Menu: Finland

I always wince a little when I tell a native about the food I chose to represent their country. I wait for the hammer to drop – for them to tell me “no one eats that food!” Or “good job stereotyping my country!” When I met Ruby, my new half-Finnish friend, I had already been to the grocery store and purchased what I needed for this menu. The thought of changing plans exhausted me. When she asked me what I was making, I almost didn’t tell her. I almost ran away.

For some reason I didn’t.

I got lots of excited nods, especially when I got to the Pulla. Oh, what a relief.  But my luck changed when I got to the blueberry milk. She shook her head slowly. I panicked. My mind raced – what could I make instead? Thankfully her mother stepped in to clear things up. Blueberry milk really is authentic. It’s just not something that she had growing up in her house. Phew, crisis averted.

Funny how localized food can be, right down to our own homes.

What sounds good to you?

Scandanavian Mustard & Dill Sauce [Recipe]
Grilled salmon gets a boost from the tangy bite of mustard and loads of fresh dill. If you love mustard, you just might swoon.

Maple-Glazed Rutabaga [Recipe]
Browned and then lightly glazed in maple syrup – this rutabaga side dish is winning. Kind of like Charlie Sheen, but not exactly.

Cardamom Sweet Bread (Pulla) [Recipe]
Wake up to pulla, Finland’s answer to the cinnamon roll. Much less sweet but incredibly flavorful thanks to cracked cardamom seeds and a lightly spiced filling.

Blueberry Milk [Recipe]
A happy blend of blueberries, fresh milk, and ice. Buy extra blueberries to stir into the drink, if desired. This is a great recipe for making with kids.

As usual, recipes and meal reviews will be up by Monday morning.


  1. Jessica Bennett says

    That all sounds delicious! Can’t wait to see the recipes and pictures. And I’d feel the same way about telling people about what I’m making for the same reasons. But even if they do make those comments, you learn for next time. In the meantime, making a stereotypical meal is still enjoyable.

  2. Mette says

    I had no idea they use maple syrup in Finland, but the maple glazed rutabaga sounds delicious (as does everything on your menu, in fact). Unfortunately, it’s very hard to find rutabaga here in Paris – I have no idea why, it really is a great vegetable.

    • Sasha Martin says

      I wonder how hard it would be to grow? I was thinking it can’t be much more difficult than a potato?? Might be a fun experiment although I don’t know what part of Paris you live in. I lived in Montesson, which had a bunch of farms just behind our street – so I might have been able to steal a little land to plant one or two 😛

  3. Ruby says

    The best part was that you had decided on the menu already, I wouldn’t want to have influenced that at all, but if there wasn’t any pulla, I would have insisted ;), it is so typical & I have been waiting for so long to have some 🙂 If you had made mammi, would have had to politely eat it. For the blueberry drink, which was good, wish we had actual Finnish milk, Scandinavian dairy is out of this world & so the chocolates & ice-cream are so tasty and healthier. For drinks I guess I remember coffee and homemade beer.
    It is nice to see Ava & you with the blueberries in this picture, because I have so many fond memories of berry picking in the Finnish forrests. Thanks again.

    • Sasha Martin says

      I’m going to take Ava berry picking this spring/summer. I think May is prime strawberry season 🙂 Would be fun to do it in Finland, though. Just wait til you see the second batch of pulla I made. You’d be proud!

      • Ruby says

        I can’t wait to see the second patch, your first one was really good! I think it helped making it more moist than usual and putting in that kind of filling, otherwise it can be a bit dry and a bit like challah, even though that is ok bread too.
        Please tell me where you go berry picking, so we can take Jas sometime, hopefully more than strawberries.

  4. elisa says

    BLUEBERRY MILK???!!! Like totally no..way…. LOL..Im so American…I am so intrigued by your receipe..I cant wait..You are so awseome! Now go read Blueberries For Sal! YAY..I did a report on the Finnish people many years ago in college. I have to find that report… I remeber in my research about education and culture that They value education, almost more than any other country..I love Nordic Countries. Do they pasturize their milk and cheese products? Have fun….

    • Ruby says

      If I may something about this, am sure Sasha can respond too especially about pasturization, you are right Finland is big on education and has made top ten lists on many areas since the 1990s, such as on globalization. It was ranked the best overall country in the world 2010 by Newsweek & others- that is one of the top in terms of education, high income, best small country, health, economic dynamism, etc.

  5. Pingback: Global Table Adventure | Monday Meal Review: Finland

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