Recipe archive
MAIN RECIPE PAGE Glossary of Finnish dishes

Suomalaisia ruokalajeja ja elintarvikkeita

Various regional dishes with dialectal names are omitted,
unless they are known or consumed throughout Finland.

Finnish pullapitko
Abbreviations and symbols:
(sg.) = singular
(pl.) = plural
lit. = literally
(dial) = dialectal
(infml) = informal
Syn. = synonyms
= link to illustration
You will find recipes for some of the dishes mentioned below on Nordic recipe archive.

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Finnish English Description Photo
Ahvenanmaan pannukakku Aland pancake, Åland pancake

A traditional speciality of the Swedish-speaking province of Åland Islands, a large oven-baked pancake made using leftover wheat semolina (manna) or rice porridge as a base for the batter. The cold porridge is heated and thinned out with milk, enriched with eggs, sugar and spices like cardamom, saffron or cinnamon, poured in a wide oven pan and baked. The pancake may be served, usually lukewarm, with whipped cream and fruit compote, jam, berries, etc.
Syn. Finland Swedish: ålandspannkaka.

ahvenkukko perch loaf See kalakukko.
aladobi meat, fish or vegetable aspic

Cooked meat, fish or vegetables cut in small pieces and placed in a form together with stock prepared from meat, poultry or fish items rich in gelatine and chilled until solidified. In lack of these gelatinous items, powdered or sheet gelatine is added to the stock. Aspics made with pork and/or veal are most commonly consumed in Finland.
Syn. lihahyytelö, kalahyytelö, kasvishyytelö.

apposet peas in the pod

Finnish summer dish of fresh field or garden pea pods boiled in salted water until tender. The pods are dipped in melted butter, placed whole in the mouth and the pulp and peas stripped off by pulling the pod between the teeth.
See a recipe for Peas in the pod.

auringonsilmä eye of the sun

A piquant, colourful dish of chopped pickled and raw vegetables (beetroot, onion, gherkins, capers, etc), chopped parsley, chive/green onion or spinach, grated horseradish and chopped Swedish anchovies served with whole raw egg yolks. The dish may be assembled by dispersing upturned egg cups on a serving plate and arranging the chopped ingredients in circles or other patterns around them. The egg cups are lifted up and raw egg yolks or egg yolks placed in eggshell halves are placed in the empty spots left behind. In addition, boiled potatoes, rye bread or crispbread may be served with the dish.

avokukko open-faced fish loaf

Similar to kalakukko, avokukko is an oven-baked pie with a rye crust and fish filling of eastern Finnish origin. The filling (eg whole small vendace, powan, salmon, etc, pork fat slices, butter and salt) is piled on the centre of a thickly rolled-out dough disk and the edges folded over to partly cover the filling. After baking in hot oven, the pie is brushed with butter and wrapped in parchment paper, tea towel, foil, etc, for the crust to soften before eating.
See kalakukko.

Finnish English Description Photo
berliininmunkki sugar-glazed jelly doughnut, lit. "Berlin doughnut"

Round sweet yeast dough fritter, usually filled with apple marmalade or raspberry or strawberry jam and glazed with pink sugar icing.
See munkki.

blini (sg.), blinit (pl.) blin (sg.), blins (pl.)

In Finland, the Russian-origin blins are small and thickish, yeast-leavened savoury pancakes cooked in clarified butter in special blin pans until puffed-up, golden brown and slightly crisp on top. In Russia, blins may also be thin and soft, usually larger-sized and often rather anaemic-looking, crêpe-like pancakes served with sweet as well as savoury toppings. Savoury blins are served as appetizers and eaten around Shrovetide, in Finland and Russia alike.
Syn. linni (sg.), linnit (pl.).
See a recipe for Russian blins.

borštškeitto borshch soup

Thick Russian beetroot soup served with smetana. Besides the beetroot, root vegetables and cabbage are used to make the soup.
See a recipe for Borshch soup.

bostonkakku Boston cake

Sweet yeast dough cake made with dough rolls stuffed with cinnamon and/or almond flavoured filling, placed snugly in a round cake pan and baked.
See a recipe for Boston cake.

Finnish English Description Photo
etikkakurkku sweet-and-sour pickled gherkin, lit. "vinegar cucumber" See maustekurkku.

pickled beetroot

Boiled beetroots preserved whole, cubed or sliced in vinegar-based marinade seasoned with sugar, salt and spices like cloves, cinnamon, pepper, ginger, etc. Pickled beetroots may be served as a piquant accompaniment for meat, fish and vegetable dishes or used in various salads, see punajuurisalaatti, rosolli.
Syn. säilykepunajuuri, säilötty punajuuri.
See a recipe for Pickled beetroots.

etikkasilakka vinegar-pickled Baltic herring

1. Uncooked preparation of raw herring or Baltic herring fillets pre-marinated in cold water, salt and spirit vinegar mixture, drained and layered in a dish with spices (onion, dill, peppercorns, chives, parsley, etc). The ingredients are topped with vinegar brine flavoured with salt and sugar and left to marinate for about 24 hours before eating.
Syn. etikkasilli.
See maustesilakka.

2. See silakkarulla.
3. See marinoitu silakkapihvi.
etikkasilli vinegar herring 1. See etikkasilakka, point 1.
2. See silakkarulla.

Finnish English Description
friteerattu nahkiainen deep-fried lamprey See nahkiainen.
friteeratut muikut deep-fried vendace See paistetut muikut.
Finnish English Description Photo
glögi Scandinavian mulled wine, Swedish: glögg

Red wine, white wine or various fruit juices heated up with sugar and spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, allspice, ginger, Seville orange, etc. Basic hot glögi is served from tea glasses or mugs, mixed with a few raisins and blanched almonds.
Syn. hehkuviini.
See recipes for Red Christmas glögg, White Christmas glögg or non-alcoholic Glögg.

graavikala salt-cured raw fish, freshly salted fish

Fresh fillet of fish (salmon, rainbow trout, whitefish, etc) sprinkled with salt and sugar mixture and fresh dill or other herbs and spices, wrapped and left to cure for from a few hours to up to three days. Salt-curing does not "cook" the fish but only seasons it, so it is consumed raw.
Syn. tuoresuolattu kala, graavattu kala.
See a recipe for Gravlax.

graavilohi salt-cured raw salmon, Swedish: gravlax See graavikala.
graavisiika salt-cured raw powan See graavikala.
grillattu kana, grillattu broileri grilled chicken, grilled broiler

A whole roasted chicken or broiler, a traditional Sunday dish in the 1950s and 60s, especially among urban families. Nowadays ready-grilled broilers are widely available at the supermarket and grocery store grilled food counters, although in many lower-quality stores the broilers are sometimes too heavily salted and seasoned, usually to mask the inferior quality of the (previously frozen) meat used for the product.
Syn. grillattu kananpoika, grillikana, grillikananpoika, grillibroileri.

grillimakkara barbecue sausage

Sausage in natural casing, especially suitable for barbecuing/grilling. Regular barbecue sausages are mainly made with pork, but also a variety of other meats may be used, like game, chicken, reindeer, salmon, etc. Besides using various meats, the sausage meat may be flavoured with different spices, herbs, peppers, cheese, etc. Nowadays also vegetarian "sausages" are available for grilling. Barbecue sausages are popular "junk food" in Finland, especially in summertime when outdoor grilling is widely practised. At its simplest, barbecue sausage is eaten with sweet Finnish mustard.

Finnish English Description Photo
halstrattu silakka gridiron-grilled or panfried Baltic herring

Very fresh whole, gutted and headless Baltic herrings lightly salted and either placed between a hinged gridiron and briefly grilled over charcoal grill or open fire, or quickly fried on both sides on a thin layer of salt in a very hot cast iron pan. Because of their blackened appearance, this type of Baltic herrings are called sotare in Swedish, meaning "chimney sweeper".

Hanna-tädin kakut aunt Hannah's cakes

Small, light-coloured, slightly dome-shaped round cookies of crumbly, fine texture. The dough for the cakes typically contains soured cream.
See a recipe for Aunt Hannah's cakes.

hapankurkku fermented pickled gherkin

Small garden cucumbers preserved using the natural lactic acid fermentation process, the same method used to produce sauerkraut. The pickling liquid consists of correct proportions of water and salt with the addition of spices, which usually include crown dill, horseradish, fresh blackcurrant leaves and oak tree and/or cherry tree leaves, but also bay leaf, tarragon, garlic, peppercorns, chilli pepper, mustard seeds, parsley, thyme, etc, may be added. Some recipes also add some sugar or whey to speed up the starting of fermentation process. The prepared cucumber jars are first kept in cool temperature (18 - 22 ° C) for a couple of days to initiate the fermentation process. The process is let to continue in cooler temperature (15 - 18 ° C) until the acidity of the cucumbers has reached the pH of 4,1 or below, after which they are transferred to further storage in cold (0 - 8 ° C). No sugar or vinegar is used in the brine. Fermented cucumbers have a delicate, freshly-sour flavour and a pleasant smell. A popular Finnish way to serve them is dipping them in honey and smetana. Authentic, traditional Russian pickled gherkins are prepared using this method, so fermented cucumbers are often simply called venäläiset suolakurkut (lit. Russian salted cucumbers) in Finland, though most Finns, somewhat inaccurately, associate the name with regular, salt and/or sugar and vinegar pickled, garlic-flavoured gherkins.
See a recipe for Russian gherkins served with smetana and honey.

hapanpaisti sour roast

Roast of beef, elk, reindeer or lamb/mutton marinated for several days, even weeks, in a sweet-and-sour brine, usually consisting of homemade beer (= kalja) or red wine, vinegar, a rather large quantity of sugar, onion, and spices like white pepper, allspice, bay leaf, juniper berries, etc. The roast is drained of the marinade, browned and placed in a deep lidded pot to cook, together with onion, root vegetables and a dash of water or the marinade. The strained cooking liquid is thickened with flour and cream and served as sauce for the roast.

Hasselbackan perunat Hasselback potatoes

Partially thinly sliced, whole oven-roasted potatoes of Swedish origin.
Syn. Hasselbackin perunat.
See a recipe for Hasselback potatoes.

hedelmäkakku fruit cake

Regular Finnish fruit cake is usually a light-coloured, soft-textured sponge or pound cake with added dried and/or candied fruit. Finnish Christmas fruit cake usually contains spices, brown sugar or molasses and nuts in addition to fruit, resembling the richer and darker English-type fruit cakes.
See a recipe for Christmas fruit cake.

hedelmäkeitto fruit soup See kiisseli.
hedelmärahka fruit quark See jälkiruokarahka.
hedelmäsalaatti fruit salad

While nowadays a Finnish fruit salad may consist of any fresh exotic fruit imported from around the globe, a classic, simple fruit salad served for dessert usually consists of bananas, apples, grapes, oranges and their juice. In addition, other fresh fruit and berries may be added, according to the season, as well as sugar, syrups and other seasonings or spices. As many fresh fruits are available almost all year round, the use of canned or frozen fruit in fruit salads has diminished.
See a recipe for Finnish fruit salad.

herkkukurkku sweet-and-sour pickled gherkin, lit. "delicacy cucumber" See maustekurkku.
hernekeitto pea soup, green pea soup

Traditional Finnish and Swedish Shrovetide dish, pea soup is a thick soup made with dried, soaked green peas, cooked with a piece of smoked pork shank, carrots, onions and spices. Previously a traditional Thursday dish, followed by a dessert of oven-baked pancake. Especially at Shrovetide, the soup may be served with a small glass of warmed Swedish punsch.
Syn. hernesoppa, hernerokka (dial).
See a recipe for Green pea soup.

hernemuhennos green pea puree

A stew of reconstituted dry peas simmered in water or stock until tender and partly mushy, flavoured with salt and butter and served to accompany meat dishes like sausages or pork, or fish dishes like lutefisk. Also fresh or frozen peas may be used to make the puree, giving it a different, fresher flavour and a brighter colour. A pinch of sugar and a dash of cream may be added to the puree.

hiekkahentunen shortbread tartlet

Small pastry case of fine shortcrust dough, topped and decorated with sweet filling, like whipped cream, custard, lemon curd, jam, fresh berries, fruit, chocolate, etc. Besides wheat flour, the dough is usually made partly with finely ground almonds or potato flour, making the texture of the tartlet very light, fine and crumbly, resembling fine sand (= hiekka).

hiekkakakku pound cake, lit. "sand cake"

A type of pound cake made with butter, sugar and eggs, with all or part of wheat flour replaced with potato flour, giving it a moist and crumbly texture. The batter may be flavoured with cognac, vanilla, grated lemon zest, etc. The egg whites and yolks may be added separately to the batter, the whipped whites giving the cake extra lightness. Some recipes call this type of cake murokakku, although this name usually refers to a regular pound cake made with wheat flour only.
See murokakku.

hiillostettu silakka charcoal-grilled Baltic herring

Very fresh whole, gutted and headless Baltic herrings lightly salted and cooked between a hinged gridiron over charcoal grill or open fire. The fish may also be fried in a very hot cast iron pan, see halstrattu silakka. Because of their blackened, charcoal-coated appearance, this type of Baltic herrings are called sotare in Swedish, meaning "chimney sweeper".
Syn. hiilisilakka.
See halstrattu silakka.

hillomunakas jam omelette

Sweet dessert omelette. The omelette mixture is seasoned with sugar and spices (eg vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, etc) and the baked omelette filled with jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar or drizzled with sugar icing.
See a recipe for Raspberry omelette.

hirvipaisti venison roast

Oven-baked venison roast which in Finland is made with local elk (US: moose) meat, available during elk hunting season in the autumn. Also meat from reindeer, or other cervids hunted in Finland (fallow/white-tailed/red/roe/sika deer or forest reindeer), is used instead of elk. The roast may be served with creamy or demi-glace sauce, boiled or mashed potatoes, vegetables and blackcurrant or red currant jelly, accompanied by other typical "foods from the wild", like wild mushrooms and berries.

hopeakakku angel food cake, angel cake, lit. "silver cake"

Ethereal sponge cake made by using stiffly-beaten egg whites and omitting egg yolks, giving the cake a lighter texture and colour than that of a regular sponge cake. Butter and/or spices may be added to flavour the batter.

hopeatee cambric tea, nursery tea, lit. "silver tea"

Beverage of hot water with added milk or cream, drunk as a tea substitute mainly by small children, the elderly or those wanting to avoid caffeine. Some sweetening, like sugar or honey, or a small dash of brewed tea may be added to flavour the drink.

hovijälkiruoka meringue and cream dessert, lit. "court dessert"

An old-fashioned dessert traditionally made with small meringues and whipped cream piled up in a tall, pyramidal shape, drizzled with dark chocolate sauce and decorated with whipped cream (and toasted almond flakes). Also ice cream, fruit, berries, jams, nuts and/or cookies/cookie crumbs may be used in assembling the dish, to alter its flavour.

hovimestarinkastike mustard and dill dressing, gravlax sauce, lit. "maître d'hôtel sauce"

Swedish sweet mustard and oil based dressing flavoured with fresh dill (Swedish: hovmästarsås). Commonly served with fish dishes and seafood, the dressing is perhaps best known as the classic accompaniment to gravlax.
See a recipe for Gravlax sauce.

huttu porridge, gruel

Dialectal name for (flour) porridge or gruel.
See jauhopuuro, jauhovelli , puuro, velli.

hyytelö jelly or aspic

1. Sweet or sweet-and-sour, clear preserve made with berries or fruit rich in pectin, usually served in small dollops to accompany savoury meat dishes, like steaks, roasts and game. Popular jelly types in Finland include blackcurrant, red currant, rowanberry, lingonberry, cranberry, and mint jelly, among others. Berry jellies are also used in baking, cakes, tarts and desserts, for example brushed on top of fruit tarts to form a decorative and protective glaze layer.
See recipes for Blackcurrant jelly, Chokeberry jelly and Rowanberry jelly.

