Talk:Finnish cuisine

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"You can't trust people who cook as badly as that. After Finland, it's the country with the worst food."

-- Jacques Chirac, prezydent of France, talking about the Brits, July 2005.

(,11882,1521199,00.html )

And they wonder why the French are considered arrogant. Luckily not all French people are like him. - Quirk 5 July 2005 19:14 (UTC)
London (54) v Paris (50) ...
Meanwhile [ ... ] Jacques Chirac laid into British and Finnish food.
Chirac was left eating his words. And one suspects revenge may have been sweet for the two delegates from Finland, whose votes will have been important in a tight contest. [1]
chocolateboy 6 July 2005 23:23 (UTC)

Hahahh! Nice picture! El_C 6 July 2005 23:31 (UTC)

Reindeer Foods[edit]

Actually reideer foods are not Finnish, but Lappish instead. Lapland belongs partially to Finland (also to Sweden and Norway), but it has its own (Lappish, Sami) cultural sphere which also has its own food tradition. If Lapland is excluded reindeers dont even grow in Finland exept some Zoos. Reindeer stew is as exotic to Finns than kebab. Of course you can find reindeer stew in Finland at modern times, but you also find kebab, and kebab is not considered Finnish either.

Look: Lappish cuisine
But Lapland is not excluded from Finland. It's like saying "if Savo is excluded from Finland, kalakukko wouldn't be Finnish" or "If Saimaa is excluded from Finland, the saimaa ringed seal wouldn't even live in Finland". But Savo is not excluded from Finland, nor is Saimaa.
Lapland consists a major area of Finland and always has consisted. The Sami people also are concidered the aboriginal people of Finland. Sami culture is a part of Finnish culture (Like it's also a part of Swedish and Norwegian culture). It's not an ethnic Finnic culture, but then again, this article is about Finnish cuisine, not Finnic. And I would say that reindeer stew is not as exotic to Finns as kebab. Kebab food has arrived to Finland a few decades ago, whereas reindeers and Sami people have lived in Finland for ages. The origins of kebab are not in Finland, but the origins of reindeer stew are at least partly.Shubi 14:24, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Supermarkets before the EU[edit]

Oi, I'm very much Finnish, and unlike the person who deleted my earlier comment I actually remember what the situation was like before the EU. It was near-impossible to obtain fresh vegetables that aren't Finnish staples (say, fresh ginger) and, if Finnish produce X (apples, tomatoes, whatever) was in season, it was quite literally not allowed to import anything that could compete with it. In fairness, the situation started easing before formal membership as Finland harmonized its laws to EU standards, but just ask your parents what you could buy in a (super)market in the 1970s or the 1980s. Jpatokal 20:19, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Do you have any source for this claim? I and people I have recently talked to about this don't remember any dramatic change in shops food arsenal before and after joining the EU. I have encountered only few important product-types that arrived just after joining EU, like olive oil and some exotic fruits. But all those came propably due to trends and not due to EU. Your claim that some products were something like "forbidden" before EU-time and then "liberated" by EU sounds weird. Some products were not available because their trends had not yet arrived, but not because any physical or juridical barrier. 20:55, 3 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, the obvious case is wine (and other alcohol), where it's clear [2] that the change in the law was forced by EU entry. You can also see approx. 17.8 bazillion other law changes here. Jpatokal 07:56, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
I remember that strawberries we did not have in January before EU but now we do. Although now they also are big, unripe and very watery so there is no point in buying them. I wait untill July to get sweet Finnish ones.

Finnish food healthy?[edit]

Not a chance! Finland has one of the highest rates of heart disease in the world, if not the actual highest. It's all very well promoting food like reindeer and berries, but very few people actually eat them. Most Finns love "Turun Sinappi" for example which is loaded with sugar and contains very little mustard. (Yes even the black one is mainly sugar!). They splurge this on their sausages with wild abandon. Finnish food is heavily processed and highly sugared. Another example is Silli (herring) in, water, SUGAR. Even adult finns continue eating candies - something which most people abandon after childhood. The further you go into the "wilderness" the fatter people are, when you might expect them to eat more fish, meat and berries. In a survey I did in Utsjoki recently it was hard to find anyone over 30 that didn't have a big lump of abdominal fat. OK, Finns are not as fat as people other nations (America, Britain for example) YET, but the increase in their size should be alarming for the government.

