The Finns are certainly known for being passionate about food and they are very loyal to their culinary roots. Despite quite a few odd dishes, there are some things you really do need to try! Here are 7 of them.
The food courts and markets in Finland are full of tasty dishes, local delicacies and seasonal produce that we really think you must try at least once!
Learn more: 10 top reasons to visit exotic Finland
What is it? Bread cheese or Finnish squeaky cheese
Juustoleipä is a typical dessert from northern Finland. You’ll find the cheese in all local grocery stores, and all you need to do is heat it in a pan and top it with stirred cloudberries. And a nice cup of coffee of course!
Bread cheese is made from cow’s milk and has a very unique consistency, but really is a must-try for all those with a sweet tooth. Photo: Soili Jussila/Visit Finland
What is it? Classic Finnish rye bread
Regardless of whether you’re staying at a fancy hotel in Helsinki or at a café in the village of Tampere, you’ll always find Finnish rye bread made from sourdough at breakfast! Perhaps you can even compare the various local rye breads if you’re exploring any other Nordic countries.
What is it? Creamy salmon soup
Creamy. Delicious. Salmon soup. Need we say more?
There is a huge variety of this absolute classic, but essentially lohikeitto is a delicious fish soup med with cream, salmon, potatoes and vegetables. Enjoy with a slice of rye bread!
What is it? Karelian pasties/pies
Karelian pasties are the Finnish equivalent of pizza in Italy. These tasty delicacies are made from pastry and filled with mashed potato or rice pudding. Traditionally they are eaten with egg butter or other toppings. The café [Konditoria Hopia](http://www.konditoriahopia.fi/in Helsinki has been making fresh pastries every day since 1949, so head there if you fancy one!
- Learn more: 10 top reasons to visit exotic Finland.
What is it? Sautéed reindeer
Finns enjoy reindeer meat all throughout the year. This classic is not just popular in Finland, but also in other Nordic countries, though with local variations. In Finland, the reindeer meat is thinly sliced and sautéed in water, cream or beer and served with mashed potato, picked cucumber and cranberry sauce. You can try truly authentic poronkäristys at Restauarant Aino in Helsinki.
What is it? Blood dumpling soup
If you’re not a fan of blood sausage or the like, then you should probably steer clear of mykyrokka, a soup made from potatoes, onion, liver, salt, pepper, and of course dumplings made from blood. This dish is a local delicacy in the Savonia in Finland, so keep an eye out for it on the menus if you’re heading there.
We didn’t think everyone would appreciate a picture of this dish…!
Did you know that the 12 April is international liquorice day?
What is it? Salty liquorice
Salmiakki is perhaps the best known of all of the seemingly odd Finnish delicacies! This liquorice is flavoured with salmiak salt (ammonium chloride). It’s so popular in Finland that you’ll find sweets, alcohol, milkshakes, sauces, ice cream, cakes and muffins (…) flavoured with salmiakki. People say that you can only really enjoy the taste if you’ve had it since childhood, but we say try it and see what you think!