2. Savoury meat, fish or vegetable aspic, see aladobi.

3. Sweet moulded jelly dessert, see jälkiruokahyytelö.

häränsilmä bull's eye

An egg fried in a pan (preferably in a slot of pancake pan to acquire an even round shape) until the white is just set and the yolk is still runny. Most often a "bull's eye" is made by breaking and egg or eggs into a round slot or slots formed among some baked or fried dish, like Swedish hash (see pyttipannu) and left to cook briefly until the egg white has set. The "bull's eye" egg can be served as a decorative addition or topping to various dishes, like baked open-faced sandwiches, potato hash, croque madame, hot toast, etc.

hölskytyskurkut pickled cucumber slices, lit. "shaken cucumbers" See tillikurkut.
Finnish English Description Photo
imellytetty perunalaatikko sweetened potato casserole

A baked casserole dish made with pureed potatoes mixed with a dash of flour and left to sweeten naturally overnight. In many families, the dish is traditionally served at Christmas.
Syn. imelletty perunalaatikko, perunatuuvinki (dial).
See a recipe for Sweetened potato casserole.

inkoonpuuro Inkoo porridge, Ingå porridge See perunapuuro.
Finnish English Description Photo
Janssonin kiusaus, janssoninkiusaus Jansson's casserole

Swedish-origin casserole dish (lit. "Mr Jansson's temptation", Swedish: Janssons frestelse) made with julienne-cut potatoes, onion, Swedish anchovies and cream.
See kinkkukiusaus, lohikiusaus, sillikiusaus.
See a recipe for Jansson's temptation.

jauhelihakastike meat ragout

One of the favourite everyday dishes of the Finns, especially children, meat ragout is made by frying ground meat (usually beef), seasoning it with spices and binding it with stock, cream, etc. Simmered until thickened, the sauce may be served with boiled potatoes or, more often, pasta. When properly made with good ingredients, Finnish meat ragout is similar to any rich, flavourful Bolognese sauce or the like, but unfortunately most versions of it, especially those served in places like school and workplace cafeterias, hospitals, lunch restaurants, etc, are poorly made and quite inedible.
See a recipe for Beef pasta sauce.

jauhelihakeitto minced meat soup See lihakeitto.
jauhelihapihvi hamburger patty, ground meat patty

Meat patties formed from finely ground meat, usually bound with eggs, cream, soaked bread or breadcrumbs, seasoned and fried in frying pan or baked in oven. Besides ground beef, veal or pork, hamburger patties may also be made with ground chicken, venison, fish and offal, like liver.

jauhemaksapihvi liver hamburger, ground liver patty

Hamburger patty or pancake made with ground liver (beef, pork, etc) bound with ingredients like grated potatoes and eggs, seasoned and cooked in butter in frying pan or pancake pan.
See a recipe for Liver hamburgers.

jauhopuuro flour porridge

Porridge cooked with powdered instead of whole, crushed or flaked grain.
See puuro.

jauhovelli flour gruel

Gruel cooked with powdered instead of whole, crushed or flaked grain.
See velli.

jouluhauki Christmas pike

A whole pike poached or baked in oven is an old, traditional centrepiece dish at Christmas dinner among fisherman families of the Finnish southwestern archipelago. In the old times, pike was a highly esteemed fish, and also today, being at their biggest around Christmas time, whole large pikes make a grand, festive dish. The pike, ideally weighing around two to three kilograms, is gutted, preferably through the mouth to keep its form intact, poached or baked and served with a béchamel sauce seasoned with horseradish (and mixed with chopped hardboiled eggs and/or herbs, etc).

joulukinkku Christmas ham

Oven-baked salt-cured ham, the traditional centrepiece dish of Finnish Christmas dinner.

joulutorttu Christmas pastry

Pinwheel-shaped pastry or turnover of puff pastry or quark-butter dough filled with prune or apricot jam. These pastries are served traditionally at Christmas, accompanied by glögg, the Scandinavian mulled wine.
Syn. tähtitorttu, luumutorttu.
See a recipe for Star-shaped Christmas pastries.

juustoleipä Finnish oven cheese

Traditional Finnish unripened cheese pressed into a flat disk and broiled over open fire.
Syn. leipäjuusto.
Read more about oven cheese here.

jälkiruokahyytelö dessert jelly

Moulded sweet dish made with fruit or berry juice and/or wine, often with added berries or fruit pieces, set with gelatine or some other gelling agent. Besides the clear fruit jellies, creamy opaque jellies are made with cream, curd cream (viili/kermaviili), sour cream, milk, etc, or with cold rice or wheat semolina porridge as the base, usually flavoured with vanilla, lemon, raisins, citrus zest, candied fruit, etc. Dessert jellies, especially any made with artificial, unpalatable ingredients similar to the American "Jell-O" brand, or the British-type jelly desserts, are fortunately not popular in Finland.

jälkiruokarahka dessert quark

Simple mousse-like dessert made by flavouring soft, smooth quark with fresh fruits (hedelmärahka) or berries (marjarahka). These may be chopped, pureed or mashed, and soft berries may also be added whole. The mixture is usually sweetened with sugar (and vanilla sugar) and enriched by folding in whipped cream, which gives the dish a fuller, softer and less acidic taste and a lighter texture. Depending on the fruit type used, also other spices may be added, like cinnamon to prune-flavoured quark. Instead of fresh fruit, canned or reconstituted dried fruit, jams, marmalades and compotes may be used to flavour the quark. Popular fruit and berries used include raspberries, strawberries, bilberries, cloudberries, lingonberries, cranberries, blackcurrants, peaches, prunes, apricots, pineapple, mango, bananas, apples, pears, kiwi and citrus fruits, among others. Also ingredients like nuts, chocolate, coffee, cream toffee, etc, are often used. Flavoured quarks may also be used to fill and top layer cakes, jelly rolls, pies, cheesecakes, etc.
See a recipe for Fruit quark.

jälkiruokavaahto dessert mousse

Usually a light-textured, sweet dessert mousse made with whipped eggs, cream, quark, curd cream or yogurt, even whipped wheat semolina porridge, with various flavourings (eg chocolate, coffee, caramel, liqueurs, nuts, fruit, berries). If required, the mousse may be set with gelatine, agar-agar, etc, or it may be frozen.
Syn. mousse.
See jälkiruokarahka, vispipuuro.
See recipes for Chocolate mousse, Lemon mousse, Prune mousse and Fruit quark.

Finnish English Description Photo
kaalikeitto cabbage soup

Clear, thick and flavourful Russian-origin soup made with white cabbage, root vegetables, stock and spices. Instead of fresh cabbage, also sauerkraut may be used to make the soup.
See a recipe for Cabbage soup.

kaalikääryle stuffed cabbage roll

Cabbage leaves rolled around stuffing (usually ground meat, rice, cream, eggs and spices), glazed with molasses and melted butter and baked in oven.
See a recipe for Stuffed cabbage rolls.

kaalilaatikko cabbage casserole

Casserole dish made with chopped white cabbage stewed in butter, fried ground meat and cooked rice, seasoned with dark molasses and other spices and simmered in oven until sweet and succulent. Also onion and carrot may be added to the stew to flavour it. Boiled rice may be replaced with boiled barley or rice porridge, and milk and/or cream may also be added to the dish. The casserole is traditionally served with lingonberry jam or sugared lingonberries.
See a recipe for Cabbage casserole.

kaalipiirakka cabbage pie

Traditionally, a large rectangular flat pie with thin top and bottom crusts of yeast dough or puff pastry. The pie is generously filled with finely chopped white cabbage sautéed in butter and baked in oven in a large baking pan. Sautéed onion, hard-boiled chopped eggs or other ingredients may be added to the cabbage filling. Also sauerkraut may be used as filling in kaalipiirakka.

kakku cake

In the early part of 19th century, the development of sophisticated cake and pastry making tradition in Finland was greatly influenced by Swiss emigrants, originally Romansh people from the Graubünden region known all over the Continental Europe for its skilled confectionery makers. The range of modern Finnish cakes extends from plain and simple sponge and coffee cakes to more festive layer cakes and savoury sandwich cakes. Even though the quality of Finnish commercially made bakery products, especially in regard of taste, has greatly worsened during the recent decades, Finns generally prefer cakes made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and avoid the Anglo-American type products made with "artificial", highly processed or otherwise dubious and unhealthy ingredients like ready-made cake, custard, jelly and frosting mixes, egg substitutes, aerosol creams, cooking oil sprays, shortenings, self-raising flours, etc. All self–respecting Finnish home bakers make their cakes "from scratch", using simple, fresh and natural ingredients, thus teaching also their children to appreciate pure flavours since childhood.
See bostonkakku, hedelmäkakku, hiekkakakku, hopeakakku, kermakakku, kuivakakku, mansikkakakku, marenkikakku, maustekakku, murokakku, omenahyve, Rex-kakku, sokerikakku, tiikerikakku, toskakakku, tšinuskikakku, täytekakku, voileipäkakku.

kalakeitto fish soup

Typical Finnish fish soup can be made with various fish, most commonly salmon, perch, pike-perch, trout, burbot, whitefish, etc, vegetables, spices, herbs and fish stock. The soup can be clear or enriched with milk or cream.
See lohikeitto, madekeitto.
See a recipe for Finnish fish soup.

kalakukko fish loaf, lit. "fish-rooster"

Traditional loaf-shaped fish and pork pie of the Savo region in eastern Finland. The filling consists of layers of fish and pork fat, which are wrapped inside a smooth rye crust and slowly baked in oven. The dome-shaped pie is eaten by cutting out pieces of the crust, topping them with the succulent filling. Kalakukko can be filled with whole small fish (vendace) or fish fillets (eg vendace, perch, rainbow trout) or vegetables (eg rutabaga), alternating them with layers of pork fat and salt. Patakukko is another version of kukko where the filling ingredients are layered in a deep pot or oven pan, covered with dough crust and baked.
See kukko.

kalakääryle fish roulade, fish roll

Rolled-up fillet of fish simmered in stock and/or cream. Small fillets or pieces of perch, burbot, pike, powan, salmon, trout or Baltic herring are usually used to make fish rolls. Before rolling up, the fillets are seasoned with spices and herbs or topped with some type of stuffing (eg flavoured butter or cream cheese, fish mousse, cod roe paste, shrimps, vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, onion, carrot, etc). The rolls may be fastened with toothpicks and placed in a skillet or oven pan, covered with fish or vegetable stock or cream and simmered on stovetop or in oven. Some types of fish rolls are cooked in vinegar-seasoned liquid, see silakkarulla. A slice of white and red fish may be rolled together to produce a two-colour roll. Instead of simmering, some types of fish rolls may be fried in butter in a skillet.
Syn. kalarulla.

kalalautanen fish platter See sillilautanen.
kalamureke fish pâté

Usually a very smooth-textured pâté or pudding type of dish made with finely ground fish bound with cream, eggs or egg whites, butter, etc. The chilled ingredients are mixed together in a food mixer or blender to produce a light mousse, which is poured in a loaf pan, pâté dish or some other mould and gently baked in oven, often in a bain-marie. The fish mixture may be seasoned or decorated with a multitude of ingredients, like chopped herbs, vegetables, shrimps, smoked salmon slices, etc. The ingredients may be layered in the dish to produce an attractive pattern when the pâté is sliced, small whole fish fillets may be added to vary the texture, or a striped pâté may be assembled layering mixtures of white and red fish in the mould. Fish pâtés may be served warm or chilled, as an hors d'œuvre or main dish, or a part of fish platter.
Syn. kalaterriini.

kalasalaatti fish salad

A salad usually made with flaked or sliced poached or hot- or cold-smoked fish (salmon, powan, eel, Baltic herring, etc), lettuce and various other ingredients, like tomatoes, cucumber, hard-boiled eggs, shrimps, dill, green onion, apple, capers and/or various other fresh or pickled vegetables. Clear or creamy, oil, mayonnaise or sour cream based dressings may be served with fish salads.

kalja traditional Finnish (homemade) beer See kotikalja.
kantarellikeitto chanterelle soup

Usually a creamy soup made with yellow chanterelles. The chopped mushrooms (and some chopped onion) are braised in butter, then cooked in stock until tender and flavourful. A bit of flour may be added to thicken the soup. Finally, some cream is added to the soup. Similar soup is made of funnel chanterelles, see suppilovahverokeitto.
See a recipe for creamy Chanterelle soup.

kantarellimuhennos chanterelle ragout

Chopped yellow chanterelles braised in butter, seasoned and slowly stewed in cream (and sometimes stock) until soft. In addition, chopped onion may be added to the mushrooms. Because of their harder texture, chanterelles need to be simmered longer than eg ceps. Chanterelle ragout may be served plain, perhaps with freshly boiled new potatoes, or on side of many meat, fish and vegetable dishes.
Syn. kantarellikastike.
See a recipe for Chanterelle ragout.

karjalanpaisti Karelian stew, Karelian hot pot

Traditional meat casserole dish of the Karelia region in southeastern Finland. In its simplest form, this delicious dish is made with only two to three different types of meats (beef, pork and/or lamb), salt and water, simmered for hours in slow oven. In addition, variety meats (liver, kidneys, heart), spices (pepper, allspice, bay leaf), onions and root vegetables (carrot, rutabaga) are often added to the stew.
See a recipe for Karelian stew.

karjalanpiirakka Karelian pasty

Traditional small pasty of the Karelia region in southeastern Finland. The pasties have an extremely thin rye crust filled with creamy rice porridge or potato puree filling. Other cereals or vegetables are also used to make the filling.
See recipes for Karelian rice pasties, potato pasties or carrot pasties.

kartanopaisti manor house roast See linnapaisti.
kasakanparsa cossack asparagus

Young shoots of cat-tail (Typha latifolia) collected in the wild, prepared and eaten similarly to asparagus, thus their name. The shoots may be braised, boiled, steamed or broiled.

kasvissosekeitto pureed vegetable soup, cream of vegetable soup

Rich, usually thickish, pureed soup made with stock, herbs and/or spices and one or several types of vegetables, most often potato, carrot, cauliflower, tomato, spinach, peas, onion, leek, broccoli, mushrooms, lentils, beans, etc. The soup may be enriched with cream, cream cheese, processed cheese, milk, etc, or further thickened with flour.
Syn. vihannessosekeitto.
See recipes for Leek, potato and broccoli soup, Roasted pumpkin and bacon soup, Roasted tomato soup and Spinach soup.

kaurakeksi oat biscuit

Thin sweet cookie made with rolled oats, sugar, butter and flour.
See a recipe for Oat biscuits.

kaurapuuro oat porridge

Porridge made with whole oat grains, oat grits or (most frequently) rolled oats and water or milk.
See a recipe for Oat porridge with berries.

keitetty kieli boiled tongue

Whole tongue of beef, veal, pork, reindeer, etc, simmered slowly in seasoned broth until thoroughly soft and skinned while still hot. The tongue is served sliced either hot or cold, usually accompanied by a piquant stock, (whipped) cream or mayonnaise based sauce seasoned with ingredients like horseradish, etc. Delicious cold, thinly sliced tongue is a popular charcuterie item in Finland.

keitetyt perunat boiled potatoes

After its introduction to Finland in the mid-18th century, potato soon replaced the turnip as an important ingredient of daily meals. Peeled or unpeeled old winter potatoes are boiled in salted water until tender and served (usually with butter) to accompany numerous meat or fish dishes. An old, simple dish was to serve boiled potatoes with brown sauce, once a staple food in poorer, agrarian societies. Although potatoes are one of the most important basic ingredient in Finnish cuisine, they are never served on the same plate with another starchy ingredient, like pasta, rice, couscous or other cereals, nor together with other potato preparations (like mash with chips/French fries, potato gratin with boiled potatoes, etc), a common oddity practised in other potato-eating countries like Ireland and Britain.
New potatoes are an early-summer delicacy in Finland, see uudet perunat.

