Cultured Palate: Dishes from Finland

There are many key experiences in Finland that are not to be missed if you’re only visiting for a short time – enjoying the nightlife in Helsinki, sailing along one of the many waterways, or taking some time out in a traditional sauna. What a lot of people don’t take into account is the vibrant culinary scene that links all of the far-flung parts of Finland together.

Finns are passionate about their culinary history, and are committed to keeping it alive while still adapting it to the modern world. Here are a few important Finnish dishes, and what to look out for to make sure you’ve found the best version.

Ruisleipä

Although many countries in the world make their own versions of rye bread, Finnish rye bread is in a class all its own. Usually, Finns on-the-go make their own breakfast sandwich with some fresh-sliced ruisleipä, a slice of cheese, and a bit of ham. Many hotels in Finland will have this as a part of their breakfast buffet, but if they don’t, you can buy it from any grocery store or bakery – it makes the perfect addition to a waterside picnic. The most traditional form for ruisleipä is a circle with a hole in the middle, like a giant donut.

Hellahulla