Finland is a land of contrasts, and with each season comes new local delicacies which you must taste, no matter how weird or wacky looking they might be! Mämmi, for example, looks strange at first but is a must-try seasonal treat. From reindeer to rye bread, whet your appetite on this traditional Finnish fare.
1. Reindeer: Poronkäristys, reindeer, comes from Finnish Lapland, Santa’s hometown. Reindeer meat is lean and very healthy, full of B-12 vitamins and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. It’s also very delicious. Try reindeer steak over mashed potatoes. Watch as I try my new favorite Finnish dishes of reindeer steak and bear and least favorite dish, reindeer heart, above!
2. Salmiakki: This black licorice is not sweet, but extremely salty. Try a sweeter variety to get used to this unique candy. Watch above as an American and two Spanish girls react to trying Salmiakki and two local Finns share their hilarious responses!
3. Karelian pies: These rice pies, also known as Karjalanpiirakka, originated in the mythical birthplace of the epic Kalevala poem. This convenient on-the-go snack of rye bread crust holds creamy rice pudding together.
4. Bear: I had no idea I would try or even enjoy bear until bear meatloaf appeared on my plate during an appetizer sampling in Helsinki, but I am so glad I tried it, as it was one of my favorite Finnish foods that I highly recommend. Watch me try bear meatloaf in the first video above!
5. Mämmi: This black baked porridge delicacy, usually enjoyed at Easter time, combines rye and molasses. It is often served with milk.
6. Ruisleipä: This healthy whole grain rye bread is a Finnish diet staple.
7. Elk meatballs: Try this variation on the classic meatballs, best served in a thick gravy over mashed potatoes with lingonberries!
8. Fazer Mignon Chocolate Eggs: Fazer Mignon Chocolate Eggs are a seasonal delicacy of almond-hazelnut nougat inside a real eggshell. The contents of real chicken eggs are removed with a small hole, then shells are sterilized and filled with the chocolate nougat. Peel it like a hard-boiled egg and enjoy them during Easter time.
Which Finnish foods do you think are the wackiest or most interesting and what would you try first? Comment below!
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4 thoughts on “8 Weird and Wacky Finnish Foods You Need to Try”
Wonderful post! As a Finn, I love them all – especially reindeer and Karelian pies.
A Local’s tip: If you have a choice, eat Mämmi with cream or vanilla sauce, not milk. Yummy at least to me! It makes all the difference even though I admit that it must taste strange to a non-Finn! 😀
Thank you so much for these helpful tips as a local, really appreciate it! Thank you!
I’ve introduced several foreigners to Karelian pies, which are some of my favourite Finnish foods. I’m proud that most of them really liked them! Also, I don’t think anyone who likes chocolate can say no to a SOLID CHOCOLATE Mignon Easter egg! 😉
How wonderful, so glad you introduced them to your friends, they’re so yummy! Couldn’t agree more! 🙂