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Vitamin Q: the book!

~ Thursday, July 07, 2005

In recent weeks Italian leader Berlusconi and his French counterpart Chirac have both made derogatory remarks about the food of Finland, suggesting it is the worst in the EU. Having done a bit of research, Vitamin Q reckons they are very wrong:

rye crispbread – a Finnish staple, along with coarse breads made from oats and barley
kalakukko – pasty filled with fish and pork
grilled lampreys – small, eel-like fish, a favourite dish in the Western town of Pori
ravut (crayfish) with dill – a summer dish
reindeer - smoked reindeer meat is eaten all year round; reindeer stew, served with mashed potato is a Lapp favourite; poronkäristys is a popular dish of fried reindeer meat
sianlihakastike – a thick meaty pork gravy
black pudding with lingonberry sauce – popular in Tampere (sauces made from rowan or cranberries are also popular)
kaaliääryleet – cabbage leaves stuffed with minced meat, vegetables and rice; kaalipiiraka is a cottage pie-style dish using similar ingredients
makkara – sausage is hugely popular; raisin, saltwater and onion sausages are all regional variants
tippaleipd – a sweetmeat of pastry strands traditionally eaten on Mayday
Lindströmin pihvi – a beef and beetroot burger served with spicy sauce
pulla – sweet bun eaten with coffee
Karjalan piirapat – pasties filled with rice or potato
Kainuu chowder – a winter soup made from burbot, milk and potatoes is a speciality
willow grouse – delicate tasting game bird eaten in the North
prune pastries – eaten at Christmas
lihapyorykoita – beef meatballs served with cream
fish – salmon, vendace or herring served in aspic or with sauces and boiled potatoes; smoked fish, especially salmon is common
Janssonin kiusaus – an oven dish with potatoes and anchovies cooked in cream; silakkalaatikko is a similar meal with herring
hernekeitto (pea soup) – popularly served throughout the nation on Thursdays (a throwback to when filling foods were eaten before fasting on a Friday)
mämmi – a malty treacle pudding eaten at Easter
mokaja – hearty spiced stew of beef and root vegetables
burbot roe and blini – Finnish twist on a popular Russian dish
chilled cranberries with hot toffee sauce – delicious sounding dessert; cloudberries are popular in the North
crepes – giant crepes served with berry jams are popular, as are oven-cooked pancakes (kraupsua)

Source: various (I'm no expert on the subject so any passing Finns are welcome to correct me or add obvious dishes I have missed)

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