keitetyt ravut boiled crayfish

Fresh crayfish briefly boiled in water seasoned with salt and crown dill, a great (and expensive!) delicacy of the Nordic cuisine. The crayfish are left to cool in the strained cooking liquid, absorbing the flavour of salt and the wonderful aroma of dill. The crayfish are shelled and eaten with the hands, their tail and claw meat usually piled on freshly toasted, buttered bread topped with fresh dill. During the month of August, traditional crayfish parties are commonly arranged in Finland and Sweden.
See a recipe for Boiled crayfish.

keksikakku refrigerator cake See Rex-kakku.
kermakakku cream layer cake

Sponge or pound cake cut in layers and filled with whipped cream and fruits, berries or some other flavouring ingredient. This festive cake is usually garnished with whipped cream as well.

kermaviili Finnish curd cream

Traditional Finnish and Swedish cultured milk product made by curdling half cream with special starter bacteria. Kermaviili has a thick, smooth consistency and a mild, fresh flavour. Kermaviili may be eaten for breakfast or as a snack or dessert, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, with fruit and berries, talkkuna, cereals, muesli, or a multitude of other toppings. It is also widely used in cooking to make cold savoury or sweet sauces and dips or added as a binding ingredient to sweet or savoury pie fillings, hamburger mixes, etc.
See viili.
See a recipe for homemade Kermaviili.

kesäkeitto summer vegetable soup, lit. "summer soup"

Summertime soup made with fresh, young carrots, green peas, cauliflower and new potatoes. Milk is usually added to the stock.
See a recipe for Summer vegetable soup.

kesäkurkut pickled cucumber slices, lit. "summer cucumbers" See tillikurkut.
kiisseli fruit soup, Russian: kisel

Various fruit soups made with fresh, frozen or dried fruits or berries. The fruit (reconstituted, if dried) are cooked with water or juice and sugar and thickened with potato flour, if required. Some fresh, soft fruit or berries may be added to the cooked soup. The simplest, but also least appetizing, fruit soups are made by just thickening some fruit or berry juice with starch. The soups may be served warm or chilled, either plain or with milk, cream, whipped cream, ice cream, etc. Fruit soup made with mixed dried fruit (eg prunes, apricots, apples, figs, pears, raisins) flavoured with cinnamon, cloves, etc and served with whipped cream or Christmas rice porridge is an old, traditional Finnish Christmas dessert. Also some milk and/or cream-based cooked, thin custard-like desserts flavoured with vanilla, chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramelized sugar, etc, are called kiisseli. Besides whipped cream, these may be served with jams or fresh fruit or berries.
Syn. hedelmäkeitto, sekahedelmäkeitto/kiisseli (= mixed fruit soup/kisel), marjakeitto/kiisseli (= berry soup/kisel), mehukeitto/kiisseli (= fruit juice soup/kisel), etc.
See luumukiisseli, mustikkakeitto, rusinakeitto, ruusunmarjakeitto.
See a recipe for Cranberry soup.

kinkkukiusaus smoked ham and potato casserole, lit. "ham temptation"

Baked casserole dish similar to the Swedish Jansson's temptation, made with julienne-cut potatoes, onion, smoked ham and cream.
See Janssonin kiusaus.

kinuski tianuchka See tšinuski.
kinuskikakku tianuchka cake See tšinuskikakku.
Kiovan kana chicken Kiev

An internationally known Russian dish (Russian: kotleta po-kievski), chicken Kiev is made of pounded chicken breast filled with a knob of compound butter, breaded and fried or deep-fried. The dish is also popular in Finland, where it was jocularly dubbed kravattikana (lit. "necktie chicken") by Finnish businessmen travelling in the former Soviet Union because a squirt of melted butter filling may gush out when cutting into the cutlet, often soiling the diner's shirt front and tie.
Syn. kiovankana.

kirjolohenmäti rainbow trout roe See mäti.
kiuaslenkki sauna stove sausage See lenkkimakkara.
kola cream toffee candy

Soft cream toffee candy of Swedish origin, kola is made by cooking together cream and/or milk, sugar and/or light or dark molasses, glucose, etc. The candy mixture can be flavoured in a number of ways and is poured to set in a pan, tray or simply a sheet of parchment paper before being cut in pieces. Kola candies can be soft, similar to fudge, or chewy.
Syn. kermakola, kermakaramelli, kolakaramelli.

korppu rusk

Small, oblong or round cookies that are slowly dried in oven until crisp. Also slices of cakes and sweet yeast breads can be dried into rusks. Rusks can be savoury or sweet.
See a recipe for Honey rusks.

korvapuusti cinnamon roll

Butter, cinnamon and sugar filled sweet yeast dough pastry.
See a recipe for Cinnamon rolls.

korvasienikeitto false morel soup

Clear or creamy soup made with the deadly toxic false morel mushrooms. After being boiled twice to render them safe(r), the chopped mushrooms (and some chopped onion) are braised in butter and cooked in stock until tender and flavourful. A bit of flour may be added to thicken the soup, and some cream for a creamy soup.

Important information about Finnish false morels:
Read about the Finnish false morel fungi and their consumption here, and see information about processing them correctly here.

korvasienimuhennos false morel ragout

Creamy stew made with the deadly toxic false morel mushrooms. After being boiled twice to render them safe(r), the chopped mushrooms are braised in butter, seasoned and stewed in cream (and sometimes stock) until soft and thickened. In addition, chopped onion may be added to the mushrooms. False morel ragout may be served plain, perhaps with freshly boiled new potatoes, or on side of many meat, fish and vegetable dishes.
Syn. korvasienikastike.

Important information about Finnish false morels:
Read about the Finnish false morel fungi and their consumption here, and see information about processing them correctly here.

kotikalja homemade beer

Traditional, low-alcohol beer made with rye flour, rye malt, sugar, water and fresh yeast, using very simple technique. The beer is usually sweet, but not sugary, with a light to dark brown colour. In the old times, every rural household used to brew their own beer, especially around Christmas time. Although nowadays ready-made kotikalja is available in most stores, many people like to "brew" their own beer, either using store-bought starter kits involving nothing more than stirring the ingredients together, or more complex techniques, being closer to traditional brewing. The former method produces rather flat-tasting, uninteresting beer lacking the depth in flavour, while the latter gives a mellower, fuller-tasting beer, the flavour and consistency of which varies according to each brewer's recipe and brewing technique used. Modern Finnish homemade beer typically contains extremely low amount of alcohol, being suitable also for children to drink.
Syn. kalja.
See a recipe for Christmas beer.

kruska kruska

A grainy porridge or muesli-like dish rich in fibre, made by cooking and slowly simmering crushed oat or barley grains, wheat bran, soaked raisins or dried figs and water in oven or vacuum flask. The porridge is served with milk and berries or fruit or berry puree. Kruska (from the Italian word for "bran", crusca) was introduced as a health-food in the 1930s by the Finnish-born writer and nutritionist Are Waerland (1876-1955), a pioneer in promoting healthy lifestyle and lacto-ovo vegetarian diet.

kuivakakku sponge or pound cake, lit. "dry cake"

In general, the term kuivakakku refers to any type of plain sponge or pound cake, distinguishing it from the more elaborate and festive cakes, like the moistened, filled and decorated layer cakes. Kuivakakku can be flavoured with various spices, cocoa powder, chocolate, fruit, nuts, etc.
See recipes for Basic sponge cake, Currant cake, Date cake, Gingerbread cake and Walnut cake.

kukko filled loaf or pie, lit. "rooster"

Thin-crusted rye or sourdough loaf, pie or pasty, the best known types of which are filled with raw fish and fatty pork or root vegetables and slowly baked in oven until succulent. Other versions of kukko include small rye crust pies filled with bilberries (= mustikkakukko) or lingonberries (= puolukkakukko), among others.
See avokukko, kalakukko.

kulitš kulich

Tall and cylindrical, rich sweet yeast bread of Russian Orthodox origin. Kulich is usually flavoured with vanilla and/or saffron. Chopped nuts or candied fruit may be added to the dough. Kulich is served horizontally sliced, spread with paskha.
Syn. kulitsa.
See a recipe for Kulich.

kuningatarhillo raspberry and bilberry jam, lit. "queen's jam"

Nordic jam made with a mixture of raspberries and local wild bilberries.
See a recipe for Queen's jam.

kurkkusalaatti cucumber relish

Sweet-and-sour pickle of coarsely grated (garden) cucumbers, onion, red bell pepper, dill and spices cooked in or mixed with hot brine of water, spirit vinegar, salt and sugar. Besides served as a piquant accompaniment to many meat and fish dishes, cucumber relish is mostly served as a condiment to hotdogs, hamburgers, grilled sausages or other "junk food".
Syn. kurkkurelišši, kurkkurelissi, kurkkupikkelssi.
Sinappikurkkusalaatti is cucumber relish flavoured with mustard powder.

kurpitsasalaatti pumpkin pickles

Sweet-and-sour pickle of cubed pumpkin cooked in hot brine of water, spirit vinegar, salt, sugar and spices like cloves, nutmeg, mace, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, or the like. Pumpkin relish is usually served as a piquant accompaniment to meat, fish and vegetable dishes, or it can be mixed (drained and chopped) in various sauces, sandwich fillings or dips as a tangy flavouring ingredient.
Syn. kurpitsarelišši, kurpitsarelissi, kurpitsapikkelssi.
See a recipe for Pumpkin pickles.

kääretorttu jelly roll, Swiss roll

Sponge cake roll filled with jam, fruit, whipped cream, custard, ganache or various other sweet fillings.

köyhät ritarit French toast,
lit. "poor knights"
Sweet dessert of slices of stale, savoury or sweet white yeast bread (French bread, pullapitko, challah, etc) dipped in milk and egg mixture and slowly browned in butter. "Poor knights" become "rich knights" (= rikkaat ritarit) if served with whipped cream, jams or other additives.
See a recipe for Poor knights.
Finnish English Description Photo
laatikko(ruoka) casserole (dish)

General term for many Finnish dishes in which the cooking ingredients are poured or layered in a deep and wide casserole dish, often bound with liquid like stock, cream, milk and eggs, etc, and baked in oven. The ingredients used may include a mixture of vegetables, fish, seafood, meat, potatoes, pasta, rice, etc.
See imellytetty perunalaatikko, Janssonin kiusaus, kaalilaatikko, kinkkukiusaus, lanttulaatikko, lohikiusaus, lohilaatikko, makaronilaatikko, maksalaatikko, porkkanalaatikko, silakkalaatikko, sillikiusaus.

lammaskaali mutton and cabbage stew

Pieces of fresh or browned mutton or lamb and cabbage layered in a pot, moistened with water and simmered gently and slowly until done. The stew is seasoned with salt and allspice, sometimes also with dark molasses.

lanttukukko rutabaga loaf, swede loaf See kalakukko.
lanttulaatikko rutabaga casserole

This traditional Finnish Christmas dish is made with boiled, pureed rutabaga mixed with cream, eggs, molasses and spices and baked in oven.
See a recipe for Rutabaga casserole.

laskiaispulla Shrove bun

Swedish-origin sweet yeast dough bun filled with almond paste and whipped cream traditionally served at Shrovetide. Nowadays also strawberry, lingonberry and other jams are used instead of or in addition to the authentic almond paste filling. For purists, though, the almond paste is the only acceptable, more sophisticated choice, the jam versions appealing to the more unrefined, infantile palates.
See a recipe for Shrove buns.

leipä bread

Since ancient times, bread and other grain products have been the staple food for Finns. Finnish bread culture is extremely rich. There are thousands of different native bread varieties available in Finland, made with a wide variety of flours, grains, cereals and seeds, some containing ingredients like blood, wort, pine phloem, gingerbread spices, herring, etc, and listing them all in here would be impossible. Perhaps the most characteristic bread products of Finland are the various dark rye breads. However, in spite of even more new bread types, also from around the world, being constantly introduced to the product ranges of many Finnish bakeries, the quality of Finnish bread is unfortunately quickly dwindling, with breads with indifferent flavour and texture of chewy sawdust replacing the good quality formerly found even in commercially produced bread products, like those of the Helsinki-based, now sadly extinct, Elanto bakery. Some tasty bread types may yet be found made by small local bakeries, as the Finnish public's interest towards "traditionally" produced bread and bakery products is growing.

Main Finnish bread types:
1. ruisleivät  —  rye breads
2. vehnäruokaleivät  —  savoury wheat breads
3. sekaleivät  —  mixed grain breads
4. näkkileivät ja hapankorput  —  crispbreads and rye sourdough rusks

Some Finnish breads:
hapankorppu=thin rye sourdough crispbread
hapanimelä leipä=sweet-and-sour malt bread
hapanleipä, hapatettu ruisleipä, hapanlimppu=sour rye bread, sourdough rye bread (leavened using lactic acid fermentation method)
hiivaleipä=dark wheat flour or mixed grain bread
jälkiuunileipä=dense, dark rye bread baked slowly in residual oven heat
korppu=rusk, see korppu
kukko=thin-crusted filled loaf or pie, see kukko
mallasleipä, mallaslimppu=rye malt bread
maustelimppu=rye bread flavoured with gingerbread spices
mustaleipä=blackbread, see mustaleipä
ohrarieska, ohraleipä=barley flatbread
ohutleipä=crisp flatbread
perunalimppu=potato rye bread
perunarieska=potato flatbread
pettuleipä=pine bark/phloem bread (famine bread)
piimäleipä, piimälimppu=buttermilk rye bread
piirakka=pie or pasty, see piirakka
pulla=cardamom-flavoured sweet wheat bread, see pulla
reikäleipä=ring-shaped flat, dark rye bread
rieska=1. soft flatbread, see rieska
2. leavened mixed grain loaf
rievä=mixed grain loaf (mostly barley)
ruisleipä=rye bread
saaristolaisleipä=archipelago bread, islander bread, see saaristolaisleipä
sekaleipä=mixed grain bread
setsuuri=sweet-and-sour mixed grain bread flavoured with caraway
silakkaleipä=Baltic herring-filled bread
varilimppu=sweet-and-sour rye loaf
vehnäleipä=wheat bread
verileipä=blood bread, rye and barley bread with blood
vierreleipä=wort bread

See avokukko, kalakukko, kulitš, rinkeli, sarvi.

