Food of Finland

From start to finish - Finnish food is good

Let's start with something not everyone knows. Dining in Finland is a wonderful experience. Not only is the produce and cooking extremely good, but the food is different.


Standout memories for me include a loaf of bread baked with tiny whole fish inside. Cut in slices, you had cross-sections of the fish ready-packed into an open-sandwich! How convenient.

Then there are the traditional Karelian rye pasties, filled (strangely) with a rice mixture and traditionally served with a hardboiled egg and butter mixture. It may sound a little over-carbed, but they are totally addictive and really need to be experienced to be fully appreciated.


Strawberries grow well in Scandinavia, and the cold sunny climate makes them perhaps the best in the world. The first summer we visited, I was amazed to see locals buying punnets of these rich red berries and snacking as they walked down the streets. The pavements were littered with strawberry hulls.


We noticed in Helsinki that even in the few years since we had last visited, that a real cafe culture has emerged with in the warmer months at least, chairs and tables spilling out onto paved areas outside the cafes.


Perhaps the best open-air market in Helsinki is on the waterfront where you can buy fish and seafood as well as fruit and vegetables. 


However on our last trip we discovered a market just across the road from our hotel in Turku where people were relaxing, enjoying the brilliant early morning summer sunshine (well not so early morning - in Finland in mid-summer the sun rises about 2am) and having a coffee.


Finnish food features onions, and here they are delicious and sweet, often sold attached to their tops, which are also used.


Then there are tomatoes in a range of colours.


But we have left the best until last. This decadent selection is enough to make you realise that the Finns, for all their love of onions and rye bread and fish, like a delicious finish as much as anyone else, and there are many wonderful cake shops.




If you are looking for Turku- 2011 Capital of Culture... it's here.



CAPITAL: Helsinki

ETHNIC INFLUENCES: Karelians from between eastern Finland and Russia have added a little Russian flavour to the cuisine which is influenced strongly by the local seafood, vegetables and berries.

POPULAR RESTAURANTS: Kotipizza, the largest pizza restaurant chain in Finland won the America's Plate International pizza contest in New York in 2008 beating Italy into second place.

BREAKFAST: Open sandwiches, cheese, yoghurt, oatmeal or cereal. 

SNACKS: Pastries, fresh strawberries.

BREAD: Dark rye bread is a staple, although oats, barley and wheat are used. Flat breads called rieska are popular. Pulla is a sweet enriched bread.

CHEESE: Leip-juusto

POPULAR DISHES: Kalakukko fish baked in bread from Savonlinna, cabbage rolls, Hernekeitto pea soup, usually served on Thursdays, Karelian pasties

OTHER DISHES: Lihapullat, Finnish meatballs in gravy.

LOCAL DRINKS: Sima (mead), sahti (traditional beer), pontikka (Finnish moonshine), and kilju (sugar wine) and berry liqueurs. Mulled wine called glögi is served at Christmas. Coffee is popular. 

PRODUCE: Fish, seafood and lake fish, reindeer meat, game, vegetables - especially root vegetables and potatoes, mushrooms, berries, rye, barley, oats, milk, buttermilk.

NEED TO KNOW: Reindeer is generally available in restaurants.

UNUSUAL FOODS: Pizza Berlasconi - smoked reindeer pizza. Leip-juusto, cheese served in coffee.

HEALTHY EATING: Due to very strict food hygiene regulations, moose meat is mainly consumed in the homes of hunters, and rarely in restaurants.


Do you have a favourite Finnish dish? Please tell everyone about it.



0 #1 Color fullShaheer 2021-04-02 16:13
Yes it's colourful pictures...

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