How much do we know about Scandinavia? Most of you have heard about our landscapes, northern lights and summer cottages, but how about the food? I often get asked here in Britain, what do people love to eat in Finland or in other Scandinavian countries? Most of the people that I have been talking to don’t have any idea. This is one of the main reasons why I am so excited to share my journey and the culture with you.
When I think about my childhood or growing up in Southern Finland there was always milk, cheese and meat on the table. My grandad still to this day has a glass of full fat milk with his dinner, very Finnish thing to do! Their generation didn’t use many spices and actually growing up I didn’t learn much about herbs or stronger flavours, this was self-taught later on in my life.
My journey as a vegetarian started, I would say “part time” 3 years ago, when I found myself living in the UK. Occasionally I would feel stuffed after eating a meal and I wanted to feel healthier all together. It started gradually. In the beginning I would have meat once a day, meat 3 times a week and slowly it became less and less. When you have that realisation that vegetarian food can be as delicious or even better, the change happens. To be blessed with a great imagination and curiosity, I started re-creating meat dishes to be plant-based and now I’m excited about this journey.
Fish is SUCH a big part of Scandinavian culture, I cannot highlight that enough. It’s everywhere – soups, sandwiches, pastries, oven dishes.. you name it! This is going to be one of the most challenging things for me, trying to re-create fish but we will see what I will come up with! Pretty excited to be honest. I have tried making carrot lox, that is similar to gravlax that you might be familiar with, but mine definitely needs perfecting. In Scandinavia you would typically have gravlax on a rye bread with some dill and a massive coffee to go.
A fun fact, us Finns drink more coffee in the world per person than any other nation. Dark and roasted filter or some call it a drip coffee, 12,5 kg per year / per person!! Really love coffee.. Will talk more around coffee in another post.
Our food is so much more than just meatballs and mash and I can’t wait to make more recipes for you to try out at home. Traditionally the food is really honest and straightforward, as we are as people. I am going to be using locally produced veg here in the UK and some products from back home. Through out my blog I am hoping to share some “scary stuff” too that people outside of Scandinavia will find odd or weird.