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The Classics

1. Leipäjuusto (Cheese)

Leipäjuusto (“bread cheese”) is a cheese traditionally made from cow’s, goat’s or reindeer’s milk and originating from Northern Finland and Kainuu.
Leipäjuusto is usually baked, grilled or flambéed to give it its peculiar brown or charred appearance.
Fresh leipäjuusto is usually dried in an airy place for a few days.
After that, Finns also enjoy it dunked in their coffee!
However, Leipäjuusto is mainly eaten with cloudberries or cranberries, either cold or baked out of the oven.
It is also often found as a garnish in salads, and there are also cake recipes with leipäjuusto.

In the United States, it is also known as Finnish squeaky cheese.

2. Poronkäristys (Sautéed reindeer)

Poronkäristys is roasted reindeer and a very popular dish in the northern parts of the Scandinavian countries Norway, Sweden and Finland. It is considered a national dish in Finland. In Sweden roasted reindeer is known as renskav and in Norway as finnbiff.

The meat is cut into thin slices, fried in fat and seasoned with black pepper and salt. Finally, some water, cream or beer is added and the meat is cooked until soft. The dish is served with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam or, more traditionally, raw lingonberries mashed with sugar. It is often accompanied by pickles in Finland.

3. Lihapullat (Finnish meat balls)

Many countries have their own versions of meatballs, and the Finns have Lihapullat.
A meatball is ground meat rolled into a ball, sometimes along with other ingredients such as bread crumbs, chopped onions, eggs, butter and spices. Finnish meatballs are traditionally made from beef, and occasionally from pork. 

They are usually eaten as a main course with a rich brown cream sauce, but can also be enjoyed as a snack.

4. Loimulohi

Loimulohi or loimutettu lohi (“roasted salmon”) is a Finnish fish preparation in which salmon or rainbow trout is nailed to a board with wooden stakes and cooked over the radiant heat of an open fire. It is also particularly popular as street food.

File:Finland salmonsoup 01.jpg” by aiko99ann is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

5. Lohikeitto (Fish soup)

Fish soup is a popular specialty in Finland. Especially popular here is the salmon cream soup Lohikeitto. It is prepared from salmon fillets, boiled potatoes, carrots and leeks and is served hot with a little dill.

Pea Soup – Chunky” by hfb is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0.

6. Hernekeitto (Split pea soup)

Hernekeitto, a thick pea soup cooked with pork, traditionally prepared and served every Thursday throughout the country. It is considered an essential part of Finnish food culture. It is traditionally accompanied by Pannukakku, an oven-baked pancake served with berry jam.

7. Kaalilaatikko (Cabbage stew)

Kaalilaatikko is a cabbage stew, usually consisting of cabbage, minced meat and rice or pearl barley. Kaalilaatikko is usually served with lingonberry jam.

“Ratatouille” by avlxyz is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

8 Karjalanpiirakka

Karjalanpiirakka is a traditional Finnish pastry consisting of various fillings wrapped in a thin rye crust. Nowadays, the filling is mainly rice or barley porridge and mashed potatoes.

It is usually eaten as a hearty breakfast or lunch. Traditionally, it is often accompanied by a mixture of butter and egg pieces munavoi, or the Karelian pirogue is topped with sausage or cheese and served like bread.

Something Sweet

9. Korvapuusti (Cinnamon roll)

Korvapuusti is the Finnish cinnamon roll. The Finnish version comes with a wonderful cardamom note and a juicy dough. Definitely try it!

10. Mustikkapiirakka (Finnish blueberry pie)

Mustikkapiirakka is a traditional Finnish blueberry pie. The crust for the pie is usually made from a combination of flour, butter, sugar, eggs and baking powder. This pie base is then filled with a mixture of fresh blueberries, sour cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and cardamom if desired, and baked. The cake can be eaten cold or warm and is especially delicious with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

“Coq au Vin” by Will Clayton is licensed under CC BY 2.0

11. Riisipuuro (Rice pudding)

Rice pudding is a tradition in many Nordic countries, including Finland.
The creamy, lightly sweetened Riisipuuro (rice pudding) is served plain or, for example, with plum compote, blueberry or raisin sauce.

Mämmi” by gorriti is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

12. Mämmi

Mämmi is a traditional Finnish dish prepared from a combination of rye flour, rye malt and water. After soaking, it is usually flavored with dark treacle, and the mixture is then baked in the oven until it takes on a thick consistency and a dark brown color.

Traditionally, Mämmi is sprinkled with sugar and served with whipped cream, milk or a thin vanilla sauce. This dish is popular in Sweden as well as Finland. There it is called Memma.

13. Munkki (Finnish donut)

The Finns have their own version of the donut, called the munkki, and they are delicious! Munkkis have been a staple of Finnish baking culture for generations and are especially popular on Walpurgis Night. Munkki literally means ‘monk’ and is said to refer to the iconic hairline of the monks.

salmiakki_schokolade” by mahmut is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

14. Salmiakki (Finnish licorice)

Salmiakki is Finnish licorice and gets its distinctive flavor from the ammonium chloride salt. it is traditionally enjoyed as a salty, strong herb-tasting candy that is usually black and comes in a variety of flavor combinations and shapes.
Once believed to have originated from cough medicine, it is now a popular snack in many Nordic countries.

Something Unusual

15. Kalakukko (Savory fish pie)

Kalakukko is a traditional Finnish dish known since the Middle Ages, consisting of a fish and bacon filling baked in a thick rye bread crust.
The filling can vary, but the most common types of fish that are used are vendace (whitefish), perch and salmon. It is said to have been invented by workers as a convenient way to carry a full meal during long working hours.

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