Today’s guest post on ethnic food ties into my new theme. Anne blogs over at Food Loving Polar Bear. She likes yoga and walking just as much as I do and she’s going to share some of her favorite foods from Finland (that’s where she lives!). A quick side note…
How does ethnic food tie into intuitive eating?
Ethnic food is usually not particularly low-calorie or in line with clean-eating principles. But it’s usually delicious; if you can eat a diet filled with wonderful ethnic foods and not gain weight (or maintain a healthy weight) you are probably eating intuitively. Here’s an example – the traditional European diet (French, Finnish, etc…) is filled with things like heavy cream, cheese, and decadent desserts and pastries like croissants (oh, croissants!). Yet Europeans are generally much thinner than Americans. Why?
Why French Women Don’t Get Fat
French women don’t obsess about food, they eat what they crave, and they eat real food. They’re in tune with the body’s hunger and fullness signals. They don’t eat emotionally (meaning they’re not the type to turn to Mr. Ben or Mr. Jerry when they’re sad) and they’re not emotional about eating. These are generalizations of course, but these are the general principles of intuitive eating.
Enough of my rambling. Without further ado… the lovely Anne!
I’m a new blogger from Finland and I am proud to introduce you some flavors from my home country. Thanks Maggie for the chance to promote my tiny country and its delicious foods!
A little background information about Finland:
- Finland is situated between Sweden and Russia, in northern Europe
- Finland has 5.4 million inhabitants
- The capital of Finland is Helsinki
- There are more than 2 million saunas in Finland
- We do not have polar bears in Finland 😉
Now you know a bit about my home country! In this post I’m going to concentrate on my favorite topic: FOOD.
Traditional Finnish cuisine is similar to Swedish, German and Russian cuisines. Finnish dishes tend to be less sweet than Swedish ones, and Finns use little or no sour cream in preparation compared to their Russian neighbors.
Traditional dishes (perinneruoka) are rarely eaten on a daily basis and saved for the real holidays, such as Christmas and Easter. The traditional dishes are often regional and more valued by the older generations or only eaten during a specific holiday; for example Mämmi during Easter. This following dish is only eaten during Easter, (almost) never on other occasions. For the recipe of Mämmi click here.
Mämmi does not look very appealing 😀
Home-made food (kotiruoka) can be also found in restaurants and we have many restaurants in Helsinki specializing in traditional Finnish food.
The most common traditional foods in Finland (which are eaten on daily basis in Finnish homes):
Leipäjuusto (the direct translation is bread cheese):
It’s usually eaten with jam, but I usually eat without. It doesn’t have much flavor and it feels a bit rubbery in your mouth but once you get used to it, you will love it!
Reindeer is usually eaten with mashed potatoes, jam and pickles. It’s one of the most popular dishes among those foreigners whom I have introduced this dish to.
Cabbage rolls (kaalikääryleet)
They look like spring rolls, but are not. It’s minced meat (ground beef) rolled into a cabbage leaf. They’re also served with jam, usually with cranberry. These took me almost 20 years to like them, but now I actually like eating the rolls, I also should try making them at home. As a child this used to be my most-hated-dish-ever 😀
Pea Soup (hernekeitto)
Pea soup is one of the most popular dishes among poor students. It’s cheap, filling and even though you have tons of gas in your stomach after eating a can, sometimes you just don’t mind. Pea soup is usually eaten here every Thursday. Even my office has pea soup Thursdays! It’s eaten with mustard or, like in the picture, with ham 😉
These are a familiar dish in my kitchen. My boyfriend loves my home made meatballs and I have also made them in Germany for a bunch of Germans who had no idea how to make them at home, they were a success!
They are also usually eaten with mashed potatoes.
Pickled herring (silli)
There are tons of different kinds of pickled herrings in Finnish grocery stores. I personally love the middle one, herring with mustard. They are a traditional summer dish and are eaten with new (small) potatoes and dill.
This is a product I tried to explain in my blog some time ago. It was difficult! I found an article in Foodista about viili!
Smoked fish (savustettu liha)
We Finns love fish, especially smoked fish! We have so many different kinds of fish and I really want to make you drool in the end of my guest post, so here are some pictures of my favorite delicacy 😉
I hope you all enjoyed this little journey to Finnish cuisine. Feel free to ask me more anytime!
Thanks again, Anne! Finnish food sounds awesome. I have actually had a lot of these dishes because I’m part German (Cabbage Rolls, Pickled Herring, Meatballs, Pea Soup). I’ve never had reindeer but it sounds really cool. And anything that is translated as “bread-cheese” is okay in my book.
What’s your favorite ethnic food? What do you think about ethnic food and intuitive eating?