Read more about the various flour and cereal types used in Finland: Flours, starches and breadcrumbs and Cereals and grains.

leipäjuusto Finnish oven cheese See juustoleipä.
lenkkimakkara ring bologna, ringwurst

A popular sausage type in Finland, ring bologna is most often a rather large-sized and thick, unsmoked, cooked sausage with a very smooth texture and a mild flavour. The sausage is usually sold as two curved sausages attached together at both ends forming a round or oval ring-shape. The sausage may be eaten cold as it is, or sliced on an open sandwich, or, more frequently, sliced and fried in a skillet, or baked whole in the oven or placed foil-wrapped or inside a foil pouch on the hot stones of the stove of Finnish sauna, thus being called kiuaslenkki [= "sauna stove ring (sausage)"]. If baked in oven, the sausage is often cut with crosswise slits which are filled with slices of cheese, etc, see uunimakkara. Enjoying barbecued or baked sausage with cold beer after bathing in sauna is a popular custom among many Finns, having given rise to food terms like saunalenkki [= "sauna ring (sausage)"], and saunaolut or saunakalja (infml) (= "sauna beer").
A brand called HK:n Sininen (= "H.K.'s Blue") is one of the most popular ring bolognas in Finland. The letters H.K. stand for Helsingin Kauppiaat Oy, a small Helsinki-based meat wholesaler established in 1949, which started the production of this sausage in 1963. The sausage casing had a blue-coloured quality stamp printed on it, by which colour the merchants and consumers soon started to refer to the sausage. Helsingin Kauppiaat also produced a higher-quality ring bologna with red-coloured quality stamp, which in term was dubbed HK:n Punainen (= "H.K.'s Red"), but as the lower-quality and cheaper "Blue" became more popular among the majority of Finnish consumers, the production of "Red" was unfortunately soon discontinued.

lettu crêpe, pancake See ohukainen.
lihakeitto meat soup

Clear soup made with cooking meat (usually beef or mutton chuck, shoulder, etc), root vegetables, onion, leek, spices and herbs in stock, traditionally seasoned with allspice. After cooking, the meat is stripped from the bone and added to the clear stock together with the cooked, cubed vegetables. A cheaper, quicker and less palatable version is sometimes made with ground beef, called jauhelihakeitto, lit. "minced meat soup", or with sausage, see makkarakeitto.

lihakääryle meat roulade, meat roll

A stuffed roll of thinly pounded slice of meat. Usually topside/inside roast of beef or veal is used for the rolls. The pounded meat slices are seasoned, spread with stuffing, rolled up and fastened with a toothpick or a piece of cooking twine, quickly browned and slowly braised in a dash of water, stock and/or cream until tender. The stuffing may consist of bacon, pork fat, prunes, mustard, Swedish anchovies, chopped onion, herbs, etc. The cooking liquid is thickened with flour and cream, seasoned and served as sauce for the roulades.
Syn. lihakäärö, liharuladi.

lihaliemi meat stock, beef stock, bouillon

Clear, strong stock cooked with beef (chuck, shoulder, knuckle, shin, etc), marrowbone, onion, leek, root vegetables and various spices and herbs. After cooking, the meat and vegetables are discarded (the meat may be used in other dishes), the fat removed and the clear stock used as a base for numerous soups or simply as a hot, nutritious beverage.
Syn. naudanlihaliemi, "buljonki".
See a recipe for Beef bouillon.

lihamureke meatloaf

Oven-baked long loaf shaped from finely ground meat (usually beef, sometimes with some added pork, but also lamb, venison, etc), spices and seasonings and binding ingredients like eggs, breadcrumbs, cream, curd cream, crème fraîche, etc. After baking, the meatloaf is usually served with vegetables (boiled potatoes/carrots/peas/Brussels sprouts, etc) and/or sauce or gravy. To make the meatloaf look more decorative when sliced, whole hard-boiled eggs, cooked vegetables, prunes, dried apricots, etc, may be wrapped inside it before baking.

lihapiirakka meat pasty

Pasty of yeast dough or puff pastry filled with cooked and seasoned ground meat into which rice, onion, chopped hard-boiled eggs or other ingredients may be added. Pasties can be baked in oven or deep-fried. The term lihapiirakka may also be used for a large rectangular flat pie with thin top and bottom crusts of yeast dough or puff pastry filled with the aforementioned ingredients and baked in oven in a large baking pan.
See a recipe for Meat pasties.

lihapyörykkä meatball

Small, round meatballs made with ground meat mixed with eggs, soaked fresh bread or breadcrumbs, spices, cream, milk or other liquid. Meatballs are fried in skillet or baked in oven.
Syn. lihapulla.
See a recipe for Meatballs.

liha-riisipasteija meat and rice pasty

A small pasty or turnover of puff pastry or yeast dough filled with a mixture of cooked ground meat, cooked rice and spices. Liha-riisipiirakka is a large, flat pie with meat and rice filling, see lihapiirakka.
Syn. lihapasteija.

lindströminpihvi Lindström's hamburger

Swedish dish originating from Russia, a beef hamburger patty mixed with chopped boiled or pickled beetroot, capers, onion and other seasonings (Swedish: biff à la Lindström).

linnapaisti castle roast

A traditional Sunday roast dish of Swedish origin, castle roast is made with knuckle roast, top round/inside roast, or the like, slowly simmered in a pot with a sweetish-sour sauce. The sauce gets its distinctive flavour from ingredients like Swedish anchovies, dark molasses, vinegar, crumbled gingerbread cookies, blackcurrant jelly, etc. The roast is traditionally served sliced with the cream-thickened sauce, boiled potatoes and/or other vegetables and blackcurrant jelly. In Sweden, the dish is called slottsstek, or herrgårdsstek.
Syn. linnanpaisti, kartanopaisti, kartanonpaisti.

lipeäkala lutefish, lutefisk, Swedish: lutfisk

Traditional old Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish Christmas dish made with dried white fish soaked in potash lye and water, then simmered until tender. Nowadays lutfisk is mainly made with ling, but also cod (pictured in link), pike, pike-perch, burbot, powan and bream were previously used.
Read more about lutefisk here.
See a recipe for cooking lutefisk here.

lohenmäti salmon roe See mäti.
lohikeitto salmon soup

Clear or creamy salmon and vegetable soup.
See a recipe for Salmon soup.

lohikiusaus salmon and potato casserole, lit. "salmon temptation"

Baked casserole dish similar to the Swedish Jansson's temptation, made with julienne-cut potatoes, onion, dill, fresh, cooked or hot or cold-smoked salmon or gravlax and cream. Instead of salmon, rainbow trout or other fish may be used in the dish.
See Janssonin kiusaus, lohilaatikko.

lohilaatikko salmon casserole

Oven-baked casserole dish made with salmon (fresh, cooked, salted or smoked) layered with potatoes or rice, onion, spices and cream or stock.

lohipiirakka salmon pie

Large or small pie(s) of puff pastry or yeast dough crust, filled with salmon (fresh, cooked, salted or smoked), rice, onion and/or chopped hard-boiled eggs, dill and spices.
See a recipe for Salmon pie.

loimulohi "blazed" salmon

Unskinned whole fillet of salmon cooked over open fire. Traditionally, the fillet is pinned with wooden sticks onto a plank of wood, which is held at an angle over the fire to cook the fish.
Syn. loimutettu lohi, liekkilohi.

Louhisaaren kurkut pickled gherkins à la Louhisaari Manor See maustekurkku.
luumukiisseli prune soup

Traditional, simple fruit compote made with dried, reconstituted prunes cooked with water, sugar and spices like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, Seville orange peel, etc, and thickened with potato flour. A popular Christmas dessert, the soup may be served warm or chilled, either with whipped cream or to accompany Christmas rice porridge.
Syn. luumukeitto.
See kiisseli.

lusikkaleipä spoon cookie

Light and fine-textured, buttery cookie made with pastry of melted butter, sugar, flour and baking powder, flavoured with vanilla. The pastry is pressed into the bowl of a deep, oval teaspoon of an old-fashioned type, forming a half-egg shape. After baking, two cookie shapes are joined together with a thin layer of jam or marmalade (raspberry, strawberry, apple, orange, apricot, etc), creating a round, somewhat egg-shaped cookie. The cookie is rolled in caster sugar. Modern teaspoons with flat, shallow bowls are not suitable to be used in making spoon cookies.

lämmin voileipä hot open-faced sandwich

A slice of bread spread with butter, mustard, mayonnaise, etc, topped with various fresh or cooked ingredients (cold cuts, meat, vegetables, fish, shellfish, fruit, etc) and/or some creamy sauce or ragout and grated cheese, quickly broiled in hot oven just before serving.
Syn. lämmin juustoleipä, uunivoileipä.

läskisoosi side pork sauce See sianlihakastike.
Finnish English Description Photo
madekeitto burbot soup

Clear or creamy soup made with burbot, vegetables and spices.

makaronilaatikko macaroni casserole

Oven casserole made with macaroni pasta, cooked ground beef and spices bound with cream and stock or milk and egg mixture. The meat may be omitted.
Syn. liha-makaronilaatikko.
See a recipe for Finnish macaroni and cheese.

makkarakastike sausage sauce

A dish of cubed or sliced mild, smooth-textured Finnish Bologna-type sausage lightly fried in a skillet and simmered in brown sauce. The brown sauce may be prepared separately, or the sausage may be sprinkled with flour and topped with stock to produce a thickish sauce. The sauce is usually enriched with cream and served with cooked and/or fresh vegetables, usually boiled or mashed potatoes, a fresh salad, etc. Some versions of this dish may also use white, béchamel-type sauce mixed with the sausage, but the brown sauce version is more common and considered to be a cheap, quick alternative to "beef Stroganoff". Additional ingredients and seasonings like onion, tomato paste or puree, mushrooms, spices and herbs may be added to flavour the sauce. Wiener/frankfurter sausages are also used to make this dish.
Syn. makkarastroganoff, makkarastroganov.
See nakkikastike, stroganoff.

makkarakeitto sausage soup

A cheaper and quicker version of meat soup (= lihakeitto), using pieces of uncooked or cooked sausage (mostly of smooth and mild bologna-like type) instead of meat. If uncooked sausage is used, the soft sausage meat is usually squeezed out from its casing in the stock to cook.
See lihakeitto, siskonmakkarakeitto.

makkarastroganoff sausage Stroganoff See makkarakastike.
maksalaatikko liver casserole

Oven casserole made with ground pork or beef liver mixed with rice, milk, egg, onion, molasses and raisins.
See a recipe for Liver casserole.

maksamakkara liver sausage, liverwurst

A smooth or coarse textured liver pâté most often sold formed into a sausage shape and eaten sliced or spread on sandwiches. Liver sausage usually has a firmer texture than liver pâté (= maksapasteija).
See maksapasteija.

maksapasteija liver pâté

A smooth or coarse textured pâté made with ground liver (of beef, pork, venison, reindeer, chicken, etc) mixed with various ingredients (ground meat, pork fat, bacon, etc), binding ingredients (eggs, cream, butter, flours, starches, etc) and seasonings. Liver pâté usually has a spreadable consistency, being softer than liver sausage (= maksamakkara).
See maksamakkara.

maksapatee liver pâté See maksapasteija.
maksapihvi liver steak

A thin slice of beef, pork, veal or lamb liver briefly fried in butter. The liver may also be ground to form liver hamburgers, see jauhemaksapihvi.

mannapuuro wheat semolina porridge

Smooth, silky porridge cooked with fine wheat semolina and milk. The porridge is seasoned with salt, sugar and a pat of butter. Mannapuuro is mainly considered as food for children and those with "delicate" stomachs.
Syn. mannaryynipuuro, mannasuurimopuuro.
See a recipe for Semolina porridge.

mansikkakakku strawberry cake

A popular summer treat in Finland, a classic version of which is a festive layer cake filled and garnished with fresh strawberries and whipped cream.

mansikkamaito strawberry milk See marjamaito.
marenkikku meringue cake

A layer cake or pavlova-type dessert made with a meringue base or disks topped or filled with various ingredients, like whipped cream, fruit, berries, jam, nuts, flavoured butter cream, chocolate, tianuchka, etc.

marinoidut sienet marinated mushrooms

Wild or cultivated mushrooms marinated or pickled in different brines, usually consisting of water, vinegar, salt, sugar and various spices.
See recipes for Marinated champignons, Pickled chanterelles and Wild mushroom pickle.

marinoitu silakkapihvi marinated fried Baltic herring fillets

Rye flour coated, stuffed and fried Baltic herring double fillets marinated in vinegar-based brine seasoned with salt, sugar, allspice, onion, dill, etc.
See a recipe for Marinated fried Baltic herring fillets.

marjamaito berry milk

A summer dessert of fresh Finnish berries, usually bilberries or (wild) strawberries, topped with cold milk or cream and a sprinkling of sugar, served in deep plates or bowls. The dish is especially appealing to children.
See a recipe for Bilberry or strawberry milk.

marjarahka berry quark See jälkiruokarahka.
martinhanhi St. Martin's goose

A festive dish of roast goose stuffed with apples, prunes, herbs, etc. Goose being a symbol of Saint Martin of Tours, it is traditionally served around his feast day, November 11th in catholic Christian countries, and on November 10th, the eve of St. Martin's Day, in protestant Christian countries. Already in pagan times geese were eaten in late autumn, this being the traditional slaughtering time. In Christian era, the goose became linked with St. Martin, who after his death was buried on November 11th, and in Protestant countries with Martin Luther, who was born on November 10th. In Sweden, St. Martin's goose is usually served after a dish of goose blood soup, svartsoppa (mustakeitto in Finnish).
Syn. martinpäivän hanhi/hanhipaisti.
See mustakeitto.

mateenmäti burbot roe See mäti.
matjessilli spice-salted herring, soused herring

In the Nordic countries, the term "Matjes herring" is used for a type of salted herring in which sugar and spices are used to cure the fish in addition to salt. Besides salt, the spices most often used may include sugar, pepper, allspice, bay leaf, cloves, ginger, various other herbs, and, perhaps most importantly, sandalwood, giving the preparation its characteristic reddish colour. Spice-salted herring may be eaten as it is or mixed in various marinades and sauces. "Matjes herring" should not to be confused with the term maatjesharing used in the Netherlands, meaning fresh young herring.

maustekakku gingerbread cake

Finnish gingerbread cake made with (brown) sugar, eggs, butter and buttermilk or soured cream, seasoned with gingerbread spices (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, etc). Dark raisins or currants or other dried or candied fruit are usually added to the batter.
Syn. piimäkakku.
See a recipe for Gingerbread cake.

maustekurkku sweet-and-sour pickled gherkin, lit. "spice cucumber"

Small garden cucumbers pickled whole or sliced in sweet-and-sour brine made with water, spirit vinegar, salt, sugar and spices like garlic, crown dill, mustard seeds, horseradish, blackcurrant leaves, pepper, bell pepper, chilli pepper, etc. Sweet-and-sour pickled gherkins are usually rather sweet. They are most often served as an accompaniment to several meat and fish dishes, hamburgers, hotdogs, etc.

maustesilakka pickled or marinated Baltic herring

Maustesilakka basically means various preparations made with fresh Baltic herring that has been pre-marinated in salt, spirit vinegar and water mixture and then marinated and served in some type of seasoned sauce, but the term may also refer to a multitude of other herring or Baltic herring based pickles and marinades, whether they are made with fresh, salted or spice-salted herring.
See etikkasilakka, etikkasilli, matjessilli, maustesilli.

maustesilli seasoned pickled or marinated herring

1. Various preparations made with herring (whole, fillets or slices) mixed with marinades or sauces. Either barrel-salted herring, spice-salted herring (Matjess herring) or fresh, vinegar-marinated herring may be used as the base for the dish and the sauces and marinades may be based on vinegar, sour cream, oil, mayonnaise, mustard, tomato sauce, etc.
See etikkasilakka, etikkasilli, maustesilakka.

