Best Food In Finland For Travelers
Finns are proud of their cuisine and are very loyal to their culinary roots. You can find all types of international cuisine in Finland, but while you’re there, treat yourself to some of the local delicacies. To taste authentic Finnish cuisine, book a cheap business class flight to Finland or discounted first class flight to Finland.
Karjalanpiirakka – Originating in the eastern province of Karelia, these pastries are also known as Karelian pies. The crust is traditionally made with rye flour and filled with potatoes, rice, barley, buckwheat, or carrots. The North Karelian and Ladoga Karelian variants include wheat along with rye. The current common recipe is made from a thin rye crust with a rice filling. Egg butter is spread over them while they’re still hot prior to serving them. They are eaten throughout Finland, as well as in Estonia and northern Russia.
Kalakukko – Kalakukko is a traditional food from the Finnish region of Savonia made from fish and baked inside a loaf of bread. It is usually filled with muikku, a small herring-like fish found in Eastern Finland, and prepared with rye flour, although wheat is often added. The filling also includes pork and bacon, and is seasoned with salt, unless the pork is already salted. After baking it for several hours in a masonry oven, kalakukko looks like a large loaf of rye bread. As an alternative to fish, combinations of potato and pork or rutabaga and pork are also used. Kalakukko can also be eaten cold or reheated.
Grillimakkara – These big sausages are made for grilling. Finns love eating them with mustard. This snack food is intended for grilling during the summer and frying at a campfire or inside in a fireplace during the winter. Midsummer in Finland is a popular time for sausage.
Ruisleipä – Rye bread made from sour dough is a staple of Finnish cuisine. There are many varieties, but the most popular and widely available is reikäleipa (“bread with a hole”). Finnish rye breads tend to be less oily or moist in texture. Näkkileipä is the cracker version of rye bread. An example is the internationally-sold Finn Crisp cracker, which can be eaten at breakfast with butter, cheese, and other spreads, at lunchtime with soup, or as a snack.
Korvapuusti – Many consider these Finnish cinnamon buns to be the best cinnamon buns. They are usually eaten with a cup of coffee. Finns consume more coffee and more cinnamon buns than any other European country. The Finnish “Boston Cake” is made by baking cinnamon rolls in a round cake pan instead of baking them separately, so they stick together to form a round cake.
Mustikkapiirakka – In July and August, blueberries are everywhere in the Finnish forest. They are best enjoyed in the summer months, either on their own or in homemade pies. All Finnish berries can be made into delicious pies, but the blueberry pie served with fresh milk is the most well-known and most loved. Finnish blueberry pie is a traditional pastry. The dough is usually a sponge cake or a bun dough. The filling is often a mix of blueberries, potato flour, and sugar. Finnish blueberry pie is served with vanilla sauce.
Rapu – Originally a Swedish tradition, crayfish parties or “kraftskiva,” were adopted by the Finns and are now celebrated every summer in Finland. Considered a gourmet treat, Finns host elaborate parties for these small fresh water lobsters between July 21st and early fall.
Peforonkäristys – Reindeer are found in Finland’s northern province of Lapland, and sautéed reindeer is the best known traditional meal from Lapland. This dish is eaten throughout the country during all seasons. The reindeer meat is thinly sliced, fried in butter and oil, spiced with black pepper and salt, topped with water, cream, or beer, and cooked until tender. It is served with mashed potatoes and lingonberry preserves or with raw lingonberries mashed with sugar. In Finland, it is often served with pickled cucumber.
Leipäjuusto – Known as “Finnish Squeaky Cheese,” this mild cheese is usually made from cow’s milk but can also be made from reindeer or goat’s milk. The milk is curdled, then fried or baked in a pie tin to give it its distinctive brown or charred marks, and then cut into wedges. Leipäjuusto can be eaten warm or cold. Traditionally, slices are served in a cup with hot coffee poured on them. Alternatively, it can be served as diamond-shaped pieces with cloudberry jelly or fresh cloudberries, or slices can be served with some cream, cinnamon, and sugar on top and grilled briefly in the oven. In modern Lappish cuisine, diced leipäjuusto is often used as a feta substitute in salads. As a dessert, leipäjuusto can be fried with butter until it softens, and served with cloudberry jam.
Salmiakki – This salty liquorice is flavored with ammonium chloride to give it its distinct taste. People who are unfamiliar with ammonium chloride might not enjoy the taste. Salmiakki is very popular in Finland. These candies are almost always black or very dark brown and range from very soft to very hard. Salmiakki is also used to flavor vodka, chocolate, brandy, ice cream, soda, and meat.
Fazer Blue Chocolate – For many years, Karl Fazer Milk Chocolate has been one of Finland’s top-rated brands. This genuine Finnish chocolate is famous for its delicious taste, high-quality ingredients, and blue wrapper. Karl Fazer Milk Chocolate, also known as Fazer Blue, is part of the Finnish cultural heritage and national identity. Today, the chocolate is still made in Finland according to the original recipe using natural ingredients, including fresh milk, sugar, cocoa, and cocoa butter.
If you missed our previous posts about Finland, catch up now with 5 Best Hotels in Helsinki, Finland, Finland Travel Tips, 5 Ways to See the Northern Lights in Finland, and Top Items to Pack for Finland in Winter.