Friday, July 20, 2007

Two years of KAMA promotion, and a new delicious kama dessert recipe

This Sunday is the second 'anniversary' of my kama post, the Estonian ingredient with a difference. Kama is an mixture of various roasted and ground grains & pulses - usually peas, barley, rye and wheat - that is traditionally mixed with sour or curdled milk or kefir or such like. Since that original posting I've been asked by various readers of Nami-nami to send them a packet or two, and I've happily obliged. Many of these recipients have had an Estonian connection, which explains their interest in kama. There's Anne, whose father is Estonian (she wrote about the kama delivery here and my kama & mascarpone truffles here). (And Clivia, whose boyfriend has Estonian roots, bought a bag of kama on her trip to Estonia last summer). Then there was an American-Estonian reader in Palo Alto, CA, who asked for no less than 4 packets of kama. This was followed by a daughter of an Australian-Estonian lady in Queensland, who asked for a packet on behalf of her elderly mum, who had suddenly got nostalgic cravings for kama with fermented milk. Another American-Estonian was missing kama and enquired about it on my blog. And just this month a comment was left by two Dutch girls, Elze & Ike, who had tried kama in Estonia few years ago and were keen to try it again (so much, that they'd really like me to send two, and not just one, packet of this grain mixture).. But it's not just expat Estonians or previous visitors who have been emailing me and asking me about kama. Last year one of the eGullet readers, Eden, asked me to send her a packet of kama and a bar of kama chocolate (and she sent me some amazing chocolates in return - I still long for those Smoked Salt Caramels by Fran's Chocolates!!) I think I could earn a nice little extra income if I'd open an official kama export business :)

Every single visitor from abroad has been served kama in one form or another in our house, and they've always asked for second helpings, so there's something in this very humble-sounding dessert after all. And it's not just domestic kitchens which are facing a kama revival. After years of suffering from the image of 'too humble to be served outside domestic kitchens', it's now making an appearance in many of the fancy restaurant menus (for example Pädaste Manor House on Muhu island, Egoist in Tallinn), as well as festive menus served to foreign dignitaries (George Bush, for example, was served a dessert of Kama and cream cheese cake with pumpkin marmalade last November). The Independence Day reception hosted by the president on 24th of February 2007 featured a dessert of sour cream & kama mousse with lingonberry jam and cornflower blossoms.

I thought it'd be nice to mark the 2-year 'anniversary' of my first kama posting by giving you a simple recipe for another delicious kama dessert.

Kama mousse with season's berries
(Kamavaht marjadega)
Serves 4

400 ml whipping cream
3 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp kama mixture
fresh fruit or berries, chopped if necessary

Whip the cream and sugar until soft peaks form, then fold in kama mixture. Finally, layer in glasses or dessert bowls with season's fruit or berries. On the top photo, the kama mousse is layered with sweetened strawberry puree. On the second photo the mousse is mixed with wild blueberries/bilberries.

And if you're lucky enough to have some of this kama mixture, then you can also try my recipe for kama & mascarpone 'truffles'.

Wish you all a lovely weekend! And of course, if you fancy trying some kama yourself, then leave me a comment stating so. I'll see what I can do :)

UPDATE 30.7.2007: You can see another beautiful photo of kama mousse here - Maarja has made a fabulous version with blueberries and raspberries.


Katie Zeller said...

What an interesting, um, food! I'm not sure what to call it and I can't begin to imagine the taste - or how it came to be used in desserts!
Is there anything you'd like from the Vendee in trade? We have salt...lots and lots of sea salt...
and beans...

Kajakas said...

oi-oi kus tuli himu praegu :D
sel suvel sõime seda magustoitu Koguva külas, eriti hiaaaa

Alanna Kellogg said...

Hello? Hellooo???? (Waving arms wildly. Jumping up and down. Running inside for clown outfit, including red bushy wig. Pointing satellite camera to my back yard. Dancing wildly, now!!! Beaming picture to Estonia to my dear sweet lovely darling sweet - oops I said that - friend Pille.) Hello???

Meeta K. Wolff said...

This sounds so interesting, Pille. I have to admit I cannot imagine what it would taste like. But I am now very curious!

K and S said...

never heard of this but it sounds really delicious! especially with all that fruit on it. :)

Valerie, Aventures Californiennes said...

I m french woman, i just start a new french food blog because I want to share my easy french cook. I just read your blog, it's so delicious... I have to try !

Valentina said...

Pille, I was away for nearly a month in singapore on business.How wonderful to come back and to read about kama. I will read your original post which I have missed. It looks lovely served, which specks of grains.

Heidi said...

Pille, This dessert is very pretty

Evelin said...

Tubli promo teed!:)
Olen andunud kamafänn. Oh ja mitte ainult, minu meelest on Eesti toidulaua eriline osa ka kohupiim - nii häid asju juba mujal ei saa:)

Pille said...

Katie - hmm. Sea salt sounds pretty good :)

Kajakas - selle kamavahuga on selline lõbus asi, et isegi eestlased tihti kahtlevad. Pakkusin seda eelmisel nädalal tädile, täditütrele ja vanaemale ja kõik olid üllatunud, et see nii hea oli. No mis ta siis olema pidi?!?

Alanna - was that a 'yes'?

Meeta - we'll see what we can do:)

K&S - it tastes much better than it sounds, believe me!

Valerie - I'm glad you like my blog, and good luck with your own blog! Blogging is lots of fun:)

Valentina - thank you for your sweet words! Hope you had great time in Singapore!

Dinha - thank you!

Evelin - no eks ma üritan :) Kohupiim on ka hea, täitsa nõus. Ma sellest olen juba üht-teist kirjutanud ka, kuigi päris kamaga võrreldavat promo mitte :)

Katrina said...

Pille, have you tried to make your own Kama? I'd love to try actually! I'm wondering whether one could omit wheat (for gluten-intolerant..)

Pille said...

Oh, Katrina :) If you'd make it to a gluten-intolerant, you'd also have to omit barley, rye and wheat, and serving just roasted pea meal wouldn't really be kama :)

You could make most of these desserts using a good fine oatmeal - some gluten-intolerant people eat oats. I always thought that Scottish oat desserts reminded me of Estonian kama desserts...