2. See matjessilli.
mehukeitto, mehukiisseli fruit or berry juice soup See kiisseli.
Melanderin puuro rice pudding à la Melander, lit. Melander's porridge

An old-fashioned dessert dish of rice slowly simmered in water with reconstituted prunes or/and other dried fruit and fresh apples or pears, etc. The porridge is sweetened with sugar, thickened with potato flour and usually served lukewarm with cold milk.
Syn. melanderinpuuro.

metsästäjänleipä hunter's steak sandwich

Open-faced sandwich topped with a sautéed hamburger patty, creamy mushroom ragout and grated cheese, broiled in oven.

metsästäjänpihvi hunter's steak

Sautéed steak or hamburger patty served with creamy mushroom ragout.

muikkukukko vendace loaf See kalakukko.
muikunmäti vendace roe See mäti.
munakaskääryle omelette roll

Omelette mixture with added flour baked in oven in a wide pan until set. Seasonings like chopped herbs, spinach, mushrooms, and the like, may be added to the mixture before baking. The warm omelette is spread with a savoury filling (usually made with cooked meat, fish, vegetables, mushrooms, herbs and spices, etc) and rolled up like a jelly/Swiss roll. The roll is served sliced, either warm or cold, with vegetables, fresh salad, etc.
Syn. munakaskäärö, munakäärö, munakasrulla, munarulla.

munakastike egg béchamel sauce

Béchamel sauce mixed with chopped hard-boiled eggs, traditionally served with poached or oven-baked fish, like whole stuffed pike.

muna-riisipasteija egg and rice pasty

A small pasty or turnover of puff pastry or yeast dough, filled with a mixture of cooked rice, chopped hard-boiled egg and spices. The term muna-riisipiirakka is used for a large rectangular flat pie with thin top and bottom crusts of yeast dough or puff pastry filled with the aforementioned ingredients and baked in oven in a large baking pan, but may also refer to the smaller pasty.

munavoi egg and butter spread

Mixture of finely chopped hard-boiled egg and softened butter, traditionally used as a spread on Finnish Karelian rice pasties.
See a recipe for Egg and butter spread.

munkki jelly doughnut

Spherical or flat and rectangular sweet yeast dough fritter, filled usually with raspberry or strawberry jam or apple marmalade and rolled in fine granulated sugar. When rectangular in shape, the jelly doughnut is commonly referred to as "munkkipossu" (infml), lit. "doughnut piglet".
See berliininmunkki.

munkkirinkilä doughnut, donut

Torus-shaped baked or deep-fried pastry made of sweet batter leavened with baking powder. The fritters are served either plain, coated in fine granulated sugar or frosted with various icings.
Syn. donitsi, munkkirinkeli.

mureke meat or fishloaf

Mixture of finely ground meat or fish, seasonings and binding ingredients like eggs, breadcrumbs, cream, curd cream, crème fraîche, etc, formed into a long log or placed in a loaf pan, ring pan, terrine dish, etc, and baked in oven. The loaf is served sliced, hot or cold, with vegetables, fresh salad, etc.
See kalamureke, lihamureke.

murokakku pound cake

A cake made with butter, sugar, eggs and flour. The butter and sugar are thoroughly beaten until white and fluffy, the eggs added one at a time and finally the flour gently stirred in by hand. Part of the flour may be replaced with potato flour or cornstarch to give the cake a moister, crumblier texture. There are countless flavour variations of murokakku batter, with added vanilla, ground or chopped nuts, chocolate/cocoa, dried/candied fruit and peel, various spices, etc. Especially when containing potato flour or cornstarch, this type of cake may also be called hiekkakakku.
See hiekkakakku, kuivakakku, maustekakku, tiikerikakku, toskakakku.

mustakeitto goose blood soup, lit. "black soup"

A Swedish-origin, chocolate-coloured sweet-and-sour soup (Swedish: svartsoppa) thickened with goose blood, traditionally served before the main course of St. Martin's goose (Finnish: martinhanhi) around the feast day of Saint Martin of Tours, celebrated in catholic Christian countries on November 11th, and in protestant Christian countries on November 10th, the eve of St. Martin's Day. The tradition of serving blood soup with roast goose is especially strong in the southern Swedish province of Scania, but it is also eaten in some parts of northern Germany and may sometimes be found served in a few Finnish restaurants around St. Martin's Day. The base for the soup is prepared of good stock made with either chicken or goose bones and scraps, vegetables, herbs and spices. A swelled mixture of goose blood (or, if not available, pig blood) and wheat flour (and red wine) is whisked in the hot stock in thin stream to thicken it. The soup is simmered for several minutes, during which time it must be continually whisked to prevent it from splitting. Seasonings for the soup may vary considerably according to the recipe  —  they can include sugar, vinegar, red wine, white wine, cognac and/or fortified wine (port, sherry, madeira, etc), blackcurrant jelly or juice, pureed apples, prunes or apricots, dark molasses and spices like salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, etc. The soup is left to mature for about five to seven days before eating. Before serving, the soup is carefully reheated. In addition, stewed apple wedges, wine-soaked prunes or apricots, sliced goose liver sausage and cold pieces of cooked, browned goose liver, heart, neck and gizzard are served on a separate plate. The flavour of the soup is often described to resemble spicy mulled wine and gingerbread, the taste of blood being much less noticeable than that in dishes like blood pudding and the like.
See martinhanhi.

mustaleipä blackbread

A speciality of the Swedish-speaking province of Åland Islands and Finland's southwestern archipelago region, mustaleipä is a rye bread baked for several hours in cool oven, giving it a sweet-and-sour flavour and a very dark colour. Traditionally, it takes several days to produce the bread, including a long cooling period, during which the bread is wrapped in parchment paper or foil, towels and/or blankets. According to the recipe, besides coarse rye flour, water and yeast, mustaleipä may contain rye malt, dark molasses, brown sugar, buttermilk, salt and/or various other spices, and it may be basted with a mixture of coffee and dark molasses. Mustaleipä keeps well for several weeks, even improving in taste during storing.
Syn. Finland Swedish: svartbröd.

mustamakkara blood sausage, black pudding, lit. "black sausage"

Typical to the town of Tampere in southwestern Finland, mustamakkara sausages are made with pork, pork fat, blood, barley or rye grits and flour, onion and salt. The brownish-black, grainy-textured sausages are boiled and fried, nowadays thrice baked in oven, and served hot with lingonberry jam.

mustikkakeitto bilberry soup, bilberry compote

Sweet dessert soup made of fresh or frozen bilberries cooked with sugar and water, pureed or pushed through a sieve and served warm or chilled, as a dessert soup with whipped cream, ice cream, etc, or drunk as a refreshing drink. The soup may be further thickened with potato flour or cornstarch. In Finland, bilberry soup is often served to accompany porridges, especially rice porridge at Christmas time. In the Nordic countries and Russia, eating bilberry soup has traditionally been thought to be a good remedy for diarrhoea, as bilberry has the effect of slowing down the digestion process.
Syn. mustikkakiisseli, mustikkasoppa.
See kiisseli.
See a recipe for Finnish Christmas rice porridge including a recipe for bilberry compote.

mustikkamaito bilberry milk See marjamaito.
mustikkapiirakka bilberry pie

Pastry case of short pastry, puff pastry, sweet yeast dough, etc, filled with fresh or frozen bilberries mixed with sugar. Bilberry pies are especially popular in summertime, when Finnish wild bilberries are ripened. They may be served with vanilla custard, vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
See a recipe for Bilberry pies.

muurinpohjalettu large griddle pancake,

These large, thin and lacy crêpes cooked outdoors are an old, traditional dish of the Ylä-Savo region in eastern Finland. Originally, the pancakes were cooked in a large cauldron called muuripata, used for heating water for washing or boiling of laundry, usually placed outside on the farm yard or lakeshore. A special Finnish griddle pan of thin steel, often called by its manufacturer's brand name, Muurikka, was later developed to replace the rustic cauldrons. The wide and flat pan is fitted with two handles, resembling a paella pan. It is heated either over open fire or on an electric or gas grill. Also electrical pans are available. Besides pancakes, other food, like soups, stews and stir-fries, are often cooked or grilled in the pan. The batter for muurinpohja crêpes is similar to regular Finnish crêpe or pancake batter, only it is often made with barley flour instead of wheat flour. The pancakes are eaten with a sweet or savoury filling or topping.
Syn. muurilettu, muurikkalettu.

mämmi sweetened malt porridge

Traditional Finnish Easter dessert made with water, rye flour, powdered rye malt and dried Seville orange peel cooked together, then baked in oven. Mämmi is usually eaten with cream or milk and a sprinkle of sugar.
Read more about mämmi here.

mäti fish roe, hard roe

Eggs of various fish species, some of which are considered a great delicacy, like the processed sturgeon roe (caviar). The roe of salmon, rainbow trout, vendace, burbot, powan, smelt, pike and ruffe, among others, is consumed in Finland. Fresh (usually pre-frozen and thawed) roe is most often eaten salted, either on its own or with finely chopped onion and smetana, crème fraîche or whipped cream.
Read more about fish roe here.
See a recipe for serving Fish roe.

mätitahna smoked cod roe paste

Preserved fish preparation of Swedish origin, cod roe paste is made with slightly smoked cod roe, vegetable oil, salt, spices and preservatives. One of the best known brands of cod roe paste is Kallen mätitahna (Swedish: Kalles kaviar), a popular sandwich spread both in Sweden and Finland. In Finland, the term mätitahna may also be used of a mixture of fresh roe, cooked, chopped liver of the fish (usually burbot), salt, pepper, minced onion and smetana or crème fraîche, served on toast or with blins.
Read more about Kalles kaviar here.

Finnish English Description Photo
nahkiainen lamprey

Charcoal-grilled or hot-smoked fatty lampreys are a Finnish delicacy, especially popular in the coastal areas of western Finland during their catching season, around which time they are sold freshly prepared or pickled in vinegar at food stalls of various market places.

Some Finnish lamprey preparations:
hiillostettu nahkiainen=charcoal-grilled lamprey
savustettu nahkiainen=smoked lamprey
uppopaistettu/friteerattu nahkiainen=deep-fried lamprey

Read more about Finnish lampreys here.

nakkikastike wiener sauce

A dish of sliced, small and short wiener/frankfurter sausages lightly fried in a skillet and simmered in brown sauce, usually seasoned with tomato paste and cream. The brown sauce may be prepared separately, or the sausage may be sprinkled with flour and topped with stock to produce a thickish sauce. The sauce may be served with cooked and/or fresh vegetables, usually boiled or mashed potatoes, pasta, a fresh salad, etc. The dish is considered to be a cheap, quick alternative to "beef Stroganoff". Additional ingredients and seasonings like onion, mushrooms, spices and herbs may be added to flavour the sauce. Instead of tiny wieners, smooth-textured Finnish Bologna-type sausage is also used to make this dish.
Syn. nakkistroganoff, nakkistroganov.
See makkarakastike, stroganoff.

nakkistroganoff wiener Stroganoff See nakkikastike.
naurishaudikas stewed turnip

Old, traditional dish of whole turnips slowly baked (usually overnight) until soft, browned, sweet and succulent, buried in hot embers or ash either in the ground or a wood-fired oven. Another way to stew turnips is to simmer them in a pot with a little water until soft, browned and sticky sweet. Nowadays stewed turnips are often baked in oven like jacket potatoes, wrapped in foil.
Syn. naurispaistikas.

nauriskukko turnip loaf See kalakukko.
nekku hard toffee candy, Swedish: knäck

Homemade toffee-type candy of Swedish origin, made by boiling together cream, sugar and dark or light molasses, especially popular at Christmas time. The hot mixture is poured into moulds to cool and harden, either using individual small candy moulds, or larger parchment paper cones stuck into sugar or snow to hold them upright, which is the traditional way. A lollipop stick may be pressed in the centre of the mixture before it hardens. Some chopped almonds or nuts, dry breadcrumbs or other additional ingredients may be added to the candy mixture. Though usually hard, the consistency of the candy can also be soft and/or chewy, depending on the length of cooking time.

nokkoskeitto nettle soup

Similar to creamy spinach soup, nettle soup is made with the first tender nettle shoots of early summer, parboiled, chopped and cooked with meat or vegetable stock, thickened and enriched with cream.

nokkosmuhennos creamed nettles

Similar to creamed spinach, creamed nettle is made with the first tender nettle shoots of early summer, parboiled, chopped and mixed with meat or vegetable stock and cream and cooked until reduced.

nokkosohukainen nettle crêpe, nettle pancake

Savoury, small pancake made by mixing pureed young nettle shoots in pancake batter.
Syn. nokkoslettu.

Finnish English Description Photo
ohrapuuro barley porridge

Porridge cooked with whole, usually pre-soaked, or crushed barley grains, milk and/or water, seasoned with salt and a pat of butter. The porridge is slowly simmered on stovetop or in slow oven for several hours, usually overnight, until thickened and creamy. It can be served with a pat of butter, sugar, cinnamon or other spices, milk, jam, fruit, etc. Previously a staple porridge dish, it has been widely replaced with riisipuuro, especially if served in Christmas time. Barley porridge made with barley flour may also be called ohrapuuro, or, more accurately, ohrajauhopuuro.

ohukainen crêpe, pancake

Small and thin pancake cooked in a pancake pan. Larger-sized pancakes with lacy edges may be cooked in a regular frying pan. Finnish pancakes may be served with sugar, molasses, whipped cream, ice cream, fresh fruit and berries or jams.
Syn. lettu, lätty, räiskäle.
See a recipe for Finnish crêpes.

omenahyve apple delight

Moist apple layer cake of soft shortcrust pastry or sponge cake bottom topped with a thick layer of apple compote and soft meringue. The compote is made by stewing apple pieces with sugar and spices (dash of cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla and/or lemon juice, etc) and the cake is broiled in oven until the meringue is slightly coloured on top. Vanilla custard may be served with the cake. Omenahyveleivos is a portion-sized pastry of the apple delight.

omenapiirakka apple pie

Pastry case of shortcrust pastry, puff pastry, etc, filled with apple pieces or slices mixed usually with sugar and spices, like cinnamon, vanilla, etc. Apple pies are usually served with vanilla custard, vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Pies are especially popular in the autumn, when Finnish apples are harvested.

Finnish English Description Photo
paistetut lanttukuutiot fried rutabaga cubes

Fresh rutabaga cut into cubes, seasoned with sugar and salt, slowly browned in butter and simmered with a dash of water until sweet and tender. The dish may be served to accompany various meats, like lamb and pork. In another version of this dish the rutabaga is browned together with cubes of fatty pork to give it additional flavour.
Syn. ruskistetut lanttukuutiot.

paistetut muikut fried vendace

Tiny gutted vendace coated in fine rye flour and panfried in butter or deep-fried in oil. The dish is often linked to the districts of lake Saimaa in eastern Finland, especially the town of Savonlinna, where freshly fried vendace are a favourite fingerfood sold outdoors and in restaurants, enjoyed by both the locals and the numerous visitors to the summertime Savonlinna Opera Festival held at the medieval castle of Olavinlinna. Like most breaded, deep-fried foods, this dish is best when eaten hot and freshly prepared, however, one should be aware that in many instances fried vendace are sold long after they have cooled down or have been chilled and even stored for days, which worsens their flavour and texture considerably.
Friteeratut muikut are whole rye flour coated vendace deep-fried in oil (syn. uppopaistetut muikut).

paistetut perunat fried potatoes, potato hash

Sliced or cubed potatoes slowly fried in butter. The dish is usually made with previously boiled, leftover potatoes but also raw potatoes may be used.
Syn. paistinperunat.
When cooked meat or sausages and onions are fried with the potatoes the dish is called pyttipannu.
See pyttipannu.

paistetut silakat fried Baltic herrings

Small gutted Baltic herrings fried in butter. Before frying, the fish may be coated in fine rye flour.

palviliha, palvattu liha smoked meat (esp. one cured in Finnish smoke sauna) See saunapalviliha.
pannukakku oven-baked pancake

Sweetened pancake batter poured in a large, wide and shallow baking pan, baked in oven until puffed and golden brown. The hot pancake is cut in portions and served for dessert topped with jam, fruit, sugar, molasses, whipped cream, ice cream, etc. Fruit slices or berries and spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, etc, may be arranged and sprinkled on the batter before baking to alter the flavour of the dish. Also savoury pancakes are made by mixing fatty pork or bacon, potatoes, onion, etc, in the batter before baking. Besides the usual eggs, milk and flour, also leftover wheat semolina or rice porridge may be used as a base for the batter, see ahvenanmaan pannukakku.
See a recipe for Oven-baked pancake.

pappilan hätävara breadcrumb and fruit trifle, lit. "rectory's makeshift"

An old-fashioned, trifle-type dessert dish made with alternate layers of dry cake or cookie crumbs or rye or white breadcrumbs, jam or fruit puree and whipped cream. The name indicates that the dish can be quickly and easily assembled using simple ingredients, in case of receiving surprise visitors.

pasha paskha

Sweet Easter dessert of Russian Orthodox origin, made with quark, sugar, eggs, butter, smetana or cream and vanilla. Paskha mixture is poured in a special pyramid-shaped mould to set. It is traditionally eaten spread on a slice of kulich.
See a recipe for Paskha.

pasteija 1. pâté

Usually smooth and spreadable pâté, mainly made with liver (liver pâté = maksapasteija, maksapatee).

