Lords of the Drinks

Hapukapsasupp, the Estonian sauerkraut soup that kills hangovers


The Estonian cure: hapukapsasupp.

We already gave you some tips and tricks to get rid of your hangover. But every country has its own traditional dishes to make the process go faster. We like to give you a taste of the international anti-hangover cuisine. In this episode we will explain how to make a dish from Estonia that goes by the great name hapukapsasupp, which literally means sauerkraut soup. It is commonly served for breakfast at for example fraternity houses. In other words: places where people can use a hangover cure. It’s pretty easy to make and quite effective.

First of all we need to give credits to Maiu from the weblog Toronto Cooks. She is a born Estonian who provided us with the recipe for this sauerkraut soup. We thank you Maiu! Now about Estonia, which is the northernmost of the three Baltic States and the most popular destination for booze cruises from Scandinavia. As you probably know alcohol is heavily taxed in Sweden and Finland and therefor quite expensive. But as soon as they set foot on the boat to Estonia the prices drop big time. Many Swedish people with a 2 way ticket don’t even get off and stay on the boat the entire time. Now this is also a bit of a waste since Estonia has a lot to enjoy while having some drinks. A lot of Finnish guys make it a weekend of alcohol tourism. And boy, did they come to the right place.

Like most countries in the region vodka and beer are the most common drinks in Estonia. But if you want something typically Estonian you should try Vana Talinn, a rum-based liqueur with an alcohol content of 50. Estonians themselves of course also hold their liquor quite well. A fact that anti-alcohol activist Lauri Beekmann managed to spin to this quote: “We are a tiny nation of 1.4 million people and one of the world’s fastest shrinking population. A country like ours will die out if it keeps drinking like this.” Propaganda no doubt, but it does paint a picture of a country of excellent drinkers.

Also a kind of people that may need a solid hangover cure from time to time and luckily the Estonians found one. Hapukapsasupp is not just a funny word, it’s a highly effective medicine after a night of partying. Plus it’s tasty and easy to make, which is also convenient when you’re feeling not your best. As said we bring you Maiu’s recipe but it’s also not uncommon to add extra ingredients like potatoes, carrots. onions, parsley and black peppercorns. Well, here we go…

500 grams of fresh sauerkraut
400 grams of pork meat
100 grams of barley

Put the sauerkraut and barley in a pot along with 2 liter s of water. Meanwhile cut the pork meat in half, put it in another pot with water and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 5 to 10 minutes, then take it out and rinse with cold water. Now you can add it to the pot of the sauerkraut and barley. Let this pot simmer on low heat for about 2,5 hours and stir every 30 minutes. When you think the soup is getting to thick, add water.
Half an hour before the soup is done you take out the pork meat, cut it up and put it back in the pot for the last 30 minutes. Add salt to taste and you are done. Enjoy your Estonian hangover cure. Terviseks!

Micky Bumbar

Check out more tasty hangover cures from around the world