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Almost every Finn remembers as a child collecting aromatic wild strawberries and bilberries and threading a sturdy stem of grass through them, so that they end up like beads on a string.

Wild strawberry and bilberry thread

After that the berries were eaten, of course. Also this recipe for "berry milk" is a popular summertime treat for kids.

bilberries or wild strawberries (or both)
whole milk, half-and-half or (light) cream

Bilberry milk Hull the strawberries. Rinse the berries, if necessary, and drain. Leave the berries whole.

Picture on left: bilberry milk.

If you do not have access to these wild Finnish berries, you can use regular blueberries and very small-sized cultivated strawberries. Cut the larger strawberries in smaller pieces.

Spoon the berries in deep soup plates or dessert bowls. Sprinkle with a dash of sugar and add some milk or cream to cover the berries. Serve immediately as a dessert or a refreshing snack and eat with a soup spoon.

Strawberry milk Bilberries will dye the milk beautifully purplish, and strawberries pinkish.

Picture on right: strawberry milk.

If eating bilberries for the first time, you should note that they will stain your mouth and teeth purplish-blue, though not permanently!

Recipe source: traditional Finnish recipe.


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