Sugar doesn't cause heart disease. Obesity does, but that's a factor of calorie intake and lifestyle, not pickled herring and mustard containing sugar. Foods that increase heart disease risk separate from obesity are high in cholesterol and saturated fat. Pickled herring especially is actually a very healthy food item due to high amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids. Anyway, you're editorializing. Cite sources for your claims. Unigolyn (talk) 22:40, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
The article is currently a bit of mess, because it doesn't really distinguish between Finnish cuisine (traditional ingredients and uniquely Finnish dishes) and what people in Finland actually eat (hamburgers, kebabs, microwave pizza, etc). Jpatokal 14:13, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Your comments makes some crazy stereotypes and is wrong in many parts. Finland has a high rate of heart diseases mainly because of butter that old people ate in last century, when it was not known that butter is so dangerous. Heart diseases of these days are signs of habits from the past, they are not indicators of present habits. Nowadays butter is out of fashion and there is no clue that newer generations would suffer the same problems when they are old. Many finns eats healthy food these days. As you can see the shops in Finland are full of light, no-sugar, and no-fat versions of many types of food. Propably so much types of "light foods" can not be found elsewhere. Before last century people ate more healthful food, so this heart disease- causing episode was temporal, not a long standing tradition. Unhealthy foods like grill foods and sausages are of foreign origin. So while some finns eats hot dog he does not do it because he is a finn but because he is influenced by international hot dog culture. 19:18, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Pot, kettle, black... according to recent research butter isn't nearly as bad as once thought. And you're going to tell me that traditional Finnish foods like läskisoosi (lit. "lard sauce"!) are healthy? Jpatokal 03:22, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
You prove nothing with läskisoosi. Many peoples have known lard foods. Läskisoosi was never an important part of Finnish menu. Domestic animals were not that usual and not that fat before 20th century, so not that much fat was produced. And not all that produced fat was eaten, fat was also used in soaps and candles for example. Important source of animal fat in past days, bacon, was an American influence that became popular not before the beginning of 20th century.
Also the Finns did not eat that much meat in 19th century and before, even if you imagine otherwise based on your own memories from 20th century. Meat was not a daily food. As you propably know most agricultural areas were to grow corn and not pastures for animals. Pasture-areas started to expand slowly after malnutrition episodes of 19th century have taught people a lesson. There were of course domestic animals in farms, but not that many. Cows were there for milk. There is fish-waters at every area in Finland, so fishing was very usual, and fish was more important and a lot cheaper food than meat. There was so much fish produced that even some taxes were collected in smoked fish. 14:06, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
I didn't make any stereotypes - I am just reporting what I have seen. I think it is a valid point that someone else made that the food people eat every day is not the same as the food you can get in restaurants in Helsinki. I still see Finnish supermarket food as the most heavily processed food anywhere in Europe. Butter is not dangerous - that is a seriously outdated view. There is not even one scientific study that proves butter or any animal fat is dangerous (and by the way you can gage the quality of a countries food to some extent by how much animal fat they use - the French use a lot for example). Sugar is a much more dangerous substance than fat with more diseases reckoned to be caused by sugar each day. "Light foods" are not the solution - eating naturally is the solution. The fact that something says "light" on it is a sign of heavy processing.
Your ideas about butter being healthy and sugar being more dangerous are not supported by modern science. Heavy processing does not mean food is unhealthy nor it means it is healthy. "Eating naturally" means nothing. For some people "natural eating" means eating raw fish and meat, and that is not healthy. Processing of raw fish, however, like coocking and removing guts and bones, may make it very healthy. So processing is not always bad and natural is not always good. Butter and other animal fats have been proven very dangerous for heart in many studies and they are the main reason for heart diseases in Finland and many other countries, also in France. Sugar, however, does not cause heart diseases. It can make you fat but it wont clog your veins like butter. It is a known mystery why French people are not as ill as could be expected considering how unhealthy food they eat, but it is another subject that has nothing to do with this article. Tuohirulla puhu 19:08, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
It now seems very propable that vitamin D almost solely explains the apparent "healthiness" of Mediterranean and French "diet". So its not about diet after all, and not even the lifestyle as a whole, but sunlight - that is a scarce resource in Finland during the long winter and autumn. No known component or combination of Mediterranean or French diet is especially healthy compared to other diets, like the Finnish for example. Quite the contrary. Tuohirulla puhu 16:57, 5 December 2012 (UTC)

