COOKIES OF SEVEN SORTS
Serving coffee with pastries of various kinds has been an important part of Finnish hospitality, especially at more formal parties or large gatherings.
Coffee drinking has become almost a ritual in the Finnish society Finns consume the most coffee per capita in the world.
In the picture on right: home-baked cookies clockwise from upper left: coconut cookies, hazelnut cakes, coconut meringues, raspberry jam stars, almond cookies, peanut butter and tahini cookies, and, in the centre, ricciarelli cookies.
In the old times, there had to be at least "seven sorts" of pastries served along with the coffee.
In picture above: a maid serving "seven sorts of pastries and cookies" in a scene from the 1949 Finnish romantic comedy film "Katupeilin takana" ("Behind the Mirror in the Window"), set in Belle Époque era Helsinki of the early 1890s.
Popular items served were sweet yeast dough pastries like buns and wheat braids, cakes like sponge cakes, gingerbread cakes and cream and fruit filled layer cakes, as well as differently flavoured cookies.
In addition to this, there could be cinnamon rolls, a jelly roll and pies and tarts filled with berries, fruit or sweetened quark.
Nowadays serving savoury pastries has become more popular. These may include canapés, fish or vegetable pies, savoury sandwich cakes or cream puffs filled with savoury fillings.
However, the amount of items served with coffee has diminished, and one is not likely to find all the "seven sorts" laid out on the coffee tables of modern Finnish homes.
You can choose your choice of "seven sorts" of Finnish cakes, pastries and cookies among the recipes listed here.
Recipe source: traditional Finnish recipe.