Nordic noms: 6 mouth-watering foods from Finland

6 Mouth-Watering Foods from Finland

Yes, you read it correctly. We all know that the usual way of introducing people to the curious world of Finnish cuisine is to go through all our culinary extremes, from mouth-burning salmiakki to the suspiciously poop-like Easter surprise mämmi. Then we laugh when people either attempt to swallow these delicacies with a grim look on their face or run around the room looking for a bin where they could shamefully spit out the beloved delights of the local people.

We also tend to share a laugh with other Europeans who make fun of our food. Here is what I have to say to that: Don’t Do That! Despite our relatively large selection of “extreme foods” that serve as an endless source of jokes, we also have a lot of simple and easily approachable foods that will surely melt everybody’s taste buds — in a good way, of course!

Here are six Finnish foods that you can serve to food-lovers from all over the world with guaranteed success.


Finnish Strawberries


Fresh and sweet! Image: Tatyana A.


By the end of June you can usually find Finnish strawberries in the shops and markets. People often tell their children berries and fruit taste better than candy. I personally think it is a big lie except when we talk about strawberries that have grown under the Nordic sun. Eat fresh, add nothing. It’s bliss!

 Finnish New Potatoes


Boil and add a bit of butter! Image: Christian Guthier


It’s the same phenomenon as strawberries. Nordic summer is short, but summer foods have a taste that are simply incomparable. Boil with dill, add a big lump of butter on top and enjoy!

 Karjalanpiirakka (Karelian pie)


Karjalanpiirakka is both: an easy snack or delicious festive food. You choose! Image: Northsky71

This tiny pie is usually made out of rye and wheat flour and filled with rice porridge. You can eat it cold or hot,  as is or with some egg butter spread on top. You can often find karjalanpiirakka on the table if you attend a Finnish family party, but these days it is also a common, easy snack that busy urbanites tuck in their bags on the go.



Pulla. It is heaven. Image: Robin L

Pulla is made out of wheat flour and the dough is yeast-based. You could describe it as sweet white bun bread to somebody who is not familiar with the concept. Pulla comes in many forms. My absolute favourites are voipulla and kanelipulla. The first one is flavoured with butter and sugar and the second one with cinnamon, sugar and butter. Eat fresh straight from the oven accompanied with a glass of cold milk.



Fish from the lake or find fresh from a shop or market hall. Either way, you will love the taste of pike-perch! Stijn Nieuwendijk

Buying pike-perch in a shop hurts, because it is so expensive. The best option is to find a fisherman from whom you can buy the fish, or even better, if you know how to fish and prepare it yourself. If not, no worries! The taste of pike-perch is so wonderful that it’s still worth buying from a shop — if not every day, then at least every now and then. Fry in a pan with butter, or add a few delicate spices, cream and white wine. Voilà, you just prepared a 5-star meal for yourself.



Enjoy gravlax just the way it is, on top of a sandwich or with potatoes. Image: Jessica and Lon Binder

Gravlax is raw salmon, usually cured in salt, sugar and dill, and is similar to the type of salmon you eat with sushi. It’s often served thinly sliced as an appetiser or on top of sandwiches. Make sure your gravlax is fresh for maximum enjoyment!

With so many tasty treats to enjoy, there must be something else this list is missing. Which Finnish food is your absolute favourite? Let us know in the comments below!

24 replies

  1. Traditional Finnish blueberry pie (mustikkapiirakka pullapohjalla)! I am yet to meet the person who doesn’t ask for a second or third piece 🙂

  2. I saw a billboard in Finland said “sugar we miss you”. The picture was of strawberries that weren’t very sweet because of the short growing season. The salmon , fresh and smoked, was always fresh and good

  3. Im a swede living in Norway. Both the swedes and the norwegians claim to have the best strawberries in the world. I’ve been to Helsinki in the summer. Both the swedes and the norwegians are wrong.

  4. What about “kalakukko” (correctly spelled/written?), i.e. fresh-water-fish (trout?) in baked bread.

  5. Those strawberries in the image are not finnish. I don’t know if only a finn can tell the difference – but I can tell from the look that those must taste terrible.

    • Well I’ve eaten similar looking from my mother’s stawberryfield, but usually you cannot buy this size well ripened from market or shops as the big one’s don’t travel well if they are proberly ripe. My mom has bigger whan than these and they taste sweet. Usually little darker in colour though.

  6. Liquorice ice cream is the best ever. it’s the first thing in our shopping basket when we go to Finland on holiday. Only 1 month left till we’re there. I can almost taste it already.

  7. Lanttulaatikko (turnip casserole) and maksalaatikko (liver casserole). I make lanttulaatikko every Christmas. Liver casserole is hard to make, because there is no ground liver here. I’ve had no luck grinding it myself.

  8. Yep! I have eaten South African blueberries & strawberries here, but very expensive, not free like in our garden back home in Finland! Dried blueberry powder from Finland is not just the same!

  9. How about Lutefisk and lefsa. My Finnish grandfather
    loved this. Lutefisk or poor mans lobster is cod that had been dried in lye, by the immigrants of the early 1900’s coming to America. Cooked in hot water it was a gelatinous and stinky. Then he wanted a white gravy on it with peas. The lefsa looks like a tortilla but made of potatoes. Good with butter. And lingonberry sauce.
    Swedes and Norwegians like it also.

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