Finnish food crowns the centenary
The Finland 100 centenary programme is filled with the tastes of Finnish cuisine. The centenary has inspired peak performance from professionals and home chefs alike, resulting in both traditional and new taste experiences.
One of the highlights of any party – big or small – is always food, and so too during the centenary, when the 100-year-old Finland feasts both at home and away. One of the centenary’s food phenomena is rye bread, which was recently chosen as our national food.
Finnish cuisine is the result of not just our history but also of our northern location, somewhere between east and west. The ingredients provided by the northern environment, as well as berries and mushrooms that are free to be picked, form the core assets of Finnish cuisine, both in formal and informal dining. The distinctive character of Finnish gastronomy is attracting attention abroad, and Finnish cuisine, in return, is acquiring new nuances through internationalisation and travel.
Finland 100 foodie picks
The Let’s eat together project has already attracted more than 30 Finnish food industry operators to join in on promoting the culture of shared meals in Finland. Of all the European nations, Finns eat together the least often, but this will change during the centenary. The project brings together people from all over the country through several anniversary programmes related to food.
The Martha organisation promotes the Let’s Eat Together theme in different ways around the country with its own project Let’s eat together – good food from Finland (Syödään yhdessä – SuomiHyvää in Finnish). The 100-year-old nation is celebrated by joining together for a meal, and Marthas around Finland provide instructions on how to, for example, organise house parties with a great atmosphere during the different seasons. Three season-specific menus have also been designed to mark the centenary.
The 4-H clubs, in turn, will organise children’s dinner parties titled Foodie birthday party for the 100-year-old Finland (Safkasynttärit 100-vuotiaalle Suomelle in Finnish). At these parties, the tables will be laid with treats inspired by nature, such as nettle crisps, ground elder muffins and wild herb smoothies.
Dinner under the stars (Illallinen taivaan alla in Finnish) is a food event that will spread throughout Finland to mark the centenary and even abroad thanks to the Finnish expats. Massive shared meals will be organised in summer around Finland and abroad. On the last weekend in August, anyone can hold a dinner party and invite guests to a public space or their own home.
Join the president’s table (Käy Kekkosen pöytään in Finnish) offers an invitation to dine with Finland’s former president Urho Kekkonen. Kekkonen, who led the country for nearly 25 years, invited the world leaders to Finlandia Hall in Helsinki in 1975. In March 2017, we will return to the Hall and OSCE theme with a three-course dinner and show.
From starter to bread (Juuresta leiväksi in Finnish) inspires young Finns in particular to bake the traditional rye bread using the Salonen bakery’s recipe. The event also encourages people to pay it forward by giving the bread and a starter to an important person or community.
The Finnish championship of sahti brewing will take place in Turenki in August. Brewing sahti is an old Finnish tradition, and more than 50 municipalities with their brewers and supporters will gather for the competition. This lively summer happening with its markets, street food stalls and performances invites visitors from near and far for a feast.
School lunches will also receive their fair share of appreciation during the centenary. Finland’s association for food professionals encourages schools around Finland to apply for a School lunch diploma. The aim is to reach 1,000 diplomas during the anniversary, and this year the diplomas are decorated with the Finland 100 logo.
In November, an event titled Delicacies from Chefs in Lapland (Lapin Keittiömestareiden Herkkupöytä) will introduce Finnish cuisine and make a selection of delicacies prepared using Finnish products available for all. Every year, this legendary food event gathers together roughly 500 gourmets and 40 chefs from Lapland who reveal their cooking tricks to the customers.
Into The Pure With Sara is an international documentary series with Finnish chef Sara La Fountain as the guide and explorer. The famous TV chef presents topical Finnish achievements, phenomena and stories and explores contemporary Finland through tastes, scents and a search for unique pearls.
At the end of January, Finland presented itself at the Grüne Woche fair in Berlin as a diverse travel destination. An impressive country pavilion was assembled by over twenty exhibitors to mark the centenary. The pavilion showcased food and drink products that get their taste directly from our clean nature, as well as travel destinations offering natural peace. The tasty products promoted by the exhibitors were a great success.
The 100-year-old Finland’s festive menu is served at the foreign embassies during the anniversary year 2017. The menu has been designed by chefs Kim Palhus and Arto Rastas, with inspiration from the Finnish ingredients, flavours and nature. The menu is a mixture of traditional and contemporary flavours and can be prepared at all of our embassies regardless of their location.
The food will be complemented with appropriate drinks. In honour of the centenary, Château Carsin, a Finnish family-owned vineyard in Bordeaux, has produced five Finland 100 celebration wines for Finland. On 27 and 28 April, the vineyard will organise a food and wine event in Helsinki, inviting everyone to enjoy the products from the Finnish wine producers abroad, our master chefs and local-source suppliers of ingredients.
Pick more treats from the centenary programme.