2. pasty, turnover

Small pie, pasty or turnover, most often of puff pastry crust enclosing a meat, egg, fish, cereal or vegetable filling.
See liha-riisipasteija, muna-riisipasteija.

patakukko pot loaf, lit. "pot-rooster" See kalakukko.
patapaisti pot roast

A dish of whole browned roast, vegetables, spices, etc, gently braised in a deep, lidded pot or pan on stovetop or in the oven.
See hapanpaisti, linnapaisti.

perunamuusi "mashed potatoes", potato puree See perunasose.
perunapuuro potato porridge

Traditional dish of Inkoo (Finland Swedish: Ingå) municipality in southern Finland, made with boiled, pureed potatoes mixed with their cooking liquid and flour (traditionally rye flour, but also barley and wheat flours are used). The porridge is slowly simmered, sometimes for hours, until smooth and thickened and eaten with a knob of butter and cold milk. Similarly to polenta, leftover cold and firm porridge may be sliced and fried in butter and served with butter, milk, lingonberry jam, etc. In Finland, the first potatoes were grown in the village of Fagervik in Inkoo in the 1730s, introduced by German blacksmiths working in the area. Thus the potato porridge is also known as "Inkoo porridge".
Syn. inkoonpuuro, Finland Swedish: potatisgröt, Ingågröt.

perunarieska potato flatbread

Small, round and soft flatbread made of dough of mashed potatoes mixed with eggs, salt and flour (usually barley and/or wheat), briefly baked in oven. Although the dough is usually unleavened, some recipes may use a small amount of yeast or baking powder. Many modern recipes "cheat" by using instant mashed potato flakes and other similar, inferior products instead of real potatoes, resulting in a poorer flavour. Potato flatbreads are best served hot from the oven, spread with butter. They are a traditional food item of Lapland in northern Finland.

perunasalaatti potato salad

Salad of cubed or sliced boiled potatoes, usually mixed with pickled gherkin, apple, onion and capers, bound with sour cream, mayonnaise or oil based dressing flavoured with mustard, vinegar, salt, sugar or other spices or herbs. Other vegetables or spices may be added according to taste.
See a recipe for Potato salad.

perunasose potato puree, "mashed potatoes"

Boiled potatoes pureed into a smooth, velvety mixture with a dash of milk and a lump of butter.
Syn. perunamuusi (infml), perunamuussi (infml).
See a recipe for Potato puree.

perunavoitaikina potato puff pastry

Puff pastry made by mixing cold, cooked, finely grated potato, butter, flour and salt (and baking powder). The pastry can be used to make savoury and sweet pies, pasties and turnovers. Although not as flaky as true puff pastry, potato puff pastry has a more delicious flavour.

piimäjuusto fresh cheese, lit. "buttermilk cheese"

Homemade, fresh cheese made by curdling milk with buttermilk. The resulting curd is shaped into soft cheese using a cheese mould. Eggs may be added to enrich the cheese and spices to season it. The moulded cheese may be baked in oven until lightly browned.
Syn. munajuusto, kotijuusto.
See a recipe for Baked egg cheese.

piimäkakku gingerbread cake, lit. "buttermilk cake" See maustekakku.
piirakka pie, pasty, pastry

Finnish culinary tradition is rich with a multitude of sweet and savoury stuffed pies, pasties and turnovers. The stuffing can be almost anything from fresh berries and fruit to various dairy products, cereals, vegetables, fish and meats.
Syn. piiras.
See kaalipiirakka, karjalanpiirakka, lihapiirakka, lohipiirakka, mustikkapiirakka, omenapiirakka, rahkapiirakka, raparperipiirakka, sienipiirakka.

pinaattikeitto spinach soup

Creamy soup made with pureed spinach mixed with vegetable or meat stock and cream, or simply milk. The soup is traditionally served with a halved hard-boiled egg.
See a recipe for Spinach soup.

pinaattiohukainen spinach crêpe, spinach pancake

Savoury, small pancake made by mixing pureed spinach in pancake batter.
Syn. pinaattilettu.

piparjuurikerma horseradish cream

Sauce of whipped cream seasoned with grated horseradish, salt, white pepper, sugar and/or vinegar or lemon juice, served most often with hot or cold poached or fried fish, cooked tongue or other meats or coldcuts.
See a recipe for Horseradish cream.

piparkakku gingerbread cookie

Thin gingerbread dough cookies of various shapes, traditionally served at Christmas.
See a recipe for Gingerbread cookies.

pirtelö milkshake

Ice cream (usually vanilla), milk and various flavouring ingredients (cocoa, fruit, berries, etc) processed in a blender to produce a thick dessert drink.
See recipes for Banana milk shake and Chocolate milk shake.

porkkanalaatikko carrot casserole

Sweet casserole dish made with pureed or grated carrots mixed with cooked rice or rice porridge, eggs, cream, molasses and spices, traditionally served at Christmas.
See a recipe for Carrot casserole.

porkkanaohukainen carrot crêpe, carrot pancake

Savoury, small pancake made by mixing finely grated carrot in pancake batter.
Syn. porkkanalettu.

poronkäristys reindeer stew

Thin slices of frozen reindeer roast slowly braised in reindeer fat and/or pork fat, butter and water, seasoned with salt only, usually served with pureed potatoes and lingonberries or cranberries. This is a traditional dish of Lapland, northern Finland.
See a recipe for Reindeer stew.

poronpaisti reindeer roast

Reindeer roast is a traditional dish of Lapland, northern Finland. It can be baked whole or braised cut in thin slices.
See poronkäristys.

pulla sweet yeast bread or bun

Pulla is a common name for Finnish pastry items made of rich, sweet yeast dough, most often formed into a braided, long loaf shape, called pullapitko, or small, round buns (pulla, pikkupulla). Very popular in Finland, pulla in its various forms is frequently served with coffee.
See korvapuusti, laskiaispulla, pullapitko, voisilmäpulla.
See a recipe for Sweet buns.

pullamaito sweet yeast bread milk

In the old time a favourite "comfort food" of children, pullamaito is a mushy dish of small pieces of fresh or dry sweet yeast bread or buns (see pulla) mixed in a cup or mug with hot milk (or a mixture of hot milk or cream and coffee or tea) until softened and eaten with a spoon. Also butter or sugar may be added to flavour the mush.
Syn. "pullamössö" (infml).

pullapitko braided sweet yeast bread

Popular Finnish pastry item made of rich, sweet yeast dough braided into a long bread shape and baked. Raisins, candied or dried fruit or nuts may be added to the dough. The braid can be garnished with sanding sugar and/or flaked or chopped almonds or nuts before baking. It is served sliced, usually with coffee.
See pulla.
See a recipe for Braided sweet yeast bread.

punajuurisalaatti beetroot salad

Salad of shredded, pickled beetroot mixed with a creamy dressing made with smetana, crème fraîche, Finnish curd cream, mayonnaise, etc. In addition, shredded apple, boiled potato, pickled gherkin, onion or leek may be added to the salad, among other ingredients.
See recipes for Creamy beetroot salads.

punakaalipata red cabbage stew

Sweet-and-sour stew of shredded red cabbage sautéed in butter or pork or goose fat and slowly simmered until tender, served with meat or poultry dishes, traditionally accompanying ham or roast goose. Onion and tart apples are usually added to the stew, along with spices and seasonings like cloves, cinnamon, allspice, juniper berries, herbs, vinegar, blackcurrant/red currant jelly, sugar, dark molasses, etc. Meat stock, red wine, fruit or berry juice (lemon, blackcurrant, lingonberry, cranberry) may be used as liquid in the stew. Also meat may be added to the stew, like (smoked) fatty pork or bacon and/or sausages.
Syn. haudutettu punakaali.

puuro porridge

Porridges made with a multitude of cereals, grits and flours have been the staples of Finnish diet since ancient times. Whole, crushed or powdered grains are slowly simmered with water or milk into a soft, smooth mixture, eaten either plain or topped with sugar, cinnamon, butter, berries, fruits, milk, honey, jams, etc. Nowadays porridges are less consumed, but are again gaining popularity as an important part of a healthy, balanced diet.
See kaurapuuro, mannapuuro, ohrapuuro, perunapuuro, riisipuuro, ruispuuro, tattaripuuro, vispipuuro.

Some Finnish porridges:
graham-marjapuuro=whole wheat flour/graham flour and berry porridge (usually from lingonberries)
grahampuuro=whole wheat flour porridge, graham flour porridge
leipäpuuro=bread porridge (sweet, from dry rye sourbread and lingonberries)
makaronipuuro=macaroni and milk porridge
neljänviljanpuuro=four-grain porridge (from rye, oat, barley and wheat flakes)
ohrahiutalepuuro=barley flake porridge
ohrajauhopuuro=barley flour porridge
ohrasuurimopuuro, ohraryynipuuro=barley porridge (from groats)
ruishiutalepuuro, ruispuuro=rye flake porridge
ruisjauhopuuro, ruispuuro=rye flour porridge
ruis-marjapuuro, ruispuolukkapuuro=rye flour and lingonberry porridge
ruis-perunapuuro=rye flour and potato porridge
suklaapuuro, manna-suklaapuuro=chocolate porridge, wheat semolina and cocoa porridge (sweet)
uutispuuro=porridge cooked with the first grain of new rye harvest
vehnähiutalepuuro=wheat flake porridge
vehnäjauhopuuro, vehnäpuuro=wheat flour porridge

See also velli.
pyttipannu Swedish hash

Mixed dish made usually of leftover food, cut into cubes and slowly browned in butter. Most often boiled or raw potatoes, cooked meat or sausages and onions are used as the basic ingredients in hash. In addition, an egg may be broken in the middle of the hot hash just before serving or served on the side. "Beef Rydberg" (Swedish: biff Rydberg) is a more elaborate hash, prepared with pieces of fresh ox fillet.

Finnish English Description Photo
raakalihapihvi steak tartare See tartarpihvi.
raakaraaste grated raw vegetable salad See raastesalaatti.
raaste grated raw vegetables (salad) See raastesalaatti.
raastesalaatti grated raw vegetable salad

Salad of one or several types of freshly grated raw vegetables, usually served as a healthy side dish for more substantial meat or fish dishes. Grated raw vegetable salads are mostly made with juicy vegetables and root vegetables, like carrot, cabbage, rutabaga, celeriac, kohlrabi, etc. To minimize the loss of vitamins and maintain their juiciness, the salads must be made with freshly grated vegetables and served as soon as possible. Additional ingredients like fruits (apples, pears, oranges, raisins, prunes, bell pepper), berries (lingonberries, cranberries), onion, celery, cheese/cottage cheese, nuts, pickled vegetables, spices, etc, may be added to flavour the salads and various citrus or fruit juice, oil, cream or mayonnaise based dressings to moisten them.
See a recipe for Lingonberry and red cabbage salad.

rahkapiirakka quark pie

Large open pie or small pies of usually soft sweet yeast dough crust, filled with quark mixed with sugar, eggs, cream, spices like vanilla and/or lemon juice and sometimes raisins. Instead of raisins, fresh fruit slices (eg peaches, apricots, apples, pineapple) may be added to the filling.
See a recipe for Quark pies.

rahkavoitaikina quark puff pastry, quark-butter dough

Puff pastry made by mixing soft quark, butter and flour (and baking powder). The pastry can be used to make savoury and sweet pies and pastries, pasties and turnovers. Although not as flaky as true puff pastry, quark and butter puff pastry has a more delicious flavour.
See a recipe for Quark-butter dough.

rantakala lakeshore fish

Simple eastern Finnish summer dish of small, whole gutted fish (mostly vendace, tiny perch, etc) slowly simmered in a small amount of butter, salt and pepper flavoured water (or just butter and no extra liquid) in a large pot over open fire. The name indicates the fact that the dish is traditionally cooked on the lakeshore, using freshly caught fish. Also onion, spring onion, dill, allspice or other spices may be added to the simmering liquid. The dish is traditionally served with dark rye bread slices, dipped in the flavourful cooking liquid.

raparperipiirakka rhubarb pie

Pastry case of short pastry, puff pastry, sweet yeast dough, etc, filled and baked with sweetened raw or stewed rhubarb slices. Rhubarb pies are usually served with whipped cream, ice cream or vanilla custard.
See a recipe for Rhubarb pie.

rapusilakat crayfish Baltic herrings

Rolled Baltic herring fillets simmered in a mixture of tomato puree, ketchup or paste diluted with water, seasoned with fresh dill and dill seeds. The aim of this dish is to imitate the flavour of the great Nordic delicacy, crayfish cooked in crown dill seasoned brine, hence the name.

Rex-kakku Rex cake

Unbaked cake made with a filling of beaten eggs and sugar, melted coconut butter and cocoa powder or melted dark chocolate, layered with moistened, rectangular cookies or crackers in a rectangular cake pan or assembled on wax paper. The cake is wrapped and placed in refrigerator until firm, then served sliced. Especially popular in the 1950s and 60s, Rex cake was named after a brand of crackers of that era, called "Rex". Similar type of cake is known in Sweden as radiokaka, and in Germany as Kalter Hund.

rieska soft flatbread

Thin, unleavened bread, usually made with barley flour. Also wheat or rye flour, cereals or boiled potatoes may be used to make the dough. Rieska is eaten fresh from the oven, spread with butter.
See perunarieska.

riimihärkä raw salt-marinated beef (ox fillet) See riimiliha.
riimiliha raw salt-marinated meat

Similar to carpaccio, riimiliha is raw fillet of beef, preferably ox, rubbed with salt and pepper, sometimes also with herbs, sealed and left to marinate for a couple of days in refrigerator. The meat is briefly frozen before serving, sliced paper-thin and eaten raw.

riisipuuro rice porridge

Porridge cooked with rice and milk, especially popular at Christmas time. Rice porridge is usually served with a pat of butter, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon or with fruit or berry compote.
See a recipe for Christmas rice porridge.

rikkaat ritarit French toast with jam, whipped cream, etc See köyhät ritarit.
rinkeli pastry ring, pretzel

Toroidal or pretzel-shaped sweet or savoury baked pastry or cookie (Old Norse: kringle). There are many shapes and sizes of rinkeli, made with different types of leavened or unleavened doughs, ranging from large, sweet or savoury soft yeast dough pastries to tiny, sweet cookies and crisp, savoury rusk-like snacks flavoured and/or garnished with various spices.
Syn. rinkilä.
See munkkirinkilä, vesirinkeli, viipurinrinkeli.

rosolli mixed beetroot salad

Mixed salad made with finely cubed cooked, fresh and pickled vegetables, apples and salted herring, served especially at Christmas. The main ingredients in the salad are boiled carrots and potatoes and boiled or pickled beetroots.
Syn. sillisalaatti.
See a recipe for Mixed beetroot salad.

rosvopaisti pit-roasted meat, lit. "robber's roast"

Time-consuming outdoor dish, where a whole lamb or a large roast of mutton, lamb, pork, bear, etc, is slowly roasted buried in a hole in the ground. The meat is first left to marinate and tightly wrapped in a thick layer of wetted baking parchment and/or kitchen towels, newspapers and aluminium foil. A hole from about half to one metre deep is dug in the ground, preferably in sandy clay soil, and lined with bricks or stones. A large wood fire is burnt down in the hole for several hours, and the meat parcel is placed on the hot coals and embers. The meat is covered with some of the hot coals and soil and left to cook for several hours until done.

ruispuolukkapuuro rye and lingonberry porridge

Porridge cooked with coarse rye flour or rye grits, lingonberries and water, sometimes seasoned with a dash of sugar. The ingredients are slowly simmered on stovetop or in slow oven until thickened and sweetened. The porridge can be eaten hot or cold and served with milk.
Syn. ruis-puolukkapuuro.

ruispuuro rye porridge

Porridge cooked with whole, crushed or powdered rye grains and water or milk, seasoned with salt and a pat of butter. The ingredients are slowly simmered until thickened and creamy. Rye porridge can be served with a pat of butter, milk, berries, fruit, jam, sugar, etc. Rye porridge made with rye flour may also be called ruispuuro, or, more accurately, ruisjauhopuuro.
See a recipe for Rye porridge with lingonberries.

runebergintorttu Runeberg's cupcake, Runeberg's cake

Tall cylindrical pastry named after the Finnish poet J. L. Runeberg. The pastry is soaked in Swedish punsch, rum or cognac flavoured sugar syrup and topped with a dollop of raspberry jam or apple marmalade, garnished with a ring of white or pink sugar icing.
See a recipe for Runeberg's cupcakes.

rusinakeitto raisin soup

Simple, old-fashioned fruit compote dessert cooked with soaked raisins, water or fruit juice, sugar and spices like cinnamon, cloves, ginger, vanilla, cardamom, Seville orange peel, etc. The soup is thickened with potato flour and served warm or chilled, usually to accompany Christmas rice porridge or topped with whipped cream.
Syn. rusinasoppa, rusinakiisseli.
See kiisseli.

ruusunmarjakeitto rose-hip soup

Sweet dessert soup made of fresh or reconstituted dried rose-hips, cooked with sugar and water. The soup is pureed (perhaps seasoned with vanilla, lemon juice, etc) and served warm or chilled with whipped cream, ice cream, crushed rusks or almond cookies, etc.
Syn. ruusunmarjakiisseli, ruusunmarjasoppa.
See kiisseli.
See a recipe for Rose-hip soup.

