Similar to its neighbor Sweden, fish also has a strong presence in the local Finish cuisine. The market on Market Square and the Old Market in Helsinki turned out to be a great foodie playground with plenty of options to try Finnish specialties.
The first thing we sampled was fried vendace. We saw buckets full of these little fish everywhere. They are basically seasoned deep fried freshwater fish. They taste like salty fried dough, and are served as is, however they also come baked into bread. The bread version looked a bit more intimidating, so we just stuck to the snack-sized version.
Karjalan Piirakka makes for quite a nice snack on the go. These pastries consist of dough traditionally baked with a potato and carrot mixture, however there also were different kinds of fillings, ranging from fish to something sweet.
Salmon also plays a vital role in the Finnish cuisine. Anything from salmon soup to grilled salmon served with scallop potatoes, to putting it on thin Finnish rye bread with a layer of cream cheese. We tried plain rye bread, however personally were not big fans of the texture.
Also available in neighboring countries Norway and Sweden, these salty fish, or salmiakki licorice come with a salty after taste. If you are a fan on licorice to begin with, you might like these treats, however if you don’t then this is going to taste twice as strange.
Similar to haloumi, Finish squeaky cheese, or leipäjuusto, is usually sold in a flat-round form. It’s a bit strange at first and is much sweeter in taste then haloumi, however we got use to it rather quickly and finished the whole role. The name comes from the squeaky sound when eating this cheese.
Finish really love their bilberries, a variant of the blueberry found in the Nordic countries. They are consumed as part of yogurts, drinks, desserts, or chocolates.
We, Mark & Herta, are currently backpacking through Europe, and eventually planning to settle in London. Beyond that? The possibilities are endless.Read Mark & Herta’s full story.