Traditional Finnish food

Are you a foodie? You can get to know more about a country by exploring its traditional food!

A new country is all about trying its traditional food

I can describe myself as a “foodie”, especially after arriving in Finland. One of the most I love to experience when I go to a new country is trying its traditional food. After I tasted Finnish food, I have realized they are generally fresh. Also, Finnish pastries are very fun to bake! In this blog, I will share six traditional Finnish foods with you. I hope you will enjoy reading this blog.

Hyvää ruokahalua! (Enjoy your meal!)

Pulla (Cardamom bread)

Pulla was the first Finnish food that I had tried, so I wanted to tell you about this mild-sweet pastry first. Its unique flavour comes from cardamom. On the top, white sugar or almond are sprinkled. There are many types of pulla. For example, if it is a butter and sugar bun, it is called “voisilmäpulla”. You can eat pulla with a cup of tea or coffee.

I have tried to make the vegan pulla with my friends, which turned out to be delicious. It was very exciting to wait while the dough was getting ready.

Lihäpyörykoita (Finnish meatballs)

Meatballs are one of my favourite foods, and they are very common in most countries. Finnish type meatballs are called either “lihäpyöryköita” or “lihapullat” (meat buns). They can even be made from ground beef or reindeer meat. Traditionally, they are served with gravy sauce, mashed potatoes, and lingonberry jam.

Hernekeitto (Pea soup)

What I love the most about Finnish foods is that they have different types of soups, and “hernekeitto” (pea soup) is one of them. Of course, the main ingredient of this soup is pea, but it also has ham inside. It is served with mustard which gives uniqueness. Then, it is usually followed by a pancake with berry-type jam. Traditionally, Thursday is a serving day for this food, and you can eat it at the university cafeterias as well.

Karjalanpiirakka (Karelian pastry)

Karelian pastry or Karelian pie is one of the common Finnish pastries, and its name comes from the region in the east part of Finland. It is a rye crust with rice porridge, and this type is widespread.

There is also another type of this pastry which is filled with mashed potato instead of rice. Both are very delicious, and they can be found in the pastries section of the supermarkets.

Paistetut muikut (Fried vendace)

Since Finland is surrounded by sea, fishing is a common sport. Thus the popularity of using fish in Finnish cuisine.

Fried vendace or in Finnish “paistetut muikutis one of them. It is a small-sized fish, so there is no need to clean it. The fish is covered with flour, then fried. Easy to make and eat!

Salmiakki (Salty liquorice)

Although this one is not really food, I wanted to add this since it is a very traditional candy. It has a very different taste, and you can either love it or hate it.

This little black candy’s main ingredient is ammonium chloride (salmiak salt), and it is used as a cough medicine. There are also some drinks with the flavour of salmiakki. I highly recommend you to try it.

Christmas meal at the university cafeteria

Besides those six traditional foods, I also wanted to add this special meal served at the university cafeteria.

The meal included ham (kinkku), rutabaga casserole (lanttulaatikko), carrot casserole (porkkanalaatikko), boiled potatoes served with Christmas salad (rosolli) which includes beetroot and carrot salad. Also, as a drink, warm “glögi” was served.

About the author

Olcay Ayoglu from Turkey is pursuing a master’s in Mineral Resources and Sustainable Mining at the University of Oulu. She loves trying new recipes, painting, photography, and experiencing new cultures, especially their food.