Finns appreciate simplicity and honesty in all things. Food included.
Finnish cuisine is not yet a household name but along its Scandinavian counterparts, it’s making a splash. Everything starts with pure ingredients from nature, and less is usually more. When it comes to ingredients and recipes, each Finnish region has its own delicious character and deep-rooted traditions. Finland is where east meets west – in the north.
We as Finns are passionate about our food and are keen to celebrate it. We are fiercely loyal to our culinary roots and proud of our local traditions. Best of all, we have started to appreciate local produce and traditions more and more. Finnish modesty has taken a back seat while a healthy pride for our cuisine has emerged.
From Michelin-awarded restaurants and local breweries to cozy home cooking – let’s take a gastronomic journey through Finland.
Finnish food is pure
Due to our northern location, Finland is a haven of clean and naturally nutrient-rich foods. The long summer days and cool temperatures enhance the aromas and pigments in wild berries, mushrooms and herbs. These wild delicacies grow in clean, Nordic soil with clean air and clean water. Some of the cleanest in the world, actually.
Come summer and autumn, Finns scour their vast forests and fields for these delicious treasures. You can also find these treats in the menus of restaurants across the country. For a true taste of the Finnish nature, try fresh summer potatoes, jam made of cloudberries – also known as the ‘gold of the Arctic’ – lingonberry juice, or even spruce sprout powder in your morning yogurt. Spruce sprouts have more vitamin C than oranges!
Finnish food is innovative
Innovative use of natural ingredients and a laid-back atmosphere are what our food culture and cuisine are all about. It’s a humble but ambitious no-frills attitude towards some of the best and cleanest ingredients in the world. Our long winters and intense growing seasons in the summer ensure that flavors and colors are plentiful.
At the moment, Finland has one of the most vibrant food scenes in Europe. Restaurants ranging from Michelin-awarded fine dining establishments to more traditional spots dot the Finnish landscape like mushrooms after a September rain. And new ones keep popping up. We also have a number of food events and festivals, just waiting for your visit.
Finnish food is authentically local
Although you can buy just about anything your heart desires in Finland these days, go native the next time you are here, and you will be in for a treat. Try a local market place, ‘tori’ in Finnish, during June, July and August and you’ll find a world of treats you never knew existed – and probably the sweetest strawberries and peas in the world. Or venture out to a forest in the fall and pick berries and mushrooms straight from nature. It is allowed due to Everyman’s Rights, ‘Jokamiehen oikeudet’. Do bring a guide (book) with you to make sure you’re picking the best stuff. And always leave nature as you found it, pure and clean.
When you are out and about in Finland, we suggest trying local delicacies of the different regions. Rye bread, Karelian pie (‘karjalanpiirakka’ in Finnish), reindeer stew, bread cheese, cinnamon bun, and Åland pancakes are some of the all-time classics.
Finns love to preserve food for the winter months by freezing, drying and fermenting different ingredients. Preserving food is an age-old tradition, which makes it possible to eat locally all year-round. You might also find these preserved little treasures in restaurants. Don’t hesitate to try them!
Photography : VisitFinland