More kahvi, sir? How Finns became the world’s greatest coffee drinkers


Think of great coffee drinking nations and you’ll probably think of Italians sipping their cappuccinos or the Spanish enjoying cortados. One nation unlikely to even make your top ten, however, is Finland. You’ll be surprised to hear then that Finns are, in fact, the world’s number one coffee drinkers. Incredibly, your average Finn drinks 12 kilos of the black stuff per year, far ahead of Italy (5.7 kilos per year) and Spain (4.5 kilos per year). So, how did this obsession begin?

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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.
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Flow Festival sign. Photo by Jussi Hellsten.

18 reasons why you shouldn’t bother going to Helsinki’s Flow Festival

Flow Festival sign. Photo by Jussi Hellsten.
Often described in the international press as one of Europe’s best music festivals, you’d think Helsinki’s Flow would be a no-brainer to add your bucket list. However, before you rush to get your last minute ticket of the partially sold out event (August 12-14 this year), you should consider these 18 very important reasons to think again. Read more

Yum yum! The top 10 most brutal candies you can find in Finland

Finnish Salmiakki

They’re traditional, utterly Finnish, and something that many people don’t even consider to be candy. We’re talking about salmiakki, of course.

Salmiakki, known in English as salty licorice, is a popular treat in Finland and other Nordic countries. It’s no secret that salmiakki is something of an acquired taste. Flavored with ammonium chloride, salmiakki has a strong, salty flavor — which Finns love. If you’re an adventurous non-Finnish candy lover who has never heard of salmiakki, don’t expect much. It’s probably better that way.

We’ve rounded up a list of the top 10 most brutal Finnish candies, so read on to find out whether your favorite made the list — although we think you can probably guess which one earned the #1 spot on our list!

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12 wonderful ways Finland could be an even more amazing country

12 ways Helsinki could be an even more amazing city

My name is Marc Aulén. I’m 52 years of age, the father of two, and I’ve lived in Helsinki, Finland since I was 13. As a partner in a lunch restaurant, I run a tiny, meals-on-wheels business and wrote and published a book in Finnish featuring my best soup recipes in 2014 (I’m the soup guy).

Marc AulenI’m currently working on a new book project with my business partner and friend, Antti Lehto, my awesome photo guy Mr. Jaeseong Park, and three very talented graphic designers. Our aim is to simply to show a different view of our hometown to visitors. Most guide books for tourists, and not only in Finland, only blow sunshine up your bottom, painting pretty pictures with fluttering bluebirds and everyone in love. For some strange reason, these books also usually only recommend expensive fine-dining restaurants and designer shops. Nothing wrong with that, but we want to reach normal people with normal travel budgets. Which is why we’d like to offer a guide book that’s more down to earth. The book will contain lists of my best picks of everything from bars to beaches.

To celebrate its forthcoming publication, my buddy, award-winning author, Co-founder of Ink Tank Media and funny guy, Joel Willans, asked me to write a few lines on Ink Tank. The challenge was to show how I see Finland and Helsinki as a local, mentioning both the good and the bad, and how I would change things if I could. So, here goes.

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A short history of refined carbs every Finn needs to read

refined carbs in finland

Ancestral health

Global cooling around the last modern ice age, 2.5 million years ago, meant early humans found fruits and vegetables scarcer to find and helped bring about the adaption of hunting and gathering. This more than anything else evolved our bodies via natural selection to be the way they are today. Archaeology shows early humans learnt to control fire about one million years ago and cooking sites appear frequently around 400,000 years ago. Cooking food enabled us to obtain enough energy to evolve our uniquely large brains and distinguish ourselves from other species through intelligence.

Fossil records show hunter­-gatherers were tall, healthy, and with little tooth decay. When not killed by another human or animal, they had a good chance of living into their 7th decade. Just 200,000 years ago, modern humans evolved as hunter-­gatherers, eating wild animals for fat and protein with staples of fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds. The human genome has changed little since. Instead, Cultural Evolution has taken over as the dominant factor of change.

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Fictional feasts: 5 tasty books for food-lovers


When readers think about literary food fiction, the inevitable spectre of Proust and the infamous madeleine is often invoked, or as a male friend of mine, who rarely reads, immediately exclaims, “You mean, Like Water For Chocolate?” Literary food fiction though can be so much more than that — food has and can provide fictional frameworks that enable one to tell a larger-than-life story, and simultaneously introduce you to a whole different world. Here’s a sampling across genres for the food enthusiast.

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