Eesti Elu
Voulez-vous some SUIR or some SÕIR ce soir?
Arvamus 25 Jan 2013 EL (Estonian Life)Eesti Elu
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Riina Kindlam, Tallinn

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On the right is sõir, a homemade quark cheese (kohupiima/juust) that hails from Southern Estonia. It traditionally contains caraway seeds (köömned), but need not. Although you can purchase it at various markets all over Estonia, it's easy to make yourself.

And further below is suir, a mass of pollen with added honey, packed into granules by worker bees to feed their young. Humans have also grown to appreciate the naturally fermented protein (valk) and vitamins found in bee pollen, also known as beebread. Suir photo by Riina Kindlam, sõir photo courtesy of Pille Petersoo,

Have you considered popping some suir as part of a healthier New Year's regime? Or tried sõir as an appetizer (eel/roog)? They're both made for consumption with great care and love.

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When I first typed sõir into my internet search engine (otsingu/mootor), the only hits I got were for soir – evening in French. And I have to admit, I kept forgetting "that other word" (suir), that I've wanted to simultaneously introduce for a while, since it's so similar and most likely just as new to readers. Are they both fringe delicacies? Well, suir (bee pollen), also known as mesilaste leib (bee bread) is not eaten for its great taste. In fact it's kibe (bitter), some say hapu (sour) and magically, naturally hapendatud (fermented) by the bee's secret ingredient, an amazing lactic acid bacteria (piim/happe/bakter).

If you're not a beekeeper (mesinik), you're most likely not familiar with many apiarian (mesinduse) terms, but it's a fascinating world, that yields products renown for their prophylactic and healing properties. Royal jelly is mesilas/ema/toite/piim ("queen bee feeding milk"), propolis is taru/vaik ("hive resin"), pollen = õie/tolm ("blossom dust") and pollination = tolmeldamine ("dusting", as in stirring it up, not whisking tolm off furniture). The Estonian terms paint quite a clear picture... A human-built hive is a taru or mesi/puu (honey tree!), while the bee's architectural feat within, the honeycomb = kärg. The suir is actually meant as a feast for the growing larvae (vastsed, sing. vastne) inside the comb's brood cells (kärje/kannud).

(Loe edasi Eesti Elu 25. jaanuari paberlehest)
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