Vorschmack – traditional Finnish dish

19 08 2013

Vorschmack - reijosfood.com

There are several stories regarding the origin of Vorschmack but it has become a traditional, but not so widespread Finnish dish as it was one of the favourite appetizers of the Finnish statesman, war hero and gourmand Marshall C.G.E. Mannerheim.

For main course Vorschmack is too heavy due to salty, quite “interesting” taste and combination of side dishes.

Vorschmack is prepared mainly out of minced meat (lamb and pork), anchovises and/or herring, onions and spices. The dish is usually garnished with beetroot, pickles, sour cream and eaten with baked potato. Made one change to original recipe of side dishes, had oven baked beetroots instead of pickled ones. Bought Russian pickles but they were too salty and therefore suggest those ones which are in small glass jars. And to be honest, Vorschmack itself was canned. And in this can anchovises dominant flavor flavour too much.

Root vegetables - reijosfood.comPickles - reijosfood.com

Vorschmack - reijosfood.com

You can enjoy Vorschmack for instance at restaurants Savoy and Lasipalatsi in Helsinki. Had last year Vorschmack (picturebelow) as a starter in restaurant Lasipalatsi and it was delicious.

Lasipalatsi Vorschmack - reijosfood.com

Traditional Christmas home food in Finland

16 12 2012

Finnish traditional Christmas food differs a lot from ordinary dinners. Most of the dishes are prepared specially for Christmas and some of them available only at super markets for that special occasion.

First you enjoy class of mulled wine in order to find Christmas spirit.


Dinner itself usually starts with fishes like spiced salmon and whitefish (if you do not have enjoyed rice pudding before that). Roes are also typical delicacies, most common are salmon, whitefish and vendace roes. To ensure extreme gusto, add sour cream, red onion and black pepper. Sometimes you might want eat roe with toast and/or Lappish potatoes, which cook really fast, because they are softer than ordinary potatoes. Some people still like to eat lutefish which is prepared from dried whitefish or cod; not my favourite.

DSC02916Kuvat 2005-2006.02 asti 199Roe

After fish it is common to eat Christmas ham which is prepared in oven for several hours. Add some mustard, yammy! Nowadays it is also quite popular to enjoy turkey or have both. With ham one usually eats casseroles like carrot, sweetened potato and rutabaga (all dishes in picture below). Also green peas, plums and ordinary potatoes are common side dishes. Rosolli, mixed combination of beetroot, carrot, pickles, apple, potato and onion can also only be found during Christmas time. Usually eaten with beetroot coloured whipped cream.

HamChristmas plate

Dessert can be cheeses or of course mince pies with coffee. You can find mince pies in every cafe before Christmas, made of puff paste and plum jam. The difference with home made pies and those you can buy at super markets is egg which is sed to lubricate the the surface of the puff paste.

Mince pies

After dinner it is nice to listen some Christmas music by great Finnish singers e.g Johanna Kurkela and Jarkko Ahola.



Beetroot and chevre in two ways

6 10 2012

Sometimes it does good to try new foodstuff. Beetroot is quite common vegetable in Finland but usually potato and carrot win when preparing lunch or dinner. Decided to use beetroot and this time chevre in starter and main course. Accidentally onion suited well also for main course so could say dinner was made from beetroot, chevre and onion.

Starter was “Chevre beetroot toast” Chevre, beetroot, caramelized onion, balsamico and oak lead lettuce. Tasty but next time will fry beetroot and chevre on pan with butter. Onion was cooked with red wine, balsamic vinegar, honey, sugar and salt. Like the face imitation?

Main course was “Chicken breast with roasted beetroot” Chicken breast, oven roasted beetroot, chevre, caramelized red onion, oven baked onion and pepper sauce. This was delicious although I say it myself. No need for potato or other side dishes. Maybe chicken could have been in the oven 1 minute less after pre frying.

No points for home made food! Chevre is goat cheese, this time President.

PS. Riesling matched well for both dishes.

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