comes from the Danish word fastelavn. The accompanying fastlagsbulle are eaten in various forms in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Riina Kindlam, Tallinn