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Course Hors d'oeuvre
Main ingredients Ground meat, anchovies or herring, onions
Cookbook:Vorschmack  Vorschmack

Vorschmack is an originally East European salty meat dish prepared mainly out of minced meat, anchovies or herring and onions. The dish is usually garnished with pickles and sour cream. Snaps is usually served in combination with eating vorschmack. Many recipes include cognac. [1]

There are several stories regarding the origin of the dish, but it has become a traditional Finnish dish as it was one of the favourite appetizers of the Finnish statesman, war hero and gourmand Marshall C.G.E. Mannerheim. Some sources say Mannerheim brought the dish to Finland from Poland, but there have not been any definite sources for this claim. A hot pot dish named "forszmak" (the same pronunciation) is however known in East Poland (Lublin region), usually made of chicken and cucumbers.

The restaurant Savoy at the top floor of one of the buildings around the Esplanadi in central Helsinki is famous for its vorschmack. The restaurant used to be frequented by Mannerheim and Mannerheim’s table at the Savoy was always reserved, and out of respect no one would ever consider demanding to be seated there. Savoy still today keeps a similar style decor and menu as in the days of Mannerheim.

In Jewish cuisine, vorschmack is made of chopped herring, without meat, sometimes adding chopped hard-boiled egg and grated fresh apple. It is served as a cold appetizer.[2]


  1. ^ http://www.suomikauppa.fi/product_info.php?language=en&products_id=3096
  2. ^ Claudia Roden, The Book of Jewish Food, Penguin Books, 1999, p. 62