Finnish English Description Photo
saaristolaisleipä dark, sweet-and-sour rye bread, lit. "island-baked bread"

Soft and dense dark rye bread, a speciality of Finland's southwestern archipelago region, made with rye flour, rye malt, buttermilk, molasses and bran. Lingonberries may be added to the dough.
See a recipe for Island-baked bread.

sahti sahti beer

Finnish sahti is a traditional rustic, unfiltered beer made mainly with malted barley and/or rye, sometimes with the addition of wheat or oats (or barley/rye) as adjuncts. Sahti may be flavoured with hops and/or juniper berries, and is always fermented using fresh baker's yeast or yeast saved from the previous batch of sahti. Sahti has a thick and velvety texture and a characteristic nutty, smoky, and fruity banana-like flavour, partly acquired from the yeast, and from juniper twigs through which it is usually filtered. Sahti typically has a very low amount of carbon dioxide, and the alcoholic content varies between about 7 to 9 % by volume. Since there is no one accurate recipe for brewing sahti, its taste and characteristics vary greatly according to the brewer. Dating from 16th century, the production technique of sahti has remained much the same up to these days. According to the renowned British beer connoisseur and journalist Michael Jackson (1942 - 2007), Finnish sahti is the only primitive, indigenous beer in western Europe to have remained almost continuously in commercial production, along with the Belgian Lambic. Although sahti-like primitive beers are brewed in many countries, Finnish sahti is the only one to have been granted a Traditional Speciality Guaranteed status (TSG) for quality agricultural products and foodstuffs by the European Union, meaning that in order for a product to be called sahti, it must be produced using traditional raw materials and production technique.

sarvi crescent roll

A small crescent-shaped pastry item, formed from rolled triangular pieces of yeast or baking powder leavened dough. The crescent may be filled and/or topped with various sweet or savoury ingredients before rolling and baking, like grated cheese, chopped ham, nuts, seeds, chocolate, almond paste, jam, etc.
Voisarvi is the Finnish name for croissant, or a crescent roll of puff pastry made with real butter.

saunapalviliha, saunapalvattu liha smoke sauna-cured meat

Curing meat in smoke sauna is an old, traditional Finnish method for smoking food. An ancient form of sauna, the smoke sauna differs from a regular wood-fired Finnish sauna in that it is lacking a chimney, allowing the smoke rising from the stove to fill the bathing room. Besides for bathing, smoke sauna was also used for smoking meat, usually ham, bacon, mutton, beef, horse meat, sausages, etc. While the ancient sauna-smoking method has largely been replaced by the use of modern smoking facilities, the interest in traditional production methods has given rise to several small-scale smoking houses around Finland, offering authentic smoke sauna-cured products.
Syn. savupalvi, saunapalvi, palviliha, saunapalvattu liha, etc.

Some Finnish smoked meat products:
nokipalvi(kinkku)=smoked or smoke sauna-cured ham, allowed to be blackened by a thin layer of soot during curing (see the picture link on right)
saunapalvikinkku, palvikinkku=smoked or smoke sauna-cured ham
saunapalvikylki, palvikylki=smoked or smoke sauna-cured fatty side pork
savulammas, palvilammas=smoked or smoke sauna-cured (leg of) mutton or lamb
savupotka=smoked or smoke sauna-cured pork shank, especially used to flavour traditional Finnish green pea soup
ylikypsä kylki=smoked or smoke sauna-cured fatty side pork, slowly cured until "overcooked" and succulent.

savukala smoked fish

Cold-smoked or hot-smoked fish. Under cold-smoking, the fish is slowly cured in cool smoke generated by burning wood chips. The temperature must be lower than +30 °C, ideally +18 °C. Under hot-smoking, the fish is smoked at higher temperature, between +65 and +70 °C. Either before or after smoking, the fish is salted. Fish species commonly smoked in Finland include salmon, Baltic herring and powan, among many others.
Syn. savustettu kala.
Read about smoked salmon here.

savukalasalaatti smoked fish salad See kalasalaatti.
savulohi smoked salmon See savukala.
savupalvi smoke sauna-cured meat/ham See saunapalviliha.
savusilakka smoked Baltic herring See savukala.
sekahedelmäkeitto mixed fruit soup See kiisseli.
sianlihakastike side pork sauce

Fresh, fatty side pork sliced and slowly browned in its own fat. Wheat or rye flour and chopped onion are browned in the pork fat and hot water is added to make a sauce. The sauce is mixed with the meat and left to simmer slowly, until the meat and fat are tender and succulent.
Syn. läskisoosi (infml).

sienikakku sponge cake (with added hot water) See sokerikakku.
sienikastike mushroom ragout

Thick, creamy sauce made with one or several varieties of wild and/or cultivated mushrooms. The chopped mushrooms are stewed in their own liquid, cream is added and the ragout is simmered until the mushrooms are softened and the sauce thickened. In addition, mushroom sauces may be flavoured with finely chopped onion and salt, pepper and/or other spices and herbs. Mushroom ragout may be eaten plain, eg with boiled new potatoes, or served to accompany many meat, fish or vegetable dishes.
Syn. sienimuhennos.
See kantarellimuhennos, korvasienimuhennos, tattimuhennos.

sienikeitto mushroom soup

Creamy or clear soup made with one or several varieties of fresh or soaked dried wild mushrooms. In addition, mushroom soup usually contains onion, salt, pepper and/or other spices, like herbs or a dash of madeira, sherry, etc. Also cultivated mushrooms may be used, although wild mushrooms, abundant in Finnish forests, give the best flavour.
See kantarellikeitto, korvasienikeitto, suppilovahverokeitto, tattikeitto.

sienipiirakka mushroom pie

Large or small pasty, turnover or pastry case filled with mushroom filling and baked in oven. Wild or cultivated mushrooms are first slowly sautéed in butter, usually mixed with chopped onion and other spices. The filling is bound with cream, smetana, sour cream and/or eggs.
See a recipe for Mushroom pie.

sienipikkelssi pickled mushrooms

Wild or cultivated mushrooms pickled or marinated in different brines, usually consisting of water, vinegar, salt, sugar and various spices.
See recipes for Pickled chanterelles, Wild mushroom pickle and Marinated champignons.

sienisalaatti mushroom salad

Salad made with salted mixed wild mushrooms and chopped onion bound together with smetana, whipped cream, Finnish curd cream and/or mayonnaise. The mushrooms are first soaked to remove the excess salt.
See a recipe for Mushroom salad.

siianmäti powan roe See mäti.
silakkalaatikko Baltic herring casserole

Casserole dish made with fresh or salted Baltic herring fillets, pork fat, potatoes, onions and cream. In a less palatable version, a mixture of milk and eggs is used instead of cream to bind the dish.

silakkapihvi fried Baltic herring fillet

Two unskinned double fillets of small Baltic herrings placed flat one on top of the other, with chopped dill or chives, salt, pepper and/or other spices sprinkled between them. The fillets may be fried in butter or baked in oven. Before frying, the fillets may be coated in fine rye flour.
See a recipe for Fried Baltic herring fillets.

silakkarulla Baltic herring roll

Rolled herring or Baltic herring fillets cooked by simmering in vinegar marinade seasoned with salt (and sugar), fresh dill and spices. The rolls are chilled in the marinade and served with dill, boiled new potatoes, etc. The term may also refer to any type of dish of herring/Baltic herring fillet rolls simmered on stovetop or baked in oven, usually in vinegar, stock or cream-based sauce seasoned with herbs, spices, tomato, mustard, cheese, etc.
Syn. etikkasilakka.

silavapannukakku oven-baked pork fat pancake See pannukakku.
sillijäädyke herring parfait

Savoury parfait or ice cream usually made with cream and/or quark, chopped onion, spices and salted or marinated herring, served as appetizer with boiled potatoes, etc.
See a recipe for Pickled herring parfait.

sillikiusaus salt herring and potato casserole, lit. "herring temptation"

Baked casserole dish similar to the Swedish Jansson's temptation, made with julienne-cut potatoes, onion, soaked salted herring or Baltic herring and cream.
See Janssonin kiusaus.

sillilautanen herring platter

A kind of Nordic "ploughman's lunch", herring platter consists of herring salted, marinated and/or pickled in various ways, served with additives like chopped onion, pickled vegetables or vegetable salads, (beetroots, gherkins, onions, etc), hard-boiled eggs, cheese, dill, chives, sour cream, rye or crispbread, boiled potatoes, etc. Also other seafood may be included, like cold or hot-smoked, slightly salted, poached or baked fish, shrimps, mussels, fish roe, etc. Herring platter may be served as appetizer and it is very popular at Midsummer, Christmas and Easter time.
See a recipe for Fish and herring platter.

sima mead

Traditional low-alcohol or alcohol-free beverage made with water, sugar, lemon juice and yeast, nowadays served mainly during Finnish May Day celebration.
Read more about mead here.
See a recipe for traditional Finnish Mead.

sinappikurkkusalaatti cucumber relish flavoured with mustard See kurkkusalaatti.
sipulipihvi onion steak

Sautéed hamburger patty or steak of beef tenderloin or strip loin/top loin, topped with sliced onions slowly browned in butter.

siskonmakkarakeitto siskonmakkara soup, "siskon sausage" soup

Clear soup made with vegetables (eg onion, carrot, potato), stock and sausage meat dollops squeezed out from the casings of fresh siskonmakkara sausages.
Read more about siskonmakkara here.

sokerikakku sponge cake, lit. "sugar cake"

Light and airy, soft-textured cake made with equal volumes of eggs, sugar and flour. A basic, classic sponge cake is made with these three ingredients only, without using any leaveners. Basic sponge cake batter may be flavoured with various ingredients, like vanilla sugar, cocoa powder, chopped fruit or nuts and other spices or essences. Voi-sokerikakku, lit. "butter-sugar cake", is a sponge cake with melted butter added to the batter. Sienikakku, lit. "sponge cake", is a sponge cake with added hot water, giving it a slightly different texture but also making the batter rather "foolproof" as it is more likely to rise well during baking and retain its shape.
See a recipe for Basic sponge cake.

sokeroidut karpalot sugared cranberries

Traditional Russian and Finnish "candies" made with fresh and ripe, juicy wild cranberries dipped in egg white and rolled in icing sugar until thickly coated. Also cherries and clusters of red currants are sugared. Besides eaten as sweets, these decorative sugar-coated berries may be used as garnish on cakes, pastries and other desserts.
Syn. sokerikarpalot, tomusokerikarpalot, karpalomakeiset, karpalokaramellit.
See a recipe for Sugared cranberries.

sokeroidut puolukat sugared lingonberries

Uncooked jam of fresh lingonberries and sugar. Sugar is added little at a time to clean, whole lingonberries, stirring the mixture until the sugar has melted. In Sweden and Finland, the jam is served to accompany many savoury dishes, like pot roasts, meatballs, reindeer stew, stuffed cabbage rolls and stews, as well as many liver and blood based dishes.
Syn. raaka puolukkahillo, sokeripuolukat.
See a recipe for Sugared lingonberries.

sosekeitto puree soup See kasvissosekeitto.
stroganoff beef Stroganoff

Russian-origin dish of beef fillet, strip loin or inside roast cut in thin strips, quickly fried in butter with minced onion and simmered in a brown sauce enriched with smetana. Since usually the tenderest parts of beef are used, the cooking time for this dish is very short. In addition, tomato paste, mustard and/or mushrooms are often added to the dish. In Finland, beef Stroganoff is traditionally served with pickled beetroots and Russian pickled gherkins. Finnish makkarakastike/makkarastroganoff and nakkikastike/nakkistroganoff are cheap everyday dishes mimicking the flavour of beef Stroganoff, but using sausage instead of meat.
Syn. stroganov, stroganov-pihvi.
See makkarakastike, nakkikastike.
See a recipe for Beef Stroganoff.

suolakurkku gherkin pickled in unsweetened salt brine, lit. "salt cucumber" 1. Fermented pickled gherkin, see hapankurkku.

2. Slightly salted gherkin. Garden cucumbers pickled in brine consisting of salt and spices like horseradish, blackcurrant/oak/cherry tree leaves, bay leaf, pepper, garlic, mustard seeds, etc. No sugar or vinegar is used in the brine. The preparation method is similar to the fermented pickled gherkins, but the cucumbers are not allowed to ferment. Slightly salted gherkins are very popular in Russia, where they are called malosol'nye ogurtsy.

suolasienet salted mushrooms

Wild mushrooms preserved with coarse salt or salt brine. Salted mushrooms are soaked in cold water before consuming, in order to remove the excess salt. Mostly northern milkcaps, rufous milkcaps and woolly milkcaps are used for salting.
See a recipe for Salted mushrooms.

suppilovahverokeitto funnel chanterelle soup

Creamy or clear soup of funnel chanterelles. The chopped mushrooms (and some chopped onion) are braised in butter, seasoned and cooked in stock until tender and flavourful. A bit of flour may be added to thicken the soup, and some cream. Funnel chanterelle soup is also often made with dried, reconstituted mushrooms, which have a fine and strong, concentrated flavour.
See kantarellikeitto.
See a recipe for Funnel chanterelle soup.

suutarinlohi cobbler's salmon

Salted fillets of Baltic herring pickled in vinegar brine with sliced carrot, onion and spices.
See a recipe for Cobbler's salmon.

säilykekurkku pickled gherkin See etikkakurkku, hapankurkku, kurkkusalaatti, maustekurkku, suolakurkku, tillikurkut.
Finnish English Description Photo
talkkuna talkkuna

Talkkuna is a dry mixture of powdered or coarsely milled grains, usually eaten mixed with cultured milk products like viili or yogurt, or cooked into porridge with the addition of liquid. Many types of grains can be used to produce talkkuna, most often barley, oats and/or rye is used, but also peas and/or beans. The grains (and pulses) are half-cooked or steamed, dried, roasted and ground. Similar products have been known in many cultures throughout the world. The Finnish name for talkkuna comes from its Russian name, tolokno, a word derived from the Russian verb toloch', which means "to crush, mash or grind". An old, traditional agrarian food in certain areas of Finland, talkkuna has been reintroduced as a trendy ingredient added to give a malty flavour to many savoury and sweet dishes, cereals, desserts, chocolates, milkshakes and other beverages.

tartarpihvi steak tartare

Raw hamburger patty made of finely ground or scraped beef fillet or round of top quality. Steak tartare may be served with various piquant additives, like chopped pickled gherkins, beetroots, onion, capers, grated horseradish, etc, a raw egg yolk and/or other spices. The additives may be finely chopped and mixed with the meat or served separately on the side. Before serving, the meat patty may be briefly grilled on both sides, just enough to slightly brown the surface.
Syn. raakalihapihvi, raakapihvi.

