Estonia's cafes and bakeries are prepared for Vastlapäev

Bakers preparing vastlakuklid in Põlva before Vastlapäev in February 2023.
Bakers preparing vastlakuklid in Põlva before Vastlapäev in February 2023. Source: ERR

On Monday, Estonia's bakers were busy preparing for one of their busiest days of the year — Vastlapäev (Shrove Tuesday) — which this year falls tomorrow (February 21).

Every year, thousands of buns filled with whipped cream — known as vastlakuklid in Estonian — are sold across the country.

Monday's "Aktuaalne kaamera" spoke to bakeries in Põlva County, Central Estonia about their preparations.

Work was fast-paced at Tillu kodukohvik as the cafe expects to sell around 1,000 buns on Vastlapäev.

Owner Eve Veski said the cream they use is "100 percent Estonian whipped cream". Their vastlakuklid contains the traditional cream filling, but also extras such as jam.

Tillu kodukohvik's "Elagu Eesti!" Shrove Tuesday bun. Source: ERR

But this year, the bakers are whipping up an extra special treat to coincide with another holiday taking place this week.

"This year we have an extra whipped cream bun because the anniversary of the Republic of Estonia is very close to Vastlapäev and we decided to make an "Elagu Eesti!" (Long Live Estonia) bun with blue, black and white whipped cream," Veski said.

Estonia's 105th Independence Day falls on Thursday and the buns' design echoes the country's flag.

At bakery chain Lõuna Pagarid, extra workers were called in on Monday. The company planned to make approximately 35,000 buns.

Lenten buns at Reval Cafe. Source: Reval Cafe

"The top has to be removed, then we fill them with jam and whipped cream or just whipped cream, according to your order," manager Kaire Kivirähk said, talking AK through the process.

She said vegan buns are requested every year, but the traditional cream-filled bun is still the most popular. Two-thirds of their vastlakuklid just contain cream, while the jam is added to rest.

Other Vastlapäev traditions include sledding and eating pea soup.

Read ERR New's feature about the history of Estonia's Shrove Tuesday buns here (first published last year).


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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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