I have just sipped some of the nation’s finest coffee, and I am looking forward to brunch, which will include that mythic rye bread, along with deer stew seasoned with allspice and touched with cream, and some of the finest pickles ever to grace my – or anyone else’s – plate. Sami’s mother makes them from cucumbers grown in her garden east of Helsinki, and the soil there is fed by a local source, so you can imagine it’s richness!
There is Much to Finland Besides Its Foods
I’ve spent days with Sami walking around his native city, Helsinki, and there is so much to see, experience, taste. I fell for the imposingly stunning Lutheran Church in Helsinki’s Senate Square, commissioned by the Russian government when it held sway here (until 1917), designed by a German architect, and left to reign over the city’s main square.
Bear Meat, Among Other Delicacies
There is, too, the charming and sophisticated Hietalahden kauppahalli, a traditional market that sits near the sea, and whose wooden-framed stalls that date to a previous century offer everything from cans of bear meat to blini sandwiches topped with cold and hot-smoked salmon, among other things.
A Library to Pine For
I could live at Helsinki’s unbelievably rich Oodi Library, where half the city dwellers do seem to spend much of their time, or wander among the pastel-colored buildings that were added to the city in the 1920’s and host shops, cafés (oh! The cinnamon buns. Oh! The almond-scented cakes!), and galleries.
Forests Just Outside the City
And then there are the seemingly endless birch and pine forests outside the city, that stretch north into Lapland, We’ve been there, I’ve shoveled pathway after pathway there! And you’ll go there with us too!
There is, of course, so much more to this country, but we are focused on foods as Sami and I tour his native city and beyond, tasting and sampling, delighting in the flavors and textures of everything! Join us in videos and here at the blog.