Finland wheels out a food cart of unearthly delights for certain times of the year. It’s my job to eat said food before they disappear into the shadows of the cultural kitchen for another spin around the sun.
It’s Easter. So there are a couple of foods out there in the supermarkets if you look hard enough.
Mämmi, the food…substance…that is so appetizing that Al Jolson crooned about it back in the 20s. Not really. Mämmi is made of water, malt, rye, salt, and sometimes molasses. So a mixture of very flat flavors. It looks like shit. It doesn’t totally taste like it. It tastes heavily of malt and it reminded me of bairín breac from Halloween back in Ireland.
I had the pleasure of tasting this twice. Once at work when a slab of it appeared in the lounge and once when I bought a small tub of it for additional scientific testing. I would never buy a slab of this which is the main way they sell it in the markets. It’s ok for a two bite/chew/mash affair but more than that and it’s just a malty chore. Adding some cream to the mix makes it more edible.
Made by the popular Fazer company here in Finland, this is one their annual best sellers. It’s a solid egg made of hazelnut/almond nougat inside a real egg shell. After a lifetime of hollow chocolate egg eating experiences I can’t help but feel short-changed by every Kinder or Easter egg I’ve ever had. But having just ate one of these Mignon eggs there is a reason why the rest of the world make them empty inside – it’s way too much chocolate for one person to handle. I had to eat half then put the other half in the fridge for a later assault. It’s also weird to peel a real egg shell to find chocolate inside – like some weird chocolate egg laying animal had evolved to deliver us this annual sweet treat.
Made of curd cheese, you can find tubs of this beside the standard yogurts in the markets. This particular tubbed version had raisins and orange peel thrown in for good measure. Again, along with the other Finnish Easter foods, it’s very full on with each bite a thick sweet creamy and fruity paste to battle your tongue. Impossible to finish in one go. So I didn’t.
Stay tuned for more stunning Finnish foods coming up next week as we celebrate Vappu along with its traditional food and drink treats.