Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunday out in Finland

My colleague and his family hosted me on Sunday for a traditional Finnish meal and little walk in the woods.

We started with a traditional, regional dish from Matti's home region of Kuopio called kalakukko which is a loaf of dark rye bread stuffed with fish.  A kind of Finnish pasty. It apparently functioned the same for Finnish workers as an English or Welsh pasty did for the miners and factory workers of the UK--traditionally a self-contained lunch for workers. It is a loaf of rye pastry stuffed with fish and rice.  Other fillings such as potato can be used, but the fish, muikku, is traditional and favored. I had two pieces :0
(Sorry for the blurry photo, but the only one of kalakukko. You can see the fish stuffing.)

Then he served boiled potatoes and a beef, pork and onion stew.  It was delicious, too. Very filling. These dishes are made of what could be had throughout a Finnish year before modern transport made more fresh vegetables available. After he had a longin berry pudding that was a kind of longin berry polenta with cream on top.

 Longin berries grow prolifically here and are a red, more acidic berry similar is many ways to our cranberry. Finally, he served up a blueberry pie and coffee!

After dinner and a long chat, we took a walk in the woods near their home.

The typical nordic pine forest and a lake in the distance.
Reminds me of the mermaid in Copenhagen, only the gaze is a sea of trees. 
Matti, professor of education and vice chair; Susanna, THE department of  medieval studes and their son.

Almost home...for them.
Altogether, a great way to spend a Sunday.

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