Dancing Tomatoes

local. seasonal. sustainable.

Finland, snow, red house

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.

shovel, snow, Susan

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. 

Hyvää ruokahalua! Bon Appétit!

4 thoughts on “We Are in Finland!”

  1. HI Susan
    Wow many congrats on being able to get away. So envious. Have a great time trying all of the strange foods.
    Last time in Helsinki was when I had just met my wife to be . We were on our way to Russia.
    Paul from Aus.

    1. Hi Paul,

      I LOVED Finland, everything. The food, the people, the landscape, Helsinki, the Moomins… It’s a really wonderful place. And it is nice to be travelling again. Going to the US next week…to teach.

  2. Susan,From a discussion has been circling a group of US friends. Has anyone eaten Finnish food? Can you name one Finnish dish excluding rain deer and rye bread? The universal answer from over 90 surveyed folks, 88 No , 2 Yes (work visitors to Helsinki).

    What is the best Finnish:
    Main Course?
    Dessert ?
    What is the best English language Finnish cookbook?
    And, when someone says, I have a hankering for Finnish food tonight. Where should we go (if they’re not in Finland)?

    Guidance is appreciated! Also, look up Trenary Toast, “a traditional Finnish treat”. Thanks for post. Hope you are well.

    1. Rob, Well, I don’t know about Finnish cookbooks, but Jahnssens Temptation is both Swedish and Finnish (like so much since they were one for 700 years) and a world-class dish, as are spinach pancakes with lingonberry jam, elk and garlic stew, pancakes with cream and cloudberry jam, herring and fresh herbs, dill and alder-smoked salmon on rye bread, rye bread of every imagineable kind and, of course Runeberg’s cake among many. If someone has a hankering for Finnish food, go to a deli and get smoked salmon, a market to get fresh dill, a shop to get rye bread, and somewhere else to get sweet butter and you have a Finnish feast in the making!

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