I lift some mushrooms. Is this a soup? Is it edible? My mushroom knowledge extends to yellow chanterelles and funnel chanterelles. They are cheap anyway. 3 euros for the indefinable mushrooms.
Balti Jaama Turg is located by the railway station in Tallinn and is one of the city's largest markets. Several hundred different sellers of everything possible between heaven and earth come together here. Right at the entrance, there are many sellers of fruit and vegetables, who then also sell mushrooms and berries. The average age among the sellers is high. It squishes avocados and scents like melons. The mushrooms seem strangely quite popular. The prices for the fruit are much lower than at home and the quality is high. A kilo of grapes for 30 kronor. A kilo of raspberries for 140 kronor.
Fall also seems to bring sales of pickled vegetables. The pickled mushrooms we ate with the raw steak were not a coincidence, pickles are part of the Estonian food culture. In order to secure food during the long winters of the historically harsh years, they began to pick berries and mushrooms. The jars sold here look like grandma made them. If we hadn't traveled with only hand luggage, I would have dragged a can home with me.
The market stretches through several buildings and directly inside the greengrocers, we find the fish market. Quantities of smoked fish, frozen fish. pickled herring(!) in cans and caviar change hands here. I'm not talking about just any caviar. Without "Russian" caviar.
Cultivated sturgeon - Tuuramari - sold in packages between 30-100g. A 10-gram package costs 250 kronor in Sweden. Here at the market in Tallinn, you get 50 grams for the same price. In Sweden, the wild-caught sturgeon from the Caspian Sea is prohibited, but the cultivated can be sold. I see no Caspian caviar here. Good.
So far we haven't bought anything. Neither mushrooms nor caviar. But now it can't be resisted any longer. We come to Kalev. Kalev is Estonia's oldest chocolate factory and they sell really good chocolate at good prices. So we buy chocolate and swell a little on the spot. And thinking about when we should pass by here to be able to shop as much as possible and carry as little as possible. For chocolate - we'll take that home with us.
Upstairs, the market changes shape. Children's clothes, bags, underwear, jackets, toys - quite simply a mixed bag. I stop by an old aunt and squeeze a little on her knitted gray socks with dommens on them. Super sticky, but super nice. She runs around to my side, measures a little at my boot and hands me another pair. She thinks I need a size bigger. The daughter finds an umbrella too. We strike.
A little further in we enter the antique market. We look around quickly and turn around before we get too enamored with any gadget. This is not a place where you can shop if you travel only with hand luggage, here we would have needed a smaller car. One floor down we find the meat market, bakeries and more sweet shops. How big is the market really?
We have lunch upstairs at the Humalakoda microbrewery. The hop code turned out to be so good it deserved its own post - read more about their otherworldly artichoke fries and juicy burgers here.
We pass more greengrocers on the way out, one fresher than the other. And look, finally I see a mushroom I recognize. Yellow chanterelles. Picked in Estonia. Not pickled. It's almost like I buy a kilo just because I can.
How do I get to Balti Jaama Turg?
Balti Jaama Turg is located northwest of the old city ring wall, right next to the railway station. It's not far to walk here from the old town, so take a small detour when you're out walking anyway.
Balti Jaama Turg
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Have you been here? What did you think of the destination?
Travel blogger, gastronaut, photographer and family adventurer with over 55 countries in his luggage. Eva loves trips that include beautiful nature, hiking boots and well-cooked food. On the travel blog Rucksack she takes you to all corners of the world with the help of her inspiring pictures and texts.