No fine dining, no fancy expensive restaurants. Just local Finnish dishes and meals.
Peasoup / Hernekeitto / Ärtsoppa
This one’s a classic! Every Thursday it is everywhere: served at the restaurants, schools, home kitchens and even military. Finns love their peasoup. Many of them have their own way of eating it. Many prefer having it with mustard and chopped onions. Don’t forget the traditional Finnish pancake either, dessert in this case is a big part of the meal.
This one you can try to find from many restaurants on Thursdays throughout the year. But if you’re being invited to a local home to have it, the experience gets way more authentic.
Virgin Potatoes / Uudet perunat
When the summer start Finns go crazy with their potatoes. First ones come from the Finnish Archipelago and prices are sky high for the first few days. If you have the patience of waiting a week a so, it becomes more affordable. Best places to buy virgin potatoes is obviously local market place or market halls, but groceries stores are also a good place to find it.
Make sure you’ll have the whole setup with the potatoes: dill, herring and some butter. Fresh veggies like tomatoes or cucumber gives a nice touch to it too. Very easy and fast to cook, but to get a full experience, try to find a local to cook this for you at their home.
Every Finn who owns his/her own house has a backyard grill. And the ones who live in the city centres and apartment buildings, always have access to one. We have our bbq season starting when we first see a glimpse of sun light, and the season ends late in the fall. Traditionally you had only sausage (makkara) in your grill but these it is okay to grill almost anything. If it fits the grill, it’s doable.
This a very traditional way of spending a summer evening in Finland with your family and friends. If you’re lucky, you’ll get an invitation to one of these parties with the locals. Some beer, wine, sider etc is often included and there’s always the Sauna before, during or after. Most likely all of these.
Food is a big part of local culture. Finding the true locals to hang out with you might sometimes be hard and random. To help you with that, we have a community of local people to share the deep cultural experiences with you.