Flavors from Finland


I’m a new blogger from Finland and am proud to introduce you some flavors from my home country. Thanks Meghan for the chance to promote my tiny country and its delicious foods!

- Finland is situated between Sweden and Russia, in northern Europe- Finland has 5.4 million inhabitants

- The capital of Finland is Helsinki

- There are more than 2 million saunas in Finland

- We do not have polar bears in Finland ;)

A little background information about Finland:


(Source: http://www.d-t-n.org/site/graphics/missionandtravel/europe_map.gif)

Now you know a bit about my home country! In this post I’m going to concentrate on my favorite topic; FOOD.

Traditional Finnish cuisine is similar to Swedish, German and Russian cuisines. Finnish dishes tend to be less sweet than Swedish ones, and Finns use little or no sour cream in preparation compared to their Russian neighbors.

Traditional dishes (perinneruoka) are rarely eaten on a daily basis and saved for the real holidays, such as Christmas and Easter. The traditional dishes are often regional and more valued by the older generations or only eaten during a specific holiday; for example Mämmi during Easter. This following dish is only eaten during Easter, (almost) never on other occasions. For the recipe of Mämmi go here (link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M%C3%A4mmi)


Mämmi does not look very appealing :D

Source (http://yle.fi/ecepic/archive/00064/mammi_jpg_64740b.jpg)

Home-made food (kotiruoka) can be also found in restaurants and we have many restaurants in Helsinki specializing in traditional Finnish food.

The most common traditional foods in Finland (which are eaten on daily basis in Finnish homes):

Leipäjuusto (direct translation is bread cheese)


Source: http://img.mtv3.fi/mn_kuvat/mtv3/koti/ohjelmat/makuja/uutiskuvat/575247.jpg

It’s usually eaten with jam, but I usually eat without. It doesn’t have much flavor and it feels a bit rubbery in your mouth but once you get used to it, you will love it!

Reindeer (poronkäristys)


Source: http://www.ruokala.net/static_images/view/3116/size:recipe

Reindeer is usually eaten with mashed potatoes, jam and pickles. It’s one of the most popular dishes among those foreigners I have introduced this dish to.

Cabbage rolls (kaalikääryleet)


Source: http://static.iltalehti.fi/ruoka/kaalikaaryleSP_h3.jpg

They look like spring rolls, but are not. It’s minced meat (ground beef) rolled into a cabbage leaf. They’re also served with jam, usually with cranberry.

These took me almost 20 years to like them, but now I actually like eating the rolls, I also should try making them at home. As a child this used to be my most-hated-dish-ever :D

Pea Soup (hernekeitto)

Pea soup is one of the most popular dishes among poor students. It’s cheap, filling and even though you have tons of gas in your stomach after eating a can, sometimes you just don’t mind. Pea soup is usually eaten here every Thursday. Even my office has pea soup Thursdays! It’s eaten with mustard or, like in the picture, with ham ;)


Source: http://www.tiesydameen.fi/files/tiesydameen/recipes/0c545f_hernerokka.jpg



Finnish meatballs (lihapullat)

These are a familiar dish in my kitchen. My boyfriend loves my home made meatballs and I have also made them in Germany for a bunch of Germans who had no idea how to make them at home, they were a success!


Source: http://img.mtv3.fi/mn_kuvat/mtv3/koti/ohjelmat/taydellinen_paiva/jaksot/544831.jpg

They are also usually eaten with mashed potatoes.

Pickled herring (silli)


Source: http://www.acc.umu.se/~wschedin/midsommer/midsommarmat-06-06-23b.jpg

There are tons of different kinds of pickled herrings in Finnish grocery stores. I personally love the middle one, herring with mustard. They are a traditional summer dish and are eaten with new (small) potatoes and dill.


This is a product I tried to explain in my blog some time ago. It was difficult! I found an article in Foodista (link here: http://www.foodista.com/food/WQ244GRP/viili) about viili!


Source: http://euromarket.lahikauppa.fi/client-data/recipePictures/19806.jpg

Smoked fish (savustettu liha)

We Finns love fish, especially smoked fish! We have so many different kinds of fish and I really want to make you drool in the end of my guest post, so here are some pictures of my favorite delicacy ;)


Source: http://www.lansi-savo.fi/Vapaa-aika/9254128.jpg



Source: http://plaza.fi/s/f/editor/images/Nida_savukala300.jpg


Source: http://www.melonta.com/images/savukalaa.JPG

I hope you all enjoyed this little journey to Finnish cuisine. Feel free to ask me more anytime!

Anne, thanks so much for sharing all of this great information on Finnish cuisine!

You should definitely all visit Anne’s blog Food Loving Polar Bear for more a glimpse into her life in Finland and some of her upcoming travels!

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Tags: Finland, Food, Guest Blogger

  1. Daisy’s avatar

    I really enjoyed this post and learning about the country of Finland and the interesting cuisine. I’d love to try reindeer. Thanks Anne! Looking forward to all your European adventures, too :)


  2. Jean at The Delightful Repast’s avatar

    This is soooo interesting. I think I’ve only ever met one person from Finland. I shall follow your blog in order to learn more about this fascinating country.


  3. Raija’s avatar

    My father was Finnish, but I never learned about the cuisine growing up. Thanks for this!


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