Visiting Finland you should necessarily try “kalakkuka”. A slice – from the West, a slice – from the East, one more, – from the North, from Lapland. So, as the Finnish cooks, epicures and simply fans of tasty food believe, the ethnic cuisine of Finland was born in this way. The east is, certainly, Russia, the West – Sweden, two neighboring countries, which are often and variously present at Finland throughout many centuries.
However, on counters of the Old market of Helsinki constructed still in the end of XIX-th century their influence began to be undermined, including even Sicily, whence “exotic” tomatoes were delivered – at first dried up on the sun, and then again softened with spices in olive oil. The seller asserts that exotic is in demand, however many Finns prefers tradition.
Many people in Finland prefer fish, and this preference isn’t casual. The climate in the country is cold and not too fertile, agricultural crops on a regular basis occupy here from year to year less than 1 % of territory. And about fish you will never tell such a thing…
Finland often and wrongly is named as the Country of thousand lakes. Actually here there are more than 60 thousand, and together with the sea they give an excellent crop – a salmon, a trout, sig, a pike, a perch, a sprat etc. The salmon is the first that is evident for every Finn. It s also the first Finnish fish. It will be offered to you in different variants. Here they can can pour large salt on crude fish, lay fennel, add a few pepper, to turn in a special dense paper with a thin foil from within, and after a day keeping it in your refrigerator you will have the most gentle and inexpensive product of “fast preparation”. Very useful for health.
All it is really dexterous, but somehow it is not original, to taste is habitual. Strange feeling arises from milk. With milk, for satiety and tenderness, they prepare, for example, some fish soups which is possible to try in many market cafes and “snack bars”. In milk sometimes they presoak a herring or extinguish sea fish. Low-fat sour cream is used for sauce under a smoke-cured salmon to which, as a rule, a handful of cowberry berries are served.
Fish is a frequent stuffing for pies, and some of them, in particular “kalakukka”, are even considered original gastronomic display of all of the best that is inherent in the Finnish national character, – patience and persistence. Present “kalakukka” is prepared during 5 – 6 hours. It is an open pie from a rye flour with a stuffing from fish, a small amount of bacon and low-fat pork which should reach slowly the necessary degree of readiness and impregnate with the juice on the test basis. “Boards” of such pie should be strong – high and dense so that the pie, God forbid, will never spread out.
It is also possible to prepare ”Kalakukku” differently: they say – who the mistress is, “kalakukka” will be like that. The stuffing is always seductive, but that to reach it through the heavy external layer of this pie, sometimes efforts are needed. And then the sight can involuntarily concentrate on caviar. There is no black one but a lot of red – also more yellow and smaller – from trout and herring.
Bread with oil, sour cream, caviar, an onions, pepper. .. A parity of components – to taste. By the way, according to local epicures, Finns more and more pay attention to utility of what they eat. So, the recipe of preparation of traditional sausages has changed – animal fat is replaced with vegetable oil, and one of additives is served, allegedly, by a flour made of a pine bark.
They say, – we are what we eat. The Finnish culinary traditions, seemingly, are useful for the inhabitants of this country. Average life expectancy of the Finnish men comes nearer to 75 years, women – to 82.