tattaripuuro buckwheat porridge

Porridge made with whole or crushed buckwheat grain and water, seasoned with salt and a pat of butter. Depending on the type of grain used, the porridge will either be smooth and creamy or the grains will remain separate, like in the Russian and Eastern European type kasha, (Russian: grechnevaya kasha). The former type of porridge may be served with a pat of butter, sugar, milk, jam, berries, fruit, etc, the latter with a pat of butter or instead of rice to accompany meat and fish dishes.
Syn. tattariryynipuuro.
See a recipe for Buckwheat porridge.

tattikeitto cep soup

Clear or creamy soup made with various ceps and boletes, the finest mushrooms of Finnish forests. The chopped mushrooms (and some chopped onion) are braised in butter and then cooked in stock until tender and flavourful. A bit of flour may be added to thicken the soup, and some cream for a creamy soup.
Syn. tattisoppa.

tattimuhennos cep ragout

Chopped ceps and boletes braised in butter, seasoned and stewed in cream (and sometimes stock) until soft and thickened. In addition, chopped onion may be added to the mushrooms. Cep ragout may be served plain, perhaps with freshly boiled new potatoes, or on side of many meat, fish and vegetable dishes.
Syn. tattikastike.

ternijuusto beestings cheese

Cheese-type dish of oven-baked bovine colostrum, the first milk generated by cows after they have given birth. Higher in protein than regular cows' milk, colostrum will coagulate and set during baking in slow oven. It may be seasoned with salt and sugar (and cinnamon) before baking and served as a dessert with sugar and cinnamon or berries, fruit, jam, milk, etc.

tiikerikakku marble cake, lit. "tiger cake"

Pound cake made with alternate layers of plain and cocoa flavoured batter to produce a pattern resembling tiger's stripes, visible when the cake is sliced.

tillikurkut pickled cucumber slices, lit. "dill cucumbers"

Traditional Finnish cucumber salad prepared of fresh, thinly sliced garden or hothouse cucumbers marinated in brine mixed of water, spirit vinegar, salt, sugar and chopped dill. To drain out some liquid and/or to soften the cucumber slices (especially of the more robust garden cucumber), they may first be sprinkled with salt and either rubbed or pressed between two nesting deep plates before mixing with the brine, similarly to the Swedish pressgurka. The cucumber slices may also be shaken with the prepared brine, traditionally between two opposite deep plates or in some other closed container, or simply mixed with the brine in a bowl or jar, similarly to the Danish agurkesalat. The cucumbers keep for a long time stored refrigerated. Especially in summertime, this cucumber salad is served as a refreshing sweet-and-sour side dish to various meat and fish dishes.
Syn. hölskytyskurkut, kesäkurkut, vanhanajan kurkkusalaatti.
See a recipe for Dill cucumbers.

tilliliha cooked veal in dill sauce, lit. "dill meat"

Shoulder or brisket of veal, lamb or beef slowly simmered with vegetables (eg onion, carrot, root celery), water and spices until tender. The meat is cut in pieces and mixed with a sauce made from the reduced, thickened cooking liquid (and cream), seasoned with fresh dill, sugar, salt, pepper and vinegar or lemon juice.

tippaleipä May Day fritter, funnel cake

Deep-fried cake made of liquid batter of eggs, sugar, flour, milk/cream, vanilla, lemon zest or other seasonings, drizzled into hot cooking fat through a very narrow funnel to form a shape resembling a spherical bird's nest. The fritter is cooked on both sides until crisp and browned, drained on paper towels and powdered with icing sugar. May Day fritters are traditionally enjoyed with mead during Finnish May Day celebration.
See a recipe for May Day fritters.

toskakakku tosca cake

Sponge or pound cake bottom or pie covered with a layer of creamy mixture of flaked or slivered almonds, sugar, butter and cream or milk, baked in oven until nicely browned and caramelised on top.
Syn. toscakakku.
See a recipe for Tosca cake.

toskalastu tosca snap

Thin cookie made with a creamy mixture of flaked almonds, sugar, butter, flour and cream or milk, baked in oven until nicely browned and caramelised. Before hardening, the snaps are shaped to form curved biscuits.
Syn. toscalastu.
See a recipe for Tosca snaps.

tšinuski tianuchka

Russian cream toffee made by boiling together milk, cream or smetana, sugar and vanilla. Tšinuski may be cooked into soft, creamy candies (Russian: (pl.) tianuchki) or used as a dessert sauce or cake filling and topping.
Syn. tshinuski, tsinuski, kinuski, tjanutski, tjanutški.
See a recipe for Tianuchka-sauce.

tšinuskikakku tianuchka cake

A festive layer cake filled with tianuchka (Russian cream toffee) and whipped cream or butter frosting, topped with a layer of tianuchka.
Syn. tshinuskikakku, tsinuskikakku, kinuskikakku.
See tšinuski.

tuoresuolattu kala freshly salted fish See graavikala.
tuoresuolattu lohi freshly salted salmon, gravlax See graavikala.
täytekakku layer cake

Festive cake made with sponge cake layers filled and garnished with ingredients like whipped cream, custard, sweetened quark, mousse, fruits, berries, chocolate, ganache, cream toffee, etc.
See kermakakku.

täytetty tötterö filled wafer cone

Crisp wafer-thin cone filled with whipped cream or ice cream and fresh fruit, berries, jams, chocolate sauce, etc. The batter for the cones is made with eggs, (icing) sugar and flour, spread to form thin disks on baking sheet and baked quickly in hot oven. While still hot and pliable, the disks are wrapped into cone shapes and left to cool and harden before being filled.

Finnish English Description Photo
uudet perunat new potatoes

Freshly harvested, tiny new potatoes are an eagerly awaited early summer delicacy in Finland. At their simplest, boiled new potatoes are traditionally served with pickled herring, butter and fresh dill.
See a recipe for New potatoes with herring.

uunihauki oven-baked pike

A whole gutted pike baked in oven. The pike may be stuffed and/or seasoned with herbs, spinach, vegetables, rice, lemon slices, etc. Poached or baked whole pike is served as a traditional Christmas dinner dish among fisherman families of the Finnish southwestern archipelago, see jouluhauki.

uunijäätelö baked Alaska, Norwegian omelette

Oven-baked ice cream dessert. A block of ice cream is placed on a slice of sponge cake together with some flavouring (fruit, berries, jam, etc) and covered with a layer of meringue. Acting as an insulator, the meringue protects the ice cream from melting when the dish is briefly browned in hot oven.

uunilenkki oven-baked ring bologna See uunimakkara.
uunimakkara oven-baked (ring) bologna

Usually a ring-shaped, mild, bologna-type sausage baked whole in oven until nicely browned on top and served with mustard, ketchup, relish, or the like, and vegetables, fresh salad, etc. The sausage may be slit crosswise and the slits filled with slices of sharp, melting cheese (= juustolenkkimakkara, juustolenkki), or spread with mustard or other seasonings before baking. Ring bologna may also be baked over the hot stones of the stove of Finnish sauna, and is thus called kiuaslenkki [= "sauna stove ring (sausage)"] or saunalenkki [= "sauna ring (sausage)"].
Syn. uunilenkki, uunilenkkimakkara.
See lenkkimakkara.
See a recipe for Oven-baked ring bologna.

uuniomena baked apple

Whole cored apple or apple slices or pieces baked in oven until tender. Baked apples are usually filled or topped with butter, sugar, dark molasses, cinnamon, ground or crushed almonds or nuts, rolled oats or rye flakes or other spices and flavourings. The apples are served hot with vanilla custard, ice cream, whipped cream, etc.
See a recipe for Baked apples.

uuniperuna baked potato, jacket potato

Large-sized, whole or halved unpeeled winter potato baked in oven until tender. The hot potato is slit open and eaten with a spoon, topped with butter, smetana or sour cream or various other dressings or toppings.
See a recipe for Baked potatoes.

Finnish English Description Photo
valkosipuliperunat scalloped garlic potatoes

Dish of thinly sliced potatoes layered in a casserole dish with salt, pepper, garlic and cream, baked in oven. Instead or in addition to garlic, onion, grated cheese, crumbled blue cheese, smoked fish or ham, Swedish anchovies, etc, may be used to season the potatoes.
Syn. valkosipulikermaperunat, kermaperunat.
See a recipe for Scalloped potatoes.

vanhanaikainen salaattikastike old-fashioned salad dressing

Traditional salad dressing made with either whipped cream seasoned with vinegar, mustard, sugar and salt, or hard-boiled egg yolk rubbed together with mustard, vinegar and spices and diluted with cream. The dressing is served with green lettuce. Also chopped, hard-boiled egg yolks and whites may be added to the dressing or sprinkled on top of the salad.
Syn. vanhanajan salaattikastike, isoäidin salaattikastike.
See a recipe for Old-fashioned salad dressing.

vanhanajan kurkkusalaatti pickled cucumber slices, lit. "old-fashioned cucumber salad" See tillikurkut.
vaniljakastike vanilla custard, custard cream, crème anglaise

Vanilla-flavoured dessert sauce made with cream and/or milk cooked with egg yolks until slightly thickened. The sauce may be served hot or chilled with various desserts and cakes, especially with apple or rhubarb pies or oven-baked apples.
See a recipe for Vanilla sauce.

vatkattu marjapuuro whipped berry porridge/pudding See vispipuuro.
velli gruel

Gruels and porridges made with a multitude of cereals, grits and flours have been the staples of Finnish diet since ancient times. Gruels are made similarly to porridges, but with a larger quantity of liquid, making them thinner.

Some Finnish gruels:
grahamvelli=whole wheat flour gruel, graham flour gruel
kauravelli=rolled oats gruel
maissivelli=cornflour/cornstarch gruel (sweet)
makaronivelli=macaroni gruel
mannavelli=wheat semolina gruel
munavelli=egg and milk gruel (sweet)
neljänviljanvelli=four-grain gruel (from rye, oat, barley and wheat flakes)
ohrajauhovelli=barley flour gruel
ohrasuurimovelli=barley gruel (from groats)
riisivelli=rice gruel
ruishiutalevelli=rye flake gruel
ruisjauhovelli, ruisvelli=rye flour gruel
tattarivelli=buckwheat gruel
vehnähiutalevelli=wheat flake gruel
vehnäjauhovelli, vehnävelli=wheat flour gruel

See also puuro.

venäläinen silli Russian herring

Salted or marinated herring fillets served à la russe. The fillets are cut in thin strips, arranged on a platter and garnished with chopped onion, pickled beetroot, Russian-type pickled gherkins, chopped hard-boiled egg yolks and whites, capers, smetana dressing, etc.
See a recipe for Herring à la russe.

venäläinen suolakurkku Russian pickled gherkin 1. Russian-type fermented pickled gherkin, see hapankurkku.
2. Russian-type slightly salted gherkin, see suolakurkku.
veriohukainen blood pancake

Small and thin savoury pancake made with a batter mixed from pork blood, milk or beer, eggs, flour (rye, wheat, barley), onion, molasses and other spices.
Syn. verilettu, verilätty.
See a recipe for Blood pancakes.

vesirinkeli bagel

Round wheat pastry ring made from savoury yeast dough, cooked briefly in boiling water before baking in oven.

viili Finnish curd milk

Traditional Finnish and Swedish cultured milk product with a thick and viscous consistency and a mild, fresh flavour. Viili may be eaten for breakfast or as a snack or dessert, sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, with fruit, berries or cereals and a multitude of other toppings. Traditionally there have been two Finnish viili types, called lyhyt piimä ("short curd milk"), produced in eastern Finland, and pitkä piimä ("long curd milk" or "longmilk"), produced in western Finland. The two types differ in consistency, the former being more soft pudding-like and/or somewhat lumpy, and the latter more viscous, thick and stretchy.
See kermaviili.
See a recipe for homemade Viili.

viipurinrinkeli sweet wheat pretzel, lit. "Vyborg pretzel"

Pretzel-shaped soft wheat pastry made from sweet yeast dough, glazed with egg or water and baked in oven, traditionally on a bed of straw. Named after the formerly Finnish, now Russian, town of Vyborg.

viktoriakiisseli Victoria pudding

Old-fashioned moulded pudding dessert made with cold rice porridge flavoured with sugar and fruit, usually with juice and grated zest of lemon, mixed with gelatine and whipped cream. The mixture is poured in a ring mould or bowl to set before unmoulding on a serving plate. Fruit or berry sauce is served as an accompaniment.
Syn. viktoriankiisseli.

vispipuuro whipped berry pudding, berry whip

Mousse-like sweet dish made by cooking wheat semolina with berry or fruit juice and sugar. After cooking, the mixture is cooled down by whipping it vigorously, making it increase in volume and obtain a light, ethereal consistency. Lingonberries, cranberries, apricots, gooseberries and strawberries are most often used to make this dish.
Syn. vatkattu marjapuuro.

vohveli waffle

Basic Finnish waffle batters contain eggs, flour and liquid (water, milk, cream, soured cream, buttermilk, etc). In addition, sugar, butter and various flavouring ingredients may be added to the batter, as well as leavening agents like baking powder or yeast. Whether sweet or savoury, modern Finnish waffles can be made with a multitude of different flours, including barley, rye, buckwheat, cornflour, potato flour, cornstarch, etc. Sweet dessert waffles are usually served with jams, syrups, dessert sauces, fresh fruit or berries, whipped cream and/or ice creams. Ingredients like chopped smoked salmon or Baltic herring, wild mushrooms, ham, bacon, onion and/or herbs, among many others, may be added to savoury waffle batters and/or served to top the ready-cooked waffles.
See recipes for Finnish Waffles.

vohvelikeksi wafer

In Finland, the term wafer most often refers to a light and crisp, rectangular biscuit made with thin layers of diamond-pattern embossed wafers sandwiched together with a sweet creamy filling. The filling may be flavoured with vanilla, chocolate, coffee, fruit and/or berries, etc.

voileipä open-faced sandwich, lit. "butterbread"

Buttered slice of bread topped with a multitude of ingredients. Open-faced sandwiches are very popular food and snacks in Finland and other Nordic countries, the most famous of them being the Danish smørrebrød.
Read more about Nordic sandwiches and canapés here.
See recipes for various sandwiches here.

voileipäkakku savoury sandwich cake

Savoury layer cake made with bread slices sandwiched together with creamy fillings made with eg flavoured or unflavoured cream cheese, mayonnaise, Finnish curd cream, quark, various cheese/fish/meat pastes, etc. The filling is flavoured and the cake is decorated with various savoury ingredients, like cooked meat or cold cuts, liver pâté, cooked, smoked or salted fish and seafood, hard-boiled eggs, various cheeses, fresh or pickled vegetables, fruit, nuts, herbs and other seasonings.

voisarvi croissant, crescent roll See sarvi.
voisilmäpulla butter-eyed bun

Round, sweet yeast dough bun with a deep hole pressed in the centre, stuffed with butter and sugar.
See a recipe for Butter-eyed buns.

vorschmack vorschmack (pronounced

Known also in Russia, Germany and the Baltic countries, vorschmack is an oven-baked soufflé type of dish made with cooked ground lamb (or beef or veal) and salted herring and/or Swedish anchovies, ground together and mixed with boiled potatoes, sautéed onion, egg yolks, spices and beaten egg whites. Vorschmack is usually served with pickled beetroots, salted or pickled gherkins and smetana. The word Vorschmack is German for "foretaste" or "taste sampling".

Finnish English Description Photo
wallenberginpihvi Wallenberg hamburger

Swedish extremely fine-textured veal hamburger patty enriched with cream and egg yolks and sautéed in clarified butter (Swedish: wallenbergare).
See a recipe for Wallenberg steaks.

wieninleike Wiener schnitzel

Thinly pounded scallop of veal or pork dipped in egg, breaded with flour and breadcrumbs and sautéed in butter. In Finland, Wiener schnitzel is usually garnished with a round slice of lemon, topped with a ring of Swedish anchovy fillet filled with capers.


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