Over centuries, rye bread has been the most important food for the Estonian people. Under the initiative of the Estonian Rye Society, rye was declared Estonia’s national grain and rye bread the most important national food. However, rye is an extremely varied grain, the culinary use of which is not limited to bread. Rye flour includes up to 11% protein, 75-77% carbohydrate, and 1-2% fat. In addition to that, rye flour also contains several necessary mineral substances for one’s body (potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron) and B-group vitamins which are necessary for one’s nervous system and skin.
Sangaste can unofficially be called the rye capital of Estonia. 130 years ago, as the result of the initial cultivation work of Fr. Berg, a highly educated and progressive Baltic-German squire, a new sort of winter rye, called Sangaste, was created and this is the oldest known rye sort still in use today. With its tall and thick straw, good yield, as well as winter and illness resistance, Sangaste rye was acknowledged in several world exhibitions: silver medal in Harkov in 1888, big golden medal in Paris in 1889, the first prize in Chicago in 1893.
Next to the traditional dishes included in the menu of the Sangaste Rye House you can also find some dishes that contain rye to a smaller or larger extent.