Food, food and drink Finland
Note the metamorphosis of restaurants between noon, hour of the famous lounas, plentiful and inexpensive, and in the evening, when almost everything happens à la carte, with the price increase that this implies.
- The schedules are posted in the big cities, many establishments take care of your diet or your allergies and indicate the dishes without lactose, without gluten, with garlic, spicy, etc;
- in deserted areas, if there is no living soul in the room, use the bell to call the staff.
À la carte
Originally, Finnish cuisine was primarily intended to meet the caloric needs of peasants and lumberjacks, resulting in fairly heavy and rich traditional dishes.
But over time, the potatoes and cabbage rolls, fish, game, co-foods and world food : pizzas, burgers, kebabs and other pasta (overcooked) ...
THEomnipresence of chains as Hesburger says a lot. In 2005, Jacques Chirac judged Finnish cuisine to be the worst in the world ... after English cuisine!
Fortunately, the situation has changed. We can see a real development in the South in particular, where gastronomic restaurants and bistros multiply, playing the card of local and seasonal products cooked with a certain creativity. It is now quite possible to eat well, provided you pay the price ...
Le fish, whether grilled, smoked or marinated, is obviously very common on restaurant menus and often very well prepared. You have to taste the delicious smoked herring (especially popular for breakfast!) And the “cold” smoked salmon, finer than the “hot” ones we usually know, and especially the delicious gravlax. This fresh salmon prepared in brine remains affordable in the covered markets (the Kauppahalli), where you will find it arranged in a mosaic, sprinkled with pink berries and dill, or prepared "old-fashioned", "with vodka", etc. . You can enjoy it on slices of rye bread.
Baltic herring and freshwater fish (lavaret, perch, bream, pike perch ...) are often on the menu. Many restaurants accompany them with a bearnaise or aioli sauce that Finns adore.
Try it reindeer (poro), traditionally served as a stew and accompanied by mash and lingonberry jam.
In its lambda version, it is a fairly fatty dish with a strong flavor. But in the more gourmet restaurants, you will find reindeer tongue (poronkieli), finer, or reindeer fillet, tender and tasty.
There is also smoked and dried reindeer served in slices. Themomentum is much rarer and more expensive. Its meat is a delicate pinkish white. Just as typical, the roast ptarmigan and ... the bear.
In summer, Finns swear by it: the sausage. Queen of the barbecue, it comes in countless shapes. Pork, mutton, game, turkey, almost everything ends up in sausage.
There are some regional specialties interesting and rather surprising, especially in areas of Russian influence: North Karelia and Kainuu. There, try the varieties of kukko, rye bread stuffed for example with rutabaga, potato or lake fish. Karelian canoes are kinds of puff pastry made from rye or wheat flour, oval in shape (like a boat); Once garnished with barley porridge, they are more often today with potatoes or rice pudding.
Don't forget to spread them with munavoi, a kind of spread made from butter and hard-boiled eggs!
We also sometimes meet in the area tsupukat, pirochkis and other pancakes or turnovers variously filled and stuffed, with salmon or anything else.
- Thetap water is very good, tasteless of chlorine. It is served free of charge in a carafe (jäävesi in Finnish) in most restaurants.
- The coffee is ubiquitous in Finland. Viennese or Italian-style cafes, where you can enjoy honorable cappuccini or espressi, are very popular in large cities. Elsewhere, we often get a standard, lightly roasted and very diluted version, like American-style sock juice.
- The Milk (maito), which traditionally accompanied the meal, is in sharp decline. Fermented milk is worth tasting.
There are 4 categories of beer, numbered from I to IV.
- I is weakly alcoholic (less than 2,8 °) and some will find it undrinkable;
- II no longer exists;
- III (3,7 ° to 4,7 °) is a light and fairly good blonde (Lapin Kulta, Karhu ...);
- as for IV, considered a strong alcohol, it can only be found in the stores of the Alko state monopoly and in restaurants! In fact, it doesn't turn its head much more than the III, but is tastier.
- There is also a class IV B which titers up to 8 °.
At the bar, if you do not specify, you will be served the III, in 50 cl. The I and III are bought in mini markets and supermarkets, at fairly high prices.
Each can has a deposit of € 0,15. In supermarkets, there is an automatic machine to introduce empty packaging. Same principle for the bottles. That is respect for the environment!
Any alcohol containing more by 5,5% is sold only at Alko. The most important of these drinking establishments, in town, are open from 9 a.m. to 20 p.m. or 21 p.m. on weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 17 p.m. or 18 p.m. on Saturdays (and other days in the villages) and closed on Sundays. You have to prove that you are 20 years old (18 for wine) and line up the big bills. The high price of alcohol does not prevent it from watering throats on weekends. The Finns are big fans of vodka, preferably Finlandia or Koskenkorva, national drink, very popular also under the name of Salmiakki Koskenkorva (with liquorice). But we also drink akvavit, sima (a kind of mead), cider (strong), lakka liqueur and other arctic fruits ...
Here thedrunkenness is ritual and collective. The spectacle of the street holds many surprises, some Fridays and Saturdays, when the night is well advanced. It is even more incongruous in summer, with the sun already high when you leave a box.
Large glasses, ultra-detailed menu giving pride of place to New World wines, not to mention the great French or Italian vintages but also the rosés and sparkling wines, which have become very popular ... the Finns are drinking more and more wine, and this despite rather dissuasive prices.
In large cities, bars at € 10.