Whether you are planning a Helsinki city break or a trip to the magical region of Lapland, Finland is a beautiful place to visit. Whilst there are sure to be plenty of international options available, there are some delicious local specialities that you should definitely sample during your holiday. So here are five dishes to try when travelling to Finland.
With a name meaning ‘bread cheese’ this delicious snack comes from northern Finland and the coastal province of Ostrobothnia. It is most often made with cow’s milk but is more traditionally produced using milk from a reindeer. It gets its name from the way that the cheese toasts when it is prepared in the oven and is usually eaten with a dollop of cloudberry jam.
Pies are one thing that we do well in the UK, but we don’t have one like this. Using the abundance of seafood that is available in Finland, Kalakukko is a fish pie that is baked into a loaf of rye bread. The filling consists of fish, pork and bacon and is baked inside a loaf known as Ruisleipä in Finland. Exactly which type of fish used will depend on which part of Savonia you are visiting. People from the north swear that European perch is the best choice, whilst those further south are adamant vendace is better.
The Finnish do comfort food particularly well and this is a great example that is perfect for a cold winter’s night. It’s a simple stew featuring chopped hot dogs which are deliberately chosen for their mild flavour so that they don’t overpower everything else. The stew itself is tomato-based and also includes onions, garlic, carrot and nutmeg. Serve it up with some steamed potatoes and you’ve got a proper winter warmer.
You are likely to see this sweet treat in coffee shops all over Finland, especially during the harvest season. It’s a pie which makes great use of the abundance of lingonberries available in Scandinavia and is just one of the many great fruit desserts you’re likely to come across on a Helsinki city break. The recipe was developed before the invention of the fridge and so the pie was kept fresh thanks to the lingonberries preserving in their own juice. With a crumbly crust and the perfect balance of sweet and sour, it is great on its own or after a main meal.
Known as Sailor’s Stew, this dish gets its name from the fact that sailors’ wives would serve it up to their husbands as a hearty meal at the end of a long day. It’s a casserole made with beef chunks, onions, potatoes (or turnips in the earlier days) and beer – a kind of rustic steak and ale pie I suppose. There is no pastry crust, though. Instead, a topping is made from the sliced potatoes and the dish is served with a wedge of the rye bread mentioned above.
So, if any of that has made you hungry or you are interested in visiting Finland in the near future, contact our team of specialists on 0800 988 3369. We can tailor-make any holiday to suit you and your needs.