Every country, and for that matter, every region in a country has some food or other they are known for. Some more than others for sure. India is always associated with using spices and/or hot&spicy foods. Even though in every day life, at least in South India, the only spices we use are ginger, garlic and chilli powder, the association with spices nevertheless stays. Likewise, Finland is perceived to have bland food. Well, meat and potatoes are the main components of Finnish cuisine but of course there is more to the story than that. A few of my comfort foods are Finnish. Some are slightly harder to make. I still remember while I was pregnant with our child, I made all traditional Finnish Christmas dishes that year. A couple of the dishes I made impressed even my hubby and he said if anyone would test for cuisine knowledge, I sure will pass with flying colors.
Maybe my opinions are biased but I know I at least got some of my friends to agree Finnish cuisine is not so bad. Unlike Gordon Ramsay who gave Karjalan Piirakka (which is actually one of my favorites) and Mammi not a great review:) . Watch the review
Some of the foods (in any country/region) are acquired taste of course. I still haven’t tried some of the Nordic foods like Lutefisk (Swedish). It takes a lot of courage to try that one! Dishes like Mämmi (a very Finnish dish made for Easter) you get used to, and then start liking them and then finish the whole bowl and want more….They grow on you. The Juustoleipä they talk about (literal translation is cheese bread), I have never seen anyone eat with Cloudberry jam and if that put him off of Cloudberry jam too, too bad for him… Its one of the most delicious berries ever! oh! I also have to say here that Ramsay also tried Reindeer meat made locally in Lapland and absolutely loved it…
And Ramsay is not the only one to make fun of Finnish food and will share them as and when I write more food posts. I am looking forward to share some of the traditional dishes here especially made with Moose meat!!! Today for dinner I am making one of my comfort foods that has nothing to do with meat or potatoes. Since we just picked lots of berries, craving for the berry soup. In Finnish, its not called soup but for the Finnish word soppa, I can’t find any other word in English. Today I am making Blueberry + Strawberry soup and Helmi velli.
Mustikka ja Mansikka soppa – Blueberries and Strawberry soup.
Its very easy to make. There are no exact measurements needed for it
Step 1: Boil some water (I boiled about 1.5cups of water)
Step 2: Add some sugar to the water (although its optional I like it semi-sweet so I added 2 Tbsps of sugar)
Step 3: When the water is boiled, reduce the temperature to medium low, and add the berries. Berries can be fresh or frozen.
Step 4: Cook till the berries are cooked but not mushy
Step 5: In a small cup, take some cold water and add 2-3 Tbsps of potato starch (you can use corn starch too if potato starch is not available).
Step 6: Move the berry pot out and slowly add the cold water with potato starch to the berries while stirring. This is indeed like a science experiment watching the cold potato starch mixing with hot berry soup and thickening it like a gel!
Step 7: When you see the berry soup gel, stop. Return the pot to the stove and watch till it bubbles. As soon as you see the first bubble, turn off the stove.
Helmi velli (I think Helmi is a company name) is made with tiny potato starch pearls (look exactly like tapioca pearls before and after cooking).
There are directions right on the box.
Step 1: Boil milk (4:1 ratio – 4 milk to 1 pearls)
Step 2: Add the pearls according to the ratio and reduce the flame a bit
Step 3: Cook till the pearls are well cooked.
Step 4: Take it off the stove. Some people like to add a pinch of salt to it.
While I have lot of favorite dishes here, there are some Finnish foods I don’t like. Will wait to find them again and post them:)