3 traditional Finnish foods you need to try

Once you’ve tried these items for yourself, you’ll want to dig deeper into Finland’s rich culinary heritage.

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February 5, 2018 4 min read

Earning a culinary arts certificate online brings many opportunities to explore foods from around the world. Many American chefs may be unfamiliar with Finnish dishes, but this Northern European nation boasts a proud tradition of hearty and tasty food. Once you’ve tried these items for yourself, you’ll want to dig deeper into Finland’s rich culinary heritage.

Stuffing cabbage leaves with deliciousness

“Cabbage rolls have a long history across Europe.”

Cabbage rolls have a long history across Europe and in areas of Asia. Wherever this combination of cooked cabbage leaves and filling appears, it takes on some unique attributes from the local culture. In Finland, the rolls are called Kaalikaaryleet, and Genius Kitchen provided a recipe that features lamb.

First, cook rice in beef broth, setting aside when it’s half done. Remove the stem from a head of cabbage and place it in boiling water. When the leaves begin to separate, remove them from the water. Chop the smaller leaves and remove any tough portions from the larger ones.

Prepare the filling by combining the rice and shredded cabbage leaves with ground lamb, heavy cream, egg yolk, salt and pepper. When the mixture is smooth, spoon it into the large leaves and roll them securely. Use egg white to seal the edges.

Heat butter in a frying pan and brown the rolls. Then, transfer into a baking pan. Use the water you boiled the cabbage in to rinse out the frying pan, pouring the contents over the rolls and filling the baking dish about halfway.

Add golden syrup before baking for 1.5 hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the rolls once, pouring in more cabbage water if they look dry. After baking, mix heavy cream into the liquid in the pan to make a sauce.

Add the Finnish-ing touches to your meatballs

Finland’s meatballs may be lesser known than Sweden’s, but they certainly don’t lack for flavor. The major differences between the Finnish version and the ones that hail from the northwest are the choices of seasonings and herbs. Whether simply served in gravy or atop egg noodles, these lihapullat, as they’re called in Finnish, make a great choice for cold-weather comfort food.

According to directions from The New York Times, you should start by warming whole milk in a saucepan on medium heat. When the milk starts to steam, remove the pan from heat. Immerse three slices of white bread with the crusts removed in the milk and then set them aside.

Grate six ounces of a mild Gouda into a bowl, stirring in two eggs, parsley, onion, eggs, salt, allspice and white and black pepper. Mix in the milky bread along with ground beef and pork, kneading by hand until the ingredients are thoroughly blended together.

Cover a plate with flour. Roll the meat mixture into 1.5-inch balls and coat them with the flour. Pour beef broth into a Dutch oven and set on low heat.

Add vegetable oil to a skillet and set on medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs in batches until they are browned all over, and then move to the Dutch oven. Simmer for up to half an hour, stirring occasionally. Finish the meatballs by pouring in a half cup of heavy cream and allowing to warm before serving.

Basket of korvapuusti.For an amazing breakfast, try baking korvapuusti.

Put a new spin on breakfast

There’s nothing like waking up to a plate of freshly baked cinnamon rolls, but Finnish korvapuusti will provide a distinctive way of enjoying this favorite. A recipe from The Spruce calls for bringing together milk, melted butter, sugar and yeast in a bowl. Wait 10 minutes for the yeast to bubble and then add cardamom, salt and a beaten egg.

Slowly stir in flour and then knead the dough. Move to a greased bowl, covering with a towel and allowing an hour for the dough to rise. Punch down and split in half, rolling each portion into a rectangle.

Brush melted butter onto the dough, and then add brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up the dough and make diagonal cuts to form the rolls. Move the rolls onto greased baking sheets, folding down their tips for an ear-like shape. Wait another hour for the rolls to rise. Coat with a beaten egg and top with pearl sugar before baking at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.

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