Different cuisine for different area[edit]

What could be added to the article is information of different eating habits or cuisines in different parts of Finland e.g. the way of eating is way different in Lapland to Karelian, Savo, Kainuu, west coast or sothern Finland and vice versa. For example I have observed following things:

  • In Karelia and Savo they eat LOTS of salt, fat and cream. The dinner is not good if there is no meat in it. Fish is also valued but only as everyday food - meat is for weekends. The eaten bread is mostly dark (rye).
  • In west coast they like white bread and lard. They also eat blood dishes.
  • In south there are more vegetarians and fish-eaters.
  • In Lapland... well I am not so familiar with they customs.

All these areas have they own specialities:

  • kalakukko (fish bread), lörtsy (pastry filled with salty or sweet stuff) and mykyrokka in Savo
  • karelian pie, sultsina (pastry of some kind), karelian stew in Karelia
  • ohrarieska (flat barley bread baked with open flame) and leipäjuusto (cheesebread) in Kainuu
  • limppikeitto/klimppikeitto (soup of somekind) in west coast
  • blood sausage in Häme
  • etc.

Aika-Poika 21:43, 2 January 2007 (UTC)


Why is this finnish food missing from the list as its one of the most well known foods in Finland? --Wezqu (talk) 21:53, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Also now that I noticed Särä is also missing from the list and its name was protected under the EU law so nobody else could call any other food Särä or even produce the samekind of dish and call it that. --Wezqu (talk) 22:13, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Smoked reindeer?[edit]

Smoked reindeer (savuporo) is definitely eaten in Finland. It's not very common, but then, neither is reindeer (outside the North). Jpatokal (talk) 13:47, 3 October 2009 (UTC)

Different cuisine for different area - Tavastia and "talkkuna"/kama is missing[edit]

Of course the Carelian pies are mentioned, but from where I come from (Tavastia) and where my mom comes from (Central Finland) it's been an important regional delicacy. I'm just a reader and don't know how to edit the article properly, but I wish someone would. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:32, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Food culture of Proper Finland (Varsinais-Suomi)[edit]

This article misses the whole food culture of Proper Finland (Varsinais-Suomi) and Tavastia (Häme). We don't eat same things as Karelians and Lappish. Is it because Proper Finland shares lots of cuisines similar to Sweden, German and Denmark? This article is terrible and biased, sorry. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kulipoika (talkcontribs) 18:29, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Then add what is missing instead of just whining! Jpatokal (talk) 23:11, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Removed Criticism[edit]

It's completely irrelevant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:14, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Other editors seem to disagree. Please discuss here and don't edit war JoeSperrazza (talk) 03:12, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Should there really be a criticism section?[edit]

Is there any way criticism is relevant to this article? Why do I see no criticism section in Chinese, Italian, French, Indian, or Mexican cuisine articles? I'm sensing a double standard. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:22, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree. The section seems entirely to consist of some sort of PR blunder by Berlusconi with little notability regarding this subject. and certainly contains no expert statements regarding Finnish cuisine. I propose the section is deleted on account of WP:UNDUE. Or copied to the Silvio Berlusconi article if it is found relevant enough in connection with his political career. --Saddhiyama (talk) 00:02, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Oppose. Criticism of Finnish food is notable, see eg. this New York Times article, which quotes Chirac slagging it as well. Jpatokal (talk